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Critical geography in Germany: from exclusion to inclusion via internationalisation

Author(s): B. Belina | U. Best | M. Naumann

Journal: Social Geography Discussions
ISSN 1816-1499

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 117;
Date: 2009;
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Critical perspectives have become more visible in German human geography. Drawing on an analysis of the debate around the German reader "Kulturgeographie" published in 2003, we suggest that this case provides new insights into the "geography of critical geography". We briefly discuss the history of left geography in Germany, leading to a comparison of the conditions of left geography around 1980 and in recent years. The focus is on two factors in the changed role of critical perspectives in German geography: (1) the growing internationalisation of German geography, which opened new avenues and allowed new approaches to enter the discipline; and (2) the high citation indices of "critical" journals, which leads to an enhanced reputation and a high significance of international critical geography in the German discipline. However, we draw an ambiguous conclusion: the increased role of critical approaches in German geography is linked to a growing neoliberalisation of academia and a decline of critical approaches in other disciplines.
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