A Radical Geography Community
The March 2017 issue of Antipode is out now (and available online here). This is the second of our new-look issues; when we launched them in January we said that “…while we look different, we continue to push Geography’s radical and critical edge in a number of ways, many of which will be familiar, inspired as they are by Marxist, socialist, anarchist, anti-racist, anticolonal, feminist, queer, trans*, green, and postcolonial thought. Others, however, will be less so given that we are also committed to the new, the innovative, the creative, and the heretofore unthought radical edges of spatial theorisation and analysis”, and Antipode 49(2) blends the familiar and the not so with aplomb.
Engagement in a Public Forum: Knowledge, Action, and Cosmopolitanism by Jennifer F. Brewer, Natalie Springuel, James Wilson, Robin Alden, Dana Morse, Catherine Schmitt, Chris Bartlett, Teresa Johnson, Carla Guenther and Damian Brady;
The Evolution of Neoliberal Urbanism in Moscow, 1992-2015 by Mirjam Büdenbender and Daniela Zupan;
Gramsci and the African Città Futura: Urban Subaltern Politics From the Margins of Nouakchott, Mauritania by Armelle Choplin and Riccardo Ciavolella;
Aesthetic Dissent: Urban Redevelopment and Political Belonging in Luanda, Angola by Claudia Gastrow;
Visibly Mute: Ethical Sociality and the Everyday Exurban by Daryl Martin and David W. Hill;
How do Migrant Workers Respond to Labour Abuses in “Local Sweatshops”? by Jerónimo Montero Bressán and Ayelén Arcos;
The Medical Tourist and a Political Economy of Care by Lila Skountridaki and Sharon Bolton; and
Rounding the issue out there’s also Prefiguring the State by Davina Cooper. Social scientific interest in the state has waxed and waned, to be sure, yet it’s remarkable how well some shibboleths survive. This paper’s point of departure is an assumption, common among the Left, that states are inherently oppressive, vertically dominating and controlling society. In Prefiguring the State Davina Cooper offers a different approach, suggesting that our understanding of what states are depends on how we conceptualise them…
Can we conceptualise states in ways that might support progressive transformative politics? This discussion explores what statehood could mean if states weren’t only nation-states. Micro and local states offer forms of statehood that are far less grand, powerful and authoritarian. To explore local states’ potential to inspire more progressive state thinking, the paper draws on an episode of radical urban government which experimented in a statehood that was accountable, community-embedded, active on behalf of those with little power, caring and supportive. But if we take up, without romanticising, radical episodes to think about what states could be like, what does this do? Is reconceptualising the state pointless or politically valuable? The paper closes by addressing this question.
Here we’re pleased to present a video in which Davina introduces her work, speaking to its implications for radical geographical theory and critical praxis:
Davina is a Professor in the Kent Law School at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK. She started her PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science, finishing it at the University of Warwick. She worked at Warwick before moving to Keele University in 1998 and the University of Kent in 2004, where she established the AHRC Research Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality.
Davina’s research, which tackles socio-legal studies, political theory, social diversity and the transformational potential of state and non-state sites, has been published in five books – Everyday Utopias: The Conceptual Life of Promising Spaces (Duke University Press, 2013), Challenging Diversity: Rethinking Equality and the Value of Difference (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Governing Out of Order: Space, Law and the Politics of Belonging (Rivers Oram Press, 1998), Power in Struggle: Feminism, Sexuality and the State (Open University Press, 1995) and Sexing the City: Lesbian and Gay Politics Within the Activist State (Rivers Oram Press, 1994) – as well as numerous journal papers including “Retrieving the state for radical politics” in the Journal of Social Policy Studies, “If the state decertified gender, what might happen to its meaning and value?” (with Flora Renz) in the Journal of Law and Society and “Transformative state publics” in New Political Science.