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Durham University

Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Noam Leshem

Leshem, N. & Pinkerton, A Re-inhabiting no-man's land: genealogies, political life and critical agendas. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 2016;41:41-53.

Author(s) from Durham


This article sets out to answer a seemingly simple question: what is no-man's land? By positing this question, we aim to problematise the taken-for-granted status of no-man's land and its proliferation as a convenient colloquialism that is applied to a vast set of spaces, material conditions and socio-political circumstances. Despite its popular association with the killing fields of the First World War, no-man's land is considered here as a rich analytical category, which resonates in a broader historical and intellectual corpus. We present a conceptual framework for the study of no-man's land as a space produced by simultaneous forces of abandonment and enclosure. The analysis explores the function of no-man's lands as a critical quality that bears on concrete spatio-political realities. In doing so, we aim to open up future research avenues that will further deepen the conceptual and analytical challenges of no-man's lands in the 21st century.