Research

Many of my publications can be downloaded using the links to the right. A full list of my publications can be found in my CV

I am currently working on the following research topics. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more.

Geographies of Police Militarization
Policing is an important topic in American society but one that geographers have not been fully engaged with. This project uses key theories about militarism to explore the legal structures that connect the military with law enforcement and the tools of Geographic Information Science to map and analyze the flow of weapons and other military equipment to localities across the U.S. Along with colleagues and students at the University of Idaho, I am currently investigating a federal equipment transfer program called '1033' that has provided over $4 billion in military surplus to police since 1996. 
The Latah (ID) County Sheriff's military surplus armored vehicle. The vehicle, called a 'Peacekeeper,' was originally made by Cadillac for the U.S. Air Force in the 1970s and 80s.  Photo by Steven Radil.


A student-led county-level analysis of the geography of military surplus equipment since 2006. Click the image for a larger version or click here for the poster as a PDF.




Spatializing Social Networks
Geographic contexts impact political agency and I have developed an analytic framework called Spatializing Social Networks (SSN) to explore this issue. SSN draws on relational theories from geography and sociology and blends spatial analysis with Social Network Analysis to identify and analyze actors that are embedded within similar social and geographic contexts. SSN has been applied to cases of urban violence (gangs in Los Angeles), civil war (war in the DR Congo), and international war (World War I) to show that social networks are always geographic and how the intersection of spatial and social contexts is crucial to understanding political outcomes. I am currently investigating using Exponential Random Graph Models to extend the SSN framework to probabilistic modeling and how SSN may offer a new way to approach the scale debates in human geography. 


Theorizing Participatory GIS (Geo)Politically
With its emphasis on using geographic technology to addresses uneven power dynamics, Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS) is an important link between human geography and Geographic Information Science and is now central to local scale political decision-making. However, PGIS remains under-theorized as a form of politics and under-developed as a method of public engagement. I am interested in new ways of understanding PGIS that have promise to improve its efficacy in democratizing local political outcomes. I am currently working with a colleague on theorizing PGIS using the post-politics literature and in developing more democratic public engagements using GIS.    


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