Abstract

This article suggests that aerial networks can be usefully conceptualized as broad “aerial social spaces” that can (and often do) extend, produce, and reproduce state power. They are not easily created: their creation and maintenance require large resources both on land and in the air. The same aerial network can be embodied in multiple aerial social spaces that produce and reproduce state power in different ways. This article highlights two such pathways: the first through cultural and the second through logistical impact. In support it presents two case studies based on the expansion of civil aviation in the developing world in the 1940s and 1950s: the International Civil Aviation Authority's interventions in the Middle East and US involvement in Saudi Arabian aviation.

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