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Boundary spanning in social and cultural geography

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journal contribution
posted on 18.11.2015, 13:41 authored by Heike JonsHeike 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.



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Social and Cultural Geography


JONS, H. and FREYTAG, T., 206. Boundary spanning in social and cultural geography. Social and Cultural Geography, 17(1), pp.1-22.


© Taylor & Francis


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

Publication date



This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Social and Cultural Geography on 6 February 2016, available online: