Geopolitical Caesuras as Time-Space-Anchors of Ontological (In)security: The Case of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Janina Dobrusskin - , Chair of Human Geography (Author)
  • Lucas Pohl - (Author)
  • Ilse Helbrecht - (Author)
  • Carolin Grenz - (Author)


The paper reviews the concept of ontological (in)security as an analytical tool to shed light on (dis)continuous narratives of selfhood engendered by geopolitics. It contributes to a growing body of empirically grounded research by addressing the necessity of a multi-dimensional understanding of indivi-duals’ senses of ontological (in)security. The paper is based on qualitative research conducted in Berlin with participants of various age groups and argues that ontological security and insecurity are negotiated through spatial and temporal means. It demonstrates that geopolitical caesuras, as powerful interge-nerational geographical imaginations, function as time-space anchors of ontological (in)security. It further studies this multi- dimensionality by conceptualising temporal and spatial means of ontological (in)security and their relational interconnected-ness to unsettle the binaries of global and local, and past and present. Finally, this paper recommends reconsidering the usage of ontological (in)security as an analytical tool to mobilise a feminist approach towards geopolitics.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-415
Number of pages24
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

External IDs

Scopus 85104796832