The SAGE Handbook of Political Geography


Edited by: Kevin R. Cox, Murray Low & Jennifer Robinson

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    Preface and Acknowledgements

    In a contemporary world of multi-level governance, conflicts around cultural and other forms of identity and difference, and the threat of environmental catastrophe, the concerns of political geographers with spatial organization, variation across the globe and society/nature relationships have resonated more widely and intensely with concerns in other disciplinary contexts than perhaps ever before. This is proving an exciting opportunity for the field, expanding the range of empirical and theoretical concerns within its purview considerably. But it also makes attempts to summarize and encompass current endeavours in relation to the discipline's pasts and possible futures a hazardous enterprise. One consequence of this was the difficult choice we faced in deciding who we might ask to contribute: this was not an easy task with so much excellent work to choose from. Our degrees of freedom were of course limited by the particular slants which we thought would help achieve various sorts of balance across the book. Political geography has undergone tremendous growth in many different areas, with many original contributions; we hope colleagues who weren't involved in this particular venture will find that much of their work has received proper acknowledgement in the papers, chapters and books cited by the contributors.

    The Handbook has been under construction for several years, with its far-flung contributors all periodically intersecting with its development in the context of their own biographies and other projects. We would like to thank them all for their contributions, patience and good humour as the project originally proposed on a few sheets of paper has emerged into the largest pile of original material any of us have assembled before. Developing the book also benefited substantially from the advice and counsel of an advisory board for which we are grateful: the members included James Anderson, Paul Claval, Ron Johnston, Anssi Paasi, Haripriya Rangan and Paul Robbins.

    Robert Rojek, who originally suggested the project, was an absolute rock throughout providing a sense of calm about progress and hospitality at Sage in London. We would also like to thank Sue Searle, Jan Smith and Sheree Barboteau of the Geography Discipline at the Open University for their assistance in formatting much of the material, and the Geography Discipline there for financial support in the production of this book.

    No handbook of this size can in the end aspire to being truly contemporary with a world that is always moving on, always in the process of construction. But we hope it can inspire reflection on where political geography has been and might be heading, and inspire others, though their reading, discussion and use of the book, to keep creatively re-thinking the subject's pasts and futures in relation to the world's challenges.

    The Editors


    John Agnew is a Professor of Geography at UCLA. He is the author or co-author of such books as Mastering Space (1995), Place and Politics in Modern Italy (2002), Geography of the World Economy (2003) and Hegemony (2005).

    Karen Bakker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Her research interests span the fields of political ecology and political economy. Her work on water management has focused on privatization, transboundary water governance, drought vulnerability, demand management, pricing, and access to urban water supply in developing countries. She is currently completing a research project on ‘after-globalization’ movements and the environment. Recent book publications include An Uncooperative Commodity: Privatizing Water in England and Wales (Oxford University Press, 2004) and Eau Canada: The Future of Canada's Water (UBC Press, 2006).

    Clive Barnett is Reader in Human Geography, and Associate Member of the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance, in the Faculty of Social Science at the Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. He is the author of Culture and Democracy (Edinburgh University Press, 2003), co-editor with Murray Low of Spaces of Democracy (Sage 2004) and co-editor with Jennifer Robinson and Gillian Rose of A Demanding World (Open University, 2006).

    Nick Blomley is Professor of Geography at Simon Fraser University. He has a longstanding interest in the spatiality of legal practice and representation. He is the author of Law, Space and the Geographies of Power (Guilford Press, 1994), co-editor (with David Delaney and Richard T. Ford) of The Legal Geographies Reader (Blackwell, 2001) and author of Unsettling the City: Urban Land and the Politics of Property (Routledge, 2004). He is currently researching the geographies of rights in relation to the regulation of street begging in Canadian cities.

    Bruce Braun is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota. His published works include The Intemperate Rainforest: Nature, Culture and Power on Canada's West Coast (University of Minnesota Press), two co-edited books, Remaking Reality: Nature at the Millennium (Routledge) and Social Nature: Theory, Practice, Politics (Blackwell), and numerous essays on the politics of nature. His current research examines emerging scientific and political practices of biosecurity.

    Gavin Bridge is a Reader in Economic Geography in the School of Environment and Development at the University of Manchester. His published research addresses the geographical and historical dynamics of natural resource development, and contributes to theories of resource access and environmental governance. At the core of his work is an interest in the economic and cultural practices through which parts of the non-human world become enacted as ‘resources’ and subsequently proliferate through the economy in the form of commodities. His research on the oil, gas and metal-mining sectors has been funded by the NSF and the European Commission.

    Michael Brown is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. His research is on urban political and cultural geography. He is the author of Closet Space: Geographies of Metaphor from the Body to the Globe and RePlacing Citizenship: AIDS Activism and Radical Democracy. He is also an editor of Social and Cultural Geography.

    Noel Castree is a Professor in the School of Environment and Development at Manchester University. He is co-editor of Antipode and Progress in Human Geography and author, most recently, of Nature (Routledge, 2005). Informed by Marxian political economy, his research interests are threefold: the causes and effects of environmental change, the geographies of employment and labour struggle, and the function and politics of academic life.

    Stuart Corbridge is Professor of Development Studies at the London School of Economics. He is the author or co-author of six books in the fields of development studies, geopolitics and South Asia. His most recent book, with Glyn Williams, Manoj Srivastava and René Véron, is Seeing the State: Governance and Governmentality in India (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

    Kevin R. Cox is Distinguished University Professor of Geography at the Ohio State University. His interests include historical geographical materialism, the politics of local and regional development and South Africa. He is the author of numerous books, including Political Geography: Territory, State and Society. His latest, entitled South Africa and the History of Globalization, will appear in 2008.

    Simon Dalby is Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa where he teaches courses on environment and geopolitics. He holds a PhD from Simon Fraser University and is author of Creating the Second Cold War (Pinter and Guilford Press, 1990) and Environmental Security (University of Minnesota Press, 2002). He is co-editor of Rethinking Geopolitics (Routledge, 1998) and The Geopolitics Reader (Routledge, 1998; 2nd edition, 2006). Current research interests include the debate about empire and the geopolitics of the Bush doctrine in addition to matters of environmental security and sustainability.

    Elena Dell'Agnese is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Milan-Bicocca. Her research focuses on political geography and gender issues (nation-building processes and regional iconographies in Europe and Asia; European borders and their role as identity markers; cities as symbolic landscapes and political places/spaces; the political geography of masculinity). She has been, since 2004, a member of the Steering Committee of the Commission on Political Geography of the International Geographical Union. She is the author of Geografia politica critica (Guerini Scientifica, 2005) and co-editor, with Enrico Squarcina, of Europa. Vecchi confini e nuove frontiere (Utet Libreria, 2005).

    Kim England is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on labour markets and women's paid/unpaid work, care work, workplaces (including the home) and the linkages between critical theories and the politics and ethics of fieldwork. She explores all these issues in the context of systems of difference, especially gender, race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, (dis)ability and national identities. She is the editor of Who Will Mind the Baby? Geographies of Child-Care and Working Mothers (Routledge, 1996), and the co-editor (with Kevin Ward) of Neoliberalization: States, Networks, Peoples (Blackwell, 2007).

    David Featherstone is a lecturer in the Department of Geography, University of Liverpool. He has key theoretical interests in the geographies of resistance, subaltern political ecologies and the relations between space and politics. He has explored these theoretical concerns through research on spatially stretched forms of resistance in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world and through engagement with the geographies of counter-globalization movements. He is currently working on a book for the RGS-IBG book series called Resistance, Space and Political Identities: The Making of Counter-Global Networks.

    Benjamin Forest is an Associate Professor of Geography at McGill University. He received his PhD in Geography from UCLA in 1997, and was an Assistant and Associate Professor at Dartmouth College from 1998 to 2006. He has published articles on identity, race and ethnicity, and political representation in Urban Geography, Political Geography, Social and Cultural Geography, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Annals of the Association of American Geographers. His current research interests include the impacts of GIS technology on political redistricting and representation.

    Jouni Häkli is Professor of Regional Studies at the Department of Regional Studies, University of Tampere, Finland. His areas of research include political geography, national identities and European border regions, regionalization, and the production of geographical knowledge. Professor Häkli's publications in this field include ‘In the territory of knowledge: state-centered discourses and the construction of society’, Progress in Human Geography, 25(3), 2001; Boundaries and Place (co-edited with David H. Kaplan; Rowman & Littlefield, 2002); and ‘Regions, networks and fluidity in the Finnish nation-state’, National Identities, 9, 2007 (forthcoming).

    Guntram H. Herb is Associate Professor of Geography at Middlebury College, Vermont. He received a master's level degree from the University of Tübingen and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His publications include Perthes World Atlas (Klett Perthes/McGraw-Hill, 2006; editor-in-chief); Nested Identities: Nationalism, Territory, and Scale (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999; co-edited with David H. Kaplan); and Under the Map of Germany: Nationalism and Propaganda, 1918–1945 (Routledge, 1997). He is currently editing a four-volume encyclopedia on nations and nationalism with David H. Kaplan for ABC-Clio Press.

    Steve Herbert is Associate Professor of Geography and Law, Societies and Justice at the University of Washington. He researches social control in contemporary cities, particularly as exercised by the uniformed police. He is the author of Policing Space: Territoriality and the Los Angeles Police Department (University of Minnesota Press, 1997) and Citizens, Cops, and Power: Recognizing the Limits of Community (University of Chicago Press, 2006).

    Andrew Herod is Professor of Geography, University of Georgia, USA. He has written widely on issues of globalization and labour politics. He is author of Labor Geographies: Workers and the Landscapes of Capitalism (Guilford Press, 2001); editor of Organizing the Landscape: Geographical Perspectives on Labor Unionism (University of Minnesota Press, 1998); and co-editor of The Dirty Work of Neoliberalism: Cleaners in the Global Economy (Basil Blackwell, 2006, with Luis Aguiar), Geographies of Power: Placing Scale (Basil Blackwell, 2002, with Melissa Wright) and of An Unruly World? Globalization, Governance and Geography (Routledge, 1998 with Gearóid Ó Tuathail and Susan Roberts).

    Ron Johnston is a Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol. He has been researching in electoral studies since 1970. Recent publications include: (with D. J. Rossiter and C. J. Pattie) The Boundary Commissions (Manchester University Press, 1999), (with C. J. Pattie, D. F. L. Dorling and D. J. Rossiter) From Votes to Seats (Manchester University Press, 2001) and (with C. J. Pattie) Putting Voters in their Place (Oxford University Press, 2006).

    Eleonore Kofman is Professor of Gender, Migration and Citizenship at Middlesex University, UK. She has published extensively on gendered migrations and policies in Europe and feminist political geography and globalization. She has co-authored Gender and International Migration in Europe (2000), and co-edited Globalization: Theory and Practice (2003) and Mapping Women, Making Politics: Feminist Perspectives on Political Geography (2004). She is review editor of the journal Political Geography.

    Merje Kuus is Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on security and militarism, nationalism and state power, and identity construction. She has also published on the concept of Europe and on discourses of regional expertise in Europe. Her recent work has appeared in Progress in Human Geography and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, among other venues. She is currently completing a book manuscript on the (re)construction of geopolitics and security in the context of EU and NATO enlargements in 2004.

    Alan Lester is Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Sussex. Most recently, he is the author of Imperial Networks: Creating Identities in Nineteenth Century South Africa and Britain (Routledge, 2001) and co-editor, with David Lambert, of Colonial Lives Across the British Empire: Imperial Careering in the Long Nineteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2006). His research is on the historical geographies of connection and contestation between British colonial projects, and the shaping of colonial and metropolitan politics and cultures in the nineteenth century.

    Murray Low is Lecturer in Human Geography at the London School of Economics. His work focuses on the themes of urban politics, and urban and spatial aspects of democracy. He has also written on political aspects of globalization, and concepts of power, states and political communities in geography and related disciplines. He is co-editor, with Clive Barnett, of Spaces of Democracy (Sage, 2004).

    Becky Mansfield is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the Ohio State University. Her research is at the intersection of political geography, economic geography and nature/society relations, with a focus on political economy of natural resources. Themes of research include neo-liberalism and privatization, the role of the state, and the importance of the biophysical in political economic processes. Her articles appear in a range of journals, including Antipode, Global Environmental Change and the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

    Giles Mohan is a Senior Lecturer in Development Geography at the Open University. He has researched questions of local governance and participation in Africa and the dynamics of diasporic communities. He has published extensively in human geography and development studies journals and currently edits the Review of African Political Economy.

    Richard C. M. Mole is Lecturer in the Politics of Central Europe at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. His teaching and research focus on the relationship between national identity and political power, with particular reference to the Baltic States. He is the editor of Discursive Constructions of Identity in European Politics (Palgrave, 2007) and the author of the forthcoming The Baltic States: From the Soviet Union to the European Union (Routledge Curzon, 2008).

    Joshua S. S. Muldavin, Professor of Geography and Asian Studies, Sarah Lawrence College, was recently named an SSRC/Abe Fellow for 2006–8 to continue his work analysing Japanese environmental aid to China, and was awarded an NSF grant for 2006–8 to pursue his joint research with Piers Blaikie in the Himalayas on comparative international environmental policy between China, India and Nepal. Former Chair and Director of International Development Studies at UCLA, he has conducted research in China for over 24 years, and is currently writing a book on the social and environmental impacts of China's reforms and global integration.

    John O'Loughlin is Professor of Geography and Research Faculty Associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder. His research interests are in the political geography of the former-Soviet Union, including Russian and Ukrainian geopolitics and ethno-territorial nationalisms. His current major research project is an analysis of post-war outcomes in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the North Caucasus of Russia. He has also published on the diffusion of democracy, the geography of conflict, and the political geography of Nazi Germany. He is editor in-chief of Political Geography.

    Elizabeth A. Olson is Lecturer in Human Geography at the Institute of Geography, Edinburgh University. Her research has explored the relationship between development, knowledge and organizations, with a recent emphasis on the roles of transnational and local religious institutions. She draws upon post-colonial, post-development and feminist theory for understanding the construction of new religious spaces in Peru, and for thinking through the changing partnerships and situations of faith-based development organizations.

    Joe Painter is Professor of Geography and Director of the Centre for the Study of Cities and Regions at Durham University in the UK. His research interests include urban and regional governance and politics, geographies of the state and citizenship, and socio-spatial theory. He has published widely on these and related themes and is also the co-author of Practising Human Geography (Sage, 2004).

    Sue Parnell is a Professor of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Cape Town. Her research is split, with a historical focus on the rise of racial residential segregation in South African cities and the impact of colonialism on urbanization and town planning in sub-Saharan Africa. Under a democratic South Africa, her work has shifted to more contemporary urban policy research and is primarily concerned with issues of urban reconstruction and transformation.

    Charles Pattie is Professor of Geography at the University of Sheffield. He has written extensively on electoral geography, party campaigning and political participation. Among his recent publications are Citizenship in Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2004, co-authored with Pat Seyd and Paul Whiteley) and Putting Voters in their Place (Oxford University Press, 2006, co-authored with Ron Johnston).

    Jan Penrose is a Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Edinburgh. Her work bridges cultural and political geography through considerations of how the formation and maintenance of identities intersect with power relations in a variety of contexts. In particular she is concerned with identities that have formed around the evolving categories of race, nation and indigeneity.

    Clionadh A. Raleigh is a PhD Candidate in Geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a researcher at the International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) at the Centre for the Study of Civil War (CSCW). Her dissertation is an exploration of the spatial and temporal patterns of civil wars in Central Africa from 1960 to 2005. This study employs disaggregated conflict data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED), developed by Ms Raleigh and Håvard Hegre at CSCW. Her recent publications focus on developing national and subnational explanations of onset and diffusion patterns in civil war using local-level information on war and governance patterns.

    Haripriya Rangan teaches at the School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia. Her research lies at the intersection of the fields of economic geography, development geography, urban and regional planning, and political ecology. She has worked on regional development and forestry issues in the Indian Himalayas, and on the economic geography of the medicinal plant trade in South Africa.

    Paul Robbins is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Arizona and author of the books Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction and Lawn People: How Grass Weeds and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are. His work centres on the power-laden relationships between individuals (homeowners, hunters, foresters), environmental actors (lawns, elk, mesquite trees) and the institutions that connect them. He and his students seek to explain human environmental practices and knowledges, the influence non-humans have on human behaviour and organization, and the implications these interactions hold for ecosystem health, local community and social justice.

    Jennifer Robinson is Professor of Urban Geography at the Open University in the UK and has also worked at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and the London School of Economics. She has published widely on South African cities, especially on the spatiality and politics of apartheid and post-apartheid cities. Her most recent book, Ordinary Cities (Routledge, 2006), offers a post-colonial critique of urban studies.

    Paul Routledge is a Reader in Human Geography in the Department of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow. His research interests include critical geopolitics, geographies of resistance, political ecologies of development, and activist collaborative methodologies. He is author of Terrains of Resistance (Praeger, 1993), co-editor (with Jo Sharp, Chris Philo and Ronan Paddison) of Entanglements of Power (Routledge, 2000) and co-editor (with Gearóid Ó Tuathail and Simon Dalby) of The Geopolitics Reader, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2006). His current research is concerned with global justice networks and ecologically sustainable and socially just alternatives to neo-liberalism.

    Yvonne Rydin is Professor of Planning, Environment and Public Policy at University College London's Bartlett School of Planning, where she specializes in environmental policy, and governance and sustainability issues at the urban level. Her recent research projects cover work on sustainable construction and planning in London and the implementation of local sustainability indicators. Other work within London has involved the study of institutional change and interest representation concerning planning for sustainability in the early days of the Greater London Authority. Her other interests include community engagement on sustainable development and the discursive aspects of environmental planning.

    Arun Saldanha is Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota. He has published on the body, music, tourism and race, and his book Psychedelic White: Goa Trance and the Viscosity of Race is published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2007. He is working on a second book on the historical geography of early modern Dutch travel writing.

    James D. Sidaway is currently Professor of Human Geography at the University of Plymouth, UK. He has previously taught in the Geography Department and on the European Studies Programme at the National University of Singapore, and at Loughborough, Reading and Birmingham Universities in the UK. In addition to critical geopolitics and political geography, his research and teaching interests include geographies of development and the history and philosophy of geographic thought. He is associate editor of Political Geography and co-editor of the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography.

    Rachel Silvey is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Toronto. Her researches examines the politics of migration and immigration through the lenses of feminist theory and critical development studies with a regional specialization in Indonesia. Her current work deals with transnational migration in relation to political Islam. Some of the outlets for her published work include Gender, Place and Culture, Political Geography, International Migration Review, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Global Networks and Progress in Human Geography.

    Lynn A. Staeheli is Ogilvie Professor of Human Geography at the University of Edinburgh. Her research addresses issues related to democracy, citizenship and the construction of publics. Recent empirical work has focused on gender, community activism, public space and immigration. She is co-editor, with Eleonore Kofman and Linda Peake, of Mapping Women, Making Politics: Feminist Perspectives on Political Geography (Routledge, 2004) and co-author, with Don Mitchell, of The People's Property? Power, Politics, and the Public (Routledge, 2007).

    Kristian Stokke is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oslo, specializing in movement politics and democratization in South Africa and intrastate conflict and political transformations in Sri Lanka. He is co-editor of Politicising Democracy: The New Local Politics of Democratisation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Democratizing Development: The Politics of Socio-economic Rights in Sri Lanka (Martinus Nijhoff, 2005). Recent papers include ‘Building the Tamil Eelam state: emerging state institutions and forms of governance in LTTE-controlled areas in Sri Lanka’ (Third World Quarterly, 2006) and ‘Maximum working class unity? Challenges to local social movement unionism in Cape Town’ (Antipode, 2006).

    Peter J. Taylor is Professor of Geography at Loughborough University, UK and founder of the GaWC (Globalization and World Cities) Study Group and Network. His latest books are World City Network: A Global Urban Analysis (Routledge), Cities in Globalization (edited by B. Derudder, P. Saey, and F. Witlox, Routledge) and Political Geography: World-Economy, Nation-State, Locality (5th edition with Colin Flint, Prentice Hall). His current work focuses upon developing a geohistorical understanding of city/state relations.

    Yaffa Truelove is a graduate student in the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her research focuses on issues of development, gender and political ecology in South Asia. Her current work examines the politics of water and gender in urban India.

    Andrew Wood is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky. He is an economic, urban and political geographer whose research interests include urban and regional governance, the politics of local economic development, globalization, and issues relating to competition and collaboration between firms. His recent publications include Governing Local and Regional Economies with David Valler as well as articles in Political Geography, Environment and Planning A, Area, Economic Geography, Urban Studies and the Journal of Economic Geography.

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