Material Politics: Disputes Along the Pipeline by Andrew Barry

By Andrew Barry

In Material Politics, writer Andrew Barry unearths that as we're commencing to attend to the significance of fabrics in political lifestyles, fabrics has turn into more and more sure up with the creation of knowledge approximately their functionality, origins, and impact.

  • Presents an unique theoretical method of political geography by means of revealing the paradoxical dating among fabrics and politics
  • Explores how political disputes have come to revolve now not round items in isolation, yet items which are entangled in ever starting to be amounts of data approximately their functionality, origins, and impact
  • Studies the instance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline – a desirable test in transparency and company social accountability – and its general destructive political impact
  • Capitalizes at the starting to be interdisciplinary curiosity, specially inside geography and social idea, in regards to the severe position of fabric artefacts in political life

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164). Nonetheless, since the late nineteenth century, oil had come to play a part in its political economy. As early as 1883, a railway line had been built between Baku, the centre of the oil industry in Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea, and the Georgian Black Sea port of Batumi (Kautsky 1921, Chapter 4, Akiner 2004). The port was occupied by British troops in 1919, an action condemned by Trotsky and the Georgian Soviet, who noted that ‘during the occupation … the Georgian Menshevik’s policy towards Soviet Russia was especially insolent and provocative’ (Congress of the Georgian Soviets 1975 [1922]: 113).

In this way measurement and monitoring add to the existence of a pipeline, encasing it in an array of figures, traces and samples that may enable the potentially disruptive effects of corrosion to be contained. Disputes about the environmental impact of a pipeline, such as BTC, do not revolve around an isolated material object. Rather they engage with a material object whose integrity is formed and progressively transformed through multiple layers of information production (cf. Barry 2005, Lloyd Thomas 2010).

In drawing on this material I do not make a sharp division between my own fieldwork practice and the practice of company advisors, consultants and activists. In order to produce information, they too relied on some of the same documents, in conjunction with interviews and brief periods of fieldwork. The similarities in our practices render the differences more distinct (Riles 2006: 89). 9 Fieldwork was carried out in the midst of controversy. Yet in my practice of participation observation, rather than being embedded in introduction 27 one organisation or aligned with one position, I moved back and forth across the lines, attempting not to be partisan, tracing the course of disputes from as many directions as possible.

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