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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Mathew ColemanAssociate Professor
1156 Derby Hall
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B.A., Political Science, Université d'Ottawa (1996)
M.A., Political Economy, Carleton University (1999)
Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles (2005)

Mathew Coleman is a political and legal geographer, with a longstanding interest in political economy.

His current research focuses on immigration law and politics. More specifically his interests lie on issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border, interior immigration enforcement, critical geopolitics, political geography, states and statecraft, geographies of power and resistance.

Coleman examines domestic policing as a neglected aspect of U.S. statecraft, on geopolitics as practice rather than policy, and more generally on the need to rethink geopolitics topologically beyond the conventional foreign policy/domestic policy divide.

He is interested in the persistence of state power in the world economy, as well as the ongoing importance of statecraft to world geopolitics.

Whereas much scholarship approaches state power as an abstract and relatively coherent act of territoriality (i.e. way of viewing and then organizing space), Coleman's interest lies with it as 1) a polyvalent bundle of sometimes countervailing projects with different institutional trajectories, 2) a practice which implicates any number of everyday spaces and contexts, typically neglected in macro-scale analyses of the state and 3) a series of dispersed practices which play out unevenly across space and which produce places differently.

A major theme in his research concerns the need to ground complex theory in grounded fieldwork.

His theoretical interests have been shaped by the past decade of scholarship on the problem of topology.

Coleman is editor, along with Sapana Doshi of the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation series at the University of Georgia Press. He is an editorial board member for the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Political Geography, Southeastern Geographer, and Geography Compass.

Faculty Links
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Department web page
Professional website
High-resolution photo

Media Links
Mershon Center: Coleman, Hoffmann win Ohio State teaching awards (2013)

Mershon Projects
Sanctuary and the Devolution of Immigration Enforcement after 9/11 (2009-10)