Spatial Politics: Essays For Doreen Massey by David Featherstone, Joe Painter

By David Featherstone, Joe Painter

This serious engagement with Doreen Massey’s ground-breaking paintings in geographic idea and its dating to politics positive aspects especially commissioned essays from former scholars and co-workers, in addition to the artists, political figures and activists whose pondering she has helped to form. It seeks to mark and take ahead her compelling contributions to geographical theorizing and political debate.

  • High profile participants comprise Lawrence Grossberg, Chantal Mouffe, Jamie Peck and Jane Wills
  • The worldwide succeed in and value of Massey’s paintings recommends this quantity to a various readership
  • Provides an time table for paintings on spatial politics and demanding geography
  • Sets out the contours of a human geography trained by means of Doreen Massey’s work

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INTRODUCTION 9 the studies themselves were undertaken by a number of other research teams. The research was criticised by some on the left for overemphasising the local and the empirical at the expense of wider processes and general theory. In a 1991 commentary on the ‘political place of locality studies’ Massey voiced criticisms of both the neglect of the political in some localities research and the view of its critics that a focus on the local and the empirical was necessarily anti-progressive.

Julie Graham has argued that Spatial Divisions of Labour prefigured challenges to capitalcentred accounts of left geography (Graham, 1998). Such challenges were to become central to debates in critical geographical work through the 1990s and 2000s, particularly through labour geography (Herod, 2001). By decentring capital, as Jamie Peck notes here, Massey sought to open up ‘a different kind of politics of possibility’ where ‘new terrains of political potential are always under construction’. Her refusal to see the local and empirical as secondary to supposedly more powerful and theoretically generative forces drew on an enduring suspicion of the counter-position of local and global, place and space.

Locality, then, should not be confused with location. It is, rather, a set of relations, an ongoing politics, a density, in which places are discursively and imaginatively materialised and enacted through the practices of variously positioned people and political economies. (Raffles, 1999: 324) Most discussions of context do not acknowledge two conflicting assumptions: first, context is spatial, defining a bounded interiority, a stable island of ordered presence in the midst of an otherwise empty or chaotic space; second, context is relational, constituted always by sets and trajectories of social relations and relationalities that establish its exteriority to itself.

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