Developing Critical Concepts in Geography and Development
A Political Economy Perspective
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Research in Geography and Development Studies (as well as in cognate disciplines) can often be descriptive and empirical rather than rigorously conceptual in an explanatory sense. This book presents the case that greater engagement with conceptual thinking and use of philosophical tools allow a more fruitful exploration of social-economic power relations and that fundamental concepts in political economy offer the resources of critique in Geography and Development Studies. The book opens with a discussion of the very idea of conceptualization, informed by the science of political economy and dual philosophical traditions of dialectics and critical realism. It then applies the principles of critical conceptualization to a set of important issues that confront the humanity including: class inequalities, capitalism, regional unevenness, globalization, state power, small-scale production, and poverty. An alternative conceptualization of these issues is presented that emphasizes the processes and relations of socio-economic power between those who control resources and those who do not. Offering a general conceptual perspective on a wide range of issues, this book also provides substantive content and empirical examples from the less developed world from a geographical angle.
Raju J Das is Associate Professor, York University, Canada