Marxism and historical-geographical materialism: A spectre is haunting geography

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This paper explores some of the key insights raised and developed by Marxist geographers, themes that still infuse today the vanguard debates in geography. The insights from Marxism have been central in shaping contemporary debates in the social sciences and in geography. In particular, the politicisation of space, the dialectics of social change and the politics of emancipation remain central to any Marxian project. Whatever the failings of a Marxist critique, few other perspectives seem to be equipped to grasp persistent inequalities and exploitation with the power of insight and the passion of commitment brought by Marx's original formulations and elaborated by a century of dedicated scholars and activists. The paper suggests how and why Marxism still has a place in geography, not just in maintaining it as a vibrant and exciting discipline, but - perhaps most importantly - in contributing to the production of a truly humanising geography.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-102
Number of pages11
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Emancipation
  • Epistemology
  • Marxism
  • Political-economy
  • Radical geography


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