Mia Bennett

Mia Bennett
University of Washington Seattle | UW · Department of Geography

PhD, Geography, UCLA

About

59
Publications
13,117
Reads
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658
Citations
Introduction
I am a political geographer with geospatial skills interested in transportation infrastructure and frontier development, namely in the Arctic and areas within China's Belt and Road Initiative.
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - present
The University of Hong Kong
Position
  • Professor
August 2017 - December 2018
University of Vienna
Position
  • Fellow
September 2013 - December 2017
University of California, Los Angeles
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
In May 2013, China gained observer status in the Arctic Council, exemplifying its growing legitimacy as a regional actor in the eyes of the eight countries with territory north of the Arctic Circle. Yet since China remains an extraregional state without territory in the Arctic, Chinese officials continue to bolster their state’s legitimacy as an Ar...
Article
Since the late 1990s, remotely sensed night-time lights (NTL) satellite imagery has been shown to correlate with socioeconomic parameters including urbanization, economic activity, and population. More recent research demonstrates that multitemporal NTL data can serve as a reliable proxy for change over time in these variables whether they are incr...
Article
Between 2010 and 2050, the world’s combined road and rail network will grow an estimated 60%. National governments are building many of these roads, which are often perceived as disenfranchising Indigenous communities. Yet in the Canadian Arctic’s Mackenzie Delta, a joint venture between two Indigenous-owned construction and transportation companie...
Article
With current scientific models forecasting an ice-free Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) in summer by mid-century and potentially earlier, a direct shipping route via the North Pole connecting markets in Asia, North America, and Europe may soon open. The Transpolar Sea Route (TSR) would represent a third Arctic shipping route in addition to the Northern S...
Article
In the Anthropocene, ruin appreciation is shifting its focus from crumbling architecture to the deteriorating planet. Whereas Romantic and modern ruin gazing privileged nature’s reconquest of the built environment, now, the carbon-intensive infrastructures of global capitalism are turning nature itself to ruin. By critiquing popular representations...
Article
We explore the effect of individual perceptions of climate anomalies on collective action within a context of environmental complexity and uncertainty. To do so, we construct two competing propositions that are theoretically robust but with very different real-world implications. Our first proposition suggests that collective action to adapt to cli...
Article
Full-text available
Between 1967 and 1986, the Albanian government built an estimated 750,000 small and medium-sized military bunkers for defense purposes. These concrete constructions were spread across the country’s territory, with many concentrated along borders and beaches, in cities, and near key industries, strategic points, and transportation infrastructure. Lo...
Article
A fair and equitable low carbon future depends on a just transition which, in turn, requires leadership. Where the Arctic is concerned, this leadership is currently lacking. To gauge which states are most likely to provide leadership in the global energy transition, a quantitative rank-percentile assessment of 21 Arctic Council members and Observer...
Article
Many coastal cities regulate shipping emissions within their jurisdictions. However, the transboundary nature of air pollution makes such efforts largely ineffective unless they are accompanied by reciprocal, legally-binding regulation agreements with neighbouring cities. Due to various technical, economic, and institutional barriers, it has thus f...
Article
We offer a review and research agenda for critical remote sensing, defined as inquiries and scientific practices cognizant of the embedding of power within the production, analysis, and instrumentalization of satellite imagery. First, we consider critiques of the satellite gaze. Second, we chronicle remote sensing’s evolving political economy, exam...
Article
Since the 2010s, foreign direct investment in real estate (FDIRE) by Mainland Chinese firms has emerged as a major force within global real estate markets, challenging Western investors’ traditional dominance. It is unclear, however, whether Mainland Chinese FDIRE is fueled by the same motivations as those of investors from advanced economies, whic...
Article
Geographers are paying increasing attention to the geopolitics of knowledge production. China has attracted particular interest given the state’s professed goal of becoming a scientific power. Little research, however, has attended to the politics of scientific research relating to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Instead, a focus on the discour...
Article
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Northeast Asia is a regional imaginary of limited capture among both academics and the general public. As a result, ongoing tensions relating to island claims, sea rights, borderlands, population mobilities, and resource access are too rarely considered from a Northeast Asian regional perspective. The region’s parameters are also highly debated, wi...
Article
Responding to An, Sharp, and Shaw’s article, ‘Towards Confucian Geopolitics’, I consider how strategies and interpretations of Chinese geopolitics are playing out in Hong Kong with attention to their cultural dimensions. First, I reflect upon the reactions of individuals and the media in the West—specifically Britain—to the protests and street viol...
Article
Land-based transport corridors and their related infrastructure increasingly extend into and across the Arctic in support of resource development and population growth, causing large-scale cumulative changes in northern socio-ecological systems. These changes result from the increased mobility of people, goods and resources, and from environmental...
Article
Full-text available
Small rivers (width <30 m) are crucial components of Arctic terrestrial river networks. Yet to date, spatial resolution limitations of commonly used satellite imagery have inhibited quantification of their hydrography. By merging newly available Sentinel-2 multispectral satellite imagery with 2-m ArcticDEM digital elevation data, we created a conti...
Article
Full-text available
Many countries promote urban agglomeration to enhance economic competitiveness, but the impacts of this strategy on local climate adaptation remain poorly understood. Here, we use variation in greenspaces to test the effectiveness of climate adaptation policy across climate impacts and vulnerability dimensions. Using satellite imagery and logistic...
Article
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A critical remote sensing approach illuminates the geopolitics of development within Myanmar and across its ethnic minority borderlands. By integrating nighttime light (NTL) data from 1992–2020, long-term ethnographic fieldwork, and a review of scholarly and gray literature, we analyzed how Myanmar’s economic geography defies official policy, attes...
Article
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Glacial environments offer the opportunity to study the incipient stages of chemical weathering due to the high availability of finely ground sediments, low water temperatures, and typically short rock-water interaction times. In this study we focused on the geochemical behavior of germanium (Ge) in west Greenland, both during subglacial weathering...
Article
Chinese outbound tourism is extending into new frontiers, including the Arctic. In this region, where the Chinese state does not claim territorial sovereignty, it seeks to exert its influence by other means. One strategy involves the development of ‘tourism resources’, which the government’s 2018 Arctic Policy promotes. In line with recent work int...
Article
Divining the future of development, not least of all of China, from Hong Kong has long been fraught. Taking up Jamie Peck’s call for ‘conjunctural theorizing’ that destabilizes idealizations of the state and market, through examples drawn from the Pearl River Delta, this paper explores how the colonial and contemporary accumulation of political pow...
Article
Full-text available
Rivers are essential to human livelihoods and agricultural production, yet human usage and irrigation are jeopardizing river sustainability. It is thus crucial to investigate the fine-scaled spatiotemporal dynamics of anthropogenic pressures on rivers. Most research, however, is conducted at the grid-scale, which impedes detailed investigations. In...
Article
Located deep in the Kelabit Highlands in Malaysian Borneo, the remote town of Bario offers us a natural laboratory of rural electrification projects through which to understand end-user perceptions of success and failure, and the factors that contribute to these perceptions. We use a case-study based approach and focus on three off-grid energy proj...
Article
Full-text available
To better address climate unpredictability, green infrastructure is increasingly deployed alongside gray infrastructure as an alternative strategy for flood risk mitigation. Previous research has not clearly distinguished the flood-mitigation effects of green infrastructure at the local scale due to its complex range of functions including socioeco...
Article
Over the last two decades, China's outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has expanded rapidly. The country is now the world's second‐largest source of OFDI. China is often viewed as a monolithic investor, however, without sufficient attention to the differences between investments by state‐owned enterprises (SOEs) and private enterprises (PEs)....
Article
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As COVID-19 spreads, new processes, forms, and scales of bordering practices are transcending national territorial limits. This commentary critiques how ‘viral borders’ are securitizing the global supply chains of medical products, disciplining citizens, and reterritorializing communities and contemplates the consequences of these practices for the...
Article
Western journalists and photographers fetishize the infrastructural ruination of the former Soviet Union. While sites like abandoned railway stations are assumed to be artefacts of the country's collapse in 1991, many of these ruins are actually products of contemporary Russian state policies. This article critiques the way in which Soviet ruins ar...
Article
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This study considers the phenomenology of ‘islandness’ by analysing the experiences of tourists, islanders, and migrant tourism workers on two Chinese islands in the South China Sea. Although we begin by presuming place to be a phenomenological concept centring on ‘being-in-the-world’, we find that people’s experiences both on and off the islands o...
Article
As a novel means of researching China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), this article advances a critical remote sensing agenda that connects the view from above provided by satellite imagery with the grounded, qualitative methodologies more typical of political geography such as ethnographic fieldwork. Satellite imagery is widely used to produce em...
Article
Local perceptions of climate anomalies influence adaptation behaviour. Specifically, perceptions that are more accurate and homogenous at the community-level are more likely to facilitate the collective action required to adapt to the local effects of climate anomalies experienced by many indigenous communities. We combine primary data on perceptio...
Article
Full-text available
As the world urbanizes and builds more infrastructure, the extraction of built-up areas using remote sensing is crucial for monitoring land cover changes and understanding urban environments. Previous studies have proposed a variety of methods for mapping regional and global built-up areas. However, most of these methods rely on manual selection of...
Article
Full-text available
The Chinese government actively engages in infrastructure diplomacy, with the state financing and constructing capital goods multilaterally under the Belt and Road Initiative and bilaterally in countries like Russia. There, Chinese infrastructure diplomacy is making inroads, especially in Russia's transportation and energy sectors. New bridges and p...
Article
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Singapore’s Arctic interests are typically explained by its limited regional market and the government’s stakes in shipping, maritime infrastructure, and global governance. Yet the city-state’s polar pursuits also reflect the government’s strategy of crafting a global national identity in step with its expansion of overseas economic activities. In...
Research
Full-text available
The 2015 Arctic Observing Open Science Meeting (AOOSM), held in Seattle, WA, 17–19 November, provided the research community with a forum to discuss the advances supported by sustained, broad, contemporaneous observations in the Arctic and to identify areas for integration into an Interagency Arctic Observing Network.
Article
Full-text available
Multitemporal remotely sensed night-time lights data are often used as a proxy for population and economic growth, with China the most commonly researched area. Less is known about how lights respond to socioeconomic decline. Russia, a depopulating neighbour of China that experienced severe economic turmoil following the Soviet Union’s disintegrati...
Article
This book review considers Arctic Law and Governance: The Role of China and Finland, a new volume edited by Timo Koivurova, Tianbao Qin, Tapio Nykänen, and Sebastien Duyck. The book represents the culmination of a joint project between researchers from the University of Lapland, Finland and Wuhan University, China. In the volume, the Arctic policie...
Article
Full-text available
Russia, the world’s largest country, forms a key part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Underfunded infrastructure and vast energy resources into which Western investment is now largely prohibited by US and European Union sanctions also make Russia a logical site for BRI projects. Two are currently under way: the Moscow–Kazan high-speed ra...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes an integrated framework for rethinking the Arctic resource frontier that involves consideration of its discursive, material, vertical, and extensive dimensions. Such a model enables more rigorous analysis of the drivers of Arctic natural resource extraction in the post-Cold War era than contemporary pronouncements about the regi...
Article
Spanning tens of thousands of kilometers around the world, the torch relays for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics were the two longest in history and arguably some of the most provocative. As spectacles designed by committees with close affiliations to the state in both China and Russia, the relays also constituted...
Article
This paper compares four maps produced by the Canadian government and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the indigenous peoples’ organisation representing Inuit living in the four recognised Inuit regions ( Inuit Nunangat ) of Canada. Our analysis is based on publicly available maps, documents, and records and extends the rich existing literature examining t...
Poster
Full-text available
The Arctic Observing Open Science Meeting (AOOSM) held in Seattle, Washington during 17-19 November 2015 provided an opportunity for the Arctic science community to present and discuss findings and advances in Arctic observing. A diverse agenda of plenary presentations, parallel sessions with extended discussion, and a poster session provided a for...
Article
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South Korea is not a traditional Arctic state, but it has several key interests in the region. This article explores the sources of those interests and the country’s commercial activities in the Arctic in the areas of shipping, shipbuilding and hydrocarbons. Since the country’s polar interests transcend commerce, however, attention is also paid to...
Article
Full-text available
Though the Arctic Council accepted China, Japan, and South Korea as observers in May 2013, the multilateral organization’s permanent member states continue to treat them as non-Arctic outsiders due to their lack of territory north of the Arctic Circle. Applying geographic perspectives that consider the importance of territory and proximity on the o...
Thesis
While the Arctic is on the front lines of climate change, it is also on the front lines of experiments in governance. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean interest in the Arctic is pressuring the Arctic Council, the region’s preeminent multilateral organization, to reconsider how it cooperates with states traditionally perceived as non-Arctic. The seafari...
Article
Full-text available
Today, conservation efforts of Arctic states reflect a state-based approach. This contrasts with international conservation efforts in the post-Cold War period, which were grounded in perceiving the region as a global commons. In this article, I examine the ways in which Canada and Russia use natural conservation areas as instruments to express sov...

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