Boundary spanning in social and cultural geography

2015-11-18T13:41:16Z (GMT) by Heike Jons Tim Freytag
This article situates interactions between German- and English-language social and cultural geographies since the mid-20th century within their wider intellectual, political and socioeconomic contexts. Based on case study examples, we outline main challenges of international knowledge transfer due to nationally and linguistically structured publication cultures, differing academic paradigms and varying promotion criteria. We argue that such transfer requires formal and informal platforms for academic debate, the commitment of boundary spanners and supportive peer groups. In German-language social and cultural geography, these three aspects induced a shift from a prevalent applied research tradition in the context of the modern welfare state towards a deeper engagement with Anglophone debates about poststructuralist approaches that have helped to critique the increase of neoliberal governance since the 1990s. Anglophone and especially British social and cultural geography, firmly grounded in poststructuralist and critical approaches since the 1980s, are increasingly pressurized through the neoliberal corporatization of the university to develop more applied features such as research impact and students’ employability.