A Research Agenda for Military Geographies
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A Research Agenda for Military Geographies

Edited by Rachel Woodward

A Research Agenda for Military Geographies explores how military activities and phenomena are shaped by geography, and how geographies are in turn shaped by military practices. A variety of future research agendas are mapped out, examining the questions faced by geographers when studying the military and its effects.
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Chapter 13: Confounding restoration: environmental politics and ecology in militarized landscapes

David Havlick


Many militarized landscapes pose particular challenges as sites of ecological restoration, due to their complex characteristics and distinctive forms of contamination. Military training, testing, research, and warfare have created many of the world’s most toxic or hazardous sites, but paradoxically in some cases have also created valuable habitats. The politics and goals of military land restoration are complex. Restoration seeks to erase ecological damage and military hazards but may simultaneously need to avoid the erasure of social and historical meaning. Restoration efforts may also serve differently to exacerbate or mitigate social justice, institutional inequities, and the degree to which the military is held accountable for its social and environmental impacts. Using examples from the United States, central Europe, and Korea, the chapter explores these tensions of erasure, commemoration, accountability, and equity in the context of transitioning militarized landscapes. In these examples, the physical condition of the land, its uses, and the discursive framing of militarization itself remain contested and unstable.

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