Society and Space early online articles and archives – all currently open access

Our new publisher, SAGE, has put up a number of papers in the early online section of the new Environment and Planning D: Society and Space site. Among these are several papers set to appear in the next issue of the journal, which will be published by the end of August. These include papers that will be part of a special issue on the theme ‘War, law and space’ (guest edited by Craig A. Jones and Michael Smith) by Craig A. Jones, Katia Snukal and Emily Gilbert, S.M. Reid-Henry, Mark Boyle and Audrey Kobayashi, and Rachel Hughes [additional pieces for that special issue by Zoltán Glück and John Morrissey are also available on the journal’s old site], as well as a stand-alone piece by Julian C.T. Barker on nightscapes and travel in 19th century India.

Also online early are papers by Kate Bedford and Fleur Johns, both of which will appear in a special issue on ‘The Politics of the List’ (guest edited by Marieke de Goede, Anna Leander and Gavin Sullivan) to be published in early 2016.

The remaining eight papers cover the politics of prison transfers within the British Penal Estate (by Luca Follis), the logics of visualization in immigrant integration in the Netherlands and Germany (by Sanne Boersma and Willem Schinkel), the politics of complexity and resistance in anti-genetically modified organism activism (by Leonie Ansems de Vries and Doerthe Rosenow), India’s mobile phone ecology as affective, human-technical assemblages (by Amit S. Rai), transformations to identity and social relations arising from the reinvention of airport infrastructures and facilities (by Anthony Elliott and David Radford), the exclusions and silences perpetuated by Vancouver’s recent Missing Women Commission of Inquiry (by Juliane Collard), human rights, sovereignty and postcoloniality in Pakistan’s tribal belt (by Muhammad Ali Nasir), and the ‘anxieties of control’ of our big data present (by Agnieszka Leszczynski).

All of these papers are currently available open access, as part of a free trial period with SAGE. Also available open access for a limited time are all of the Environment and Planning D: Society and Space  archives from the first issue in 1983 to the most recent 2015 issue.

Disrupting Migration Stories- Ben Rogaly

The following essay is a supplement to Ben Rogaly’s  “Disrupting migration stories: reading life histories through the lens of mobility and fixity” that appears in Issue 3 of the 2015 volume of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.  The paper is now open access for a limited time.

One way of countering anti-immigrant sentiment and widespread demonization of migrants of the kind heard in the recent UK general election campaign is to disrupt the terms of the debate. Anti-migrant discourse relies on an established notion of who is a migrant and who is not. This is a notion based not on the self-identification of the individuals concerned but on the preconceptions and/or political interests of the commentator. To point this out is not simply to call for academic deconstruction of taken-for-granted ideas. After all ‘migrant’ can be a useful category to organize resistance around, and some people see migrancy as part of their personhood. Rather, it can contribute to breaking the tendency of powerful people to separate others into fixed categories such as ‘migrant’ and ‘local’ in order to foster division and (conveniently) to keep the spotlight off themselves.

This post is written to accompany a new open access Society and Space article that takes a fresh look at how concepts from mobility studies, together with a biographical oral history approach, can productively query the way migration is understood, while keeping the connections between structural inequalities and mobility/fixity fully in view. The ‘mobilities paradigm’, like translocalism, offers language that moves away from the automatic association of the word ‘migration’ with its qualifier ‘international’. It allows within nation-state migration to be taken as seriously as border-crossing moves. But it can do much more. Critical mobilities thinking insists on holding together both mobility and fixity in any analysis, while revealing inequalities in who has the choice over whether to move or stay where they are, and who must leave or cannot move.

To continue reading, click here.


A promontory perspective on ‘multiple modernities’: Baker on Hansen

51KJh2dKumL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Julian Baker reviews Peter Hansen’s The Summits of Modern Man: Mountaineering after the Enlightenment (Harvard University Press, 2013).

Today, the bald peak of Mont Ventoux rises white and treeless above the vineyards of Provence, an hour’s drive northeast of Avignon, capped with a weather station and the goal of visiting cyclists. In 1336 the Italian poet Francesco Petrarch climbed to this summit and contemplated the view. Later, after a reviving supper at his inn, he wrote out his experiences. For five hundred years readers paid little notice to the climb. Rather, Petrarch became famous for his lyrical sonnets and rediscovery of Cicero’s letters. Then, in 1860, the Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt identified Petrarch, for his inclination to climb a peak for the aesthetic fulfillment of the scenery, as the first “modern man”.

This overlap of ascent, identity and modernity is the subject of Peter Hansen’s The Summits of Modern Man. Through a selective history of mountaineering, Hansen attempts to explain “a particular strand of modernity in which modern man stands alone on the summit, autonomous from other men and dominant over nature” (page 2). Continue reading Julian’s review here.

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Brown, Wendy Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution reviewed by Corey McCall

9781935408536_coverWendy Brown, Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution. NY: Zone Books, 2015, 292 pages, $29.95 hardback. ISBN: 978-1-935408-53-6 ( reviewed by Corey McCall

In this engaging new book, Wendy Brown employs a careful reading and critique of Michel Foucault’s 1978-1979 lecture course The Birth of Biopolitics as a way to think about neoliberal government rationality in advanced democracies today. Her basic claim, as the title indicates, is that neoliberalism increasingly renders democratic political agency impossible. Rather than democratic political agency, individuals are construed (and increasingly construe themselves) simply as economic actors (or as entrepreneurs of themselves as Foucault puts it in The Birth of Biopolitics)The conclusion makes a case for what is lost when practices of democratic subjectivity have little more than formal significance and examines the role that sacrifice plays in neoliberal governmentality. Continue reading Corey McCall’s review here

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Society and Space free access period with new publisher

In May of this year, SAGE purchased Pion Ltd, the previous publisher of the Environment and Planning series of journals. We are pleased to announce that the new website of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space is now online, and that it currently offers the contents of the journal’s 2002-2014 volumes open access. The remainder of our archives, including the 1983-2001 and 2015 volumes will be added shortly. In the meantime, these contents are still available at the journal’s old Pion website.

Putting Urban Planning on the Couch: review forum on Westin’s The Paradoxes of Planning

9781409448037.PPC_Series 1357Jamie Doucette (University of Manchester) and Christian Abrahamsson (University of Oslo) organized an author-meets-critics forum on Sara Westin’s book The Paradoxes of Planning: A Psycho-Analytical Perspective (Ashgate, 2014) for the Chicago AAG earlier this year. Three reviews of the book are posted on the open site by Andrew ShmuelyJesse Proudfoot, and Mark Davidson, with an introduction to the forum provided by Jamie Doucette and Sara Westin’s reply.

Transnationalisms: two new reviews

Reviews of the following two books are now published on the Open Site:


First is Sofie Narbed’s review of Amanda Rogers’ new monograph Performing Asian Transnationalisms: Theatre, Identity and the Geographies of Performance (Routledge, 2015).

Second is Zhuyun Amy Zang’s review of Ato Quayson’s Oxford Street, Accra: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism (Duke University Press, 2014).

Interview with Maurizio Ferraris by Peter Gratton

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 6.24.57 AMMaurizio Ferraris is one of the best-known and most important Italian philosophers writing today. A former student of Gianni Vattimo and collaborator with Jacques Derrida—he is perhaps best known to Anglophone audiences for their co-edited Taste for the Secret (Il gusto del segreto, first published in Italian in 1997)—Ferraris has been a longstanding professor of philosophy in the Department of Literature and Philosophy at the University of Turin. His work for some thirty years, dating to the early 1980s, developed through important interventions and reinterpretations of hermeneutics and then poststructuralist philosophy. (See a list of his dozens of works here.)

Peter Gratton, of the Department of Philosophy at Memorial University of Newfoundland, is a former co-editor and current editorial board member of Society and Space. His most recent book is Speculative Realism: Problems and Prospects (Bloomsbury, 2014), and he runs the blog Philosophy in a Time of Error.

The focus of the relatively short interview below is to introduce the controversial turn in Ferraris’ work to what he dubs a “new realism,” which finds him a kindred spirit to the speculative realists (Iain Hamilton Grant and Graham Harman have written forwards to the two English translations of his works this past year), as well as Markus Gabriel, whose realist theory of fields of sense has already made a mark in Germany, Italy, and elsewhere. Thanks to Sarah De Sanctis for translating the answers below.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 6.30.24 AMPeter Gratton: Both the Manifesto and Introduction are clearly written and often humorous expositions of your “new realism” (you are also well served by an able translator), but for readers who have not had the chance to find these works yet, I thought I’d first ask you to summarize what you mean by your “new realism” and how it would be differentiated by previous realisms.

Maurizio Ferraris: My realism differs from previous ones only because it specifically reacts to postmodernism. Other forms of realism reacted to other forms of antirealism: to name one, for example, the 1912 American new realism criticized neo-​​K​anti​ani​sm. Each realism has its own anti-realism and responds to specific historical circumstances. As per my new realism, it reacts against the indiscriminate constructivism typical of postmodernism. There was a time when, so to speak,​ everything, including lakes and mountains, was taken to be socially constructed. Now, I have no difficulty in admitting that​, say,​ an invoice is socially constructed; perhaps in some ways (not all) things like ​charisma or beauty are socially constructed, too​. However, lakes and mountains certainly aren’t: it makes no sense, and to say (or even just ​suggest) this is to deprive philosophy of a​ll​ seriousness, turning it into a futile fairy tale.

Continue reading here.

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At the edges of the state: Bichsel on Reeves’ Border Work

reveesChristine Bichsel reviews Madeleine Reeves’ monograph Border Work: Spatial Lives of the State in Rural Central Asia. The book came out with Cornell University Press last year.

The cover picture of Madeleine Reeves’ book Border Work shows a wagon on wheels standing on a dusty roadside. The wagon is painted in military camouflage patterns. Its colours resemble those of an aerial photograph of the Ferghana Valley, with its green irrigated areas, brown dry hills, white snow-capped mountains, and blue bodies of water. “Kyrgyzstan” features in Cyrillic characters on the wagon’s road-facing side. On the back of the wagon is a barely visible inscription. It says that this is the border control post of Samarkandek, a village located on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border. In the foreground we see two women and a man, probably waiting for a lift to visit relatives or friends. No border personnel are visible in the picture. We are left to wonder if this post is actually manned, and if control procedures are in place. There is no indication of where Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan respectively lie either. What is more, the picture conveys considerable uncertainty as to whether we would still find the wagon in the same place the next morning, or if it would have wheeled off to a different spot. Continue reading Christine’s review here.


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