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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

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)

As a political geographer with a longstanding interest in political economy, Mathew Coleman is interested in how the contingencies and specificities of territory, place, and space shape what we can say about the exercise of state power.

Coleman's work examines the persistence of states in the world economy, as well as the ongoing importance of statecraft to world geopolitics. However, whereas much scholarship approaches statecraft as an abstract and relatively coherent act of territoriality (i.e. way of viewing and then organizing space), his interest lies with it as 1) a polyvalent bundle of sometimes countervailing projects with different institutional trajectories, 2) a multi-scalar practice which implicates any number of everyday spaces and practices, 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.

The bulk of Coleman's research concerns the politics of undocumented migration. Topics include, broadly:

  • U.S. immigration law reform politics
  • The continuities and discontinuities of U.S. immigration enforcement pre- and post-9/11
  • Non-federal immigration legislation
  • Non-federal immigration enforcement

Coleman is currently working with Angela Stuesse (University of South Florida) on a National Science Foundation sponsored project on non-federal immigration enforcement in the Atlanta metro area. The research examines the extent to which sheriffs and police are involved in immigration enforcement through programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities, and the effects of these practices.

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)