The Politics of Scale Through Rancière

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This paper argues that human geography’s scale debate has arrived at somewhat of an impasse surrounding scale’s relative position to ontology. Divides are most evident between those that see scales as ‘already existing’ and those considering this as a form of ‘ontological reification’ that stifles our understanding of politics. I suggest that reading the ‘politics of scale’ through Jacques Rancière’s political thinking, and in particular his aesthetic approach to the problem of ontological reductionism, can offer one way forward. It enables geographers to take existing ‘common-sense’ ideas around scale seriously whilst also being sensitive to emergent politics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2020


  • scale, aesthetics, politics, Rancière, the political


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