Critical geography in Germany: from exclusion to inclusion via internationalisation
13 Oct 2009
1Goethe Univ. Frankfurt, Department of Human Geography, Robert-Mayer-Straße 6–8, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2Univ. of British Columbia, Centre for Social, Spatial & Economic Justice, 3333 University Way, Kelowna, BC, V1V 1V7, Canada
3Univ. of Hamburg, Department of Geography, Bundesstraße 55, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
Abstract. 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 critical geography in Germany, leading to a comparison of the conditions of critical 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.