Tag Archives: neoliberalism

Content Alert: New Articles (11th May 2012)

The following Early View articles are now available on Wiley Online Library.

Original Articles

Migration, urban growth and commuting distance in Toronto’s commuter shed
Jeffrey J Axisa, K Bruce Newbold and Darren M Scott
Article first published online: 8 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01097.x

Original Articles

Mobile ‘green’ design knowledge: institutions, bricolage and the relational production of embedded sustainable building designs
James Faulconbridge
Article first published online: 27 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00523.x

Creating and destroying diaspora strategies: New Zealand’s emigration policies re-examined
Alan Gamlen
Article first published online: 27 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00522.x

The demographic impacts of the Irish famine: towards a greater geographical understanding
A Stewart Fotheringham, Mary H Kelly and Martin Charlton
Article first published online: 27 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00517.x

Transnational religious networks: sexuality and the changing power geometries of the Anglican Communion
Gill Valentine, Robert M Vanderbeck, Joanna Sadgrove, Johan Andersson and Kevin Ward
Article first published online: 25 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00507.x

Geographies of transition and the separation of lower and higher attaining pupils in the move from primary to secondary school in London
Richard Harris
Article first published online: 23 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.519.x

Rethinking governance and value in commodity chains through global recycling networks
Mike Crang, Alex Hughes, Nicky Gregson, Lucy Norris and Farid Ahamed
Article first published online: 23 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00515.x

The ‘missing middle’: class and urban governance in Delhi’s unauthorised colonies
Charlotte Lemanski and Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal
Article first published online: 20 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00514.x

Science, scientific instruments and questions of method in nineteenth-century British geography
Charles W J Withers
Article first published online: 20 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00513.x

Genome geographies: mapping national ancestry and diversity in human population genetics
Catherine Nash
Article first published online: 18 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00512.x

Militant tropicality: war, revolution and the reconfiguration of ‘the tropics’c.1940–c.1975
Daniel Clayton
Article first published online: 18 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00510.x

Beginners and equals: political subjectivity in Arendt and Rancière
Mustafa Dikeç
Article first published online: 13 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00508.x

Scaling up by law? Canadian labour law, the nation-state and the case of the British Columbia Health Employees Union
Tod D Rutherford
Article first published online: 13 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00506.x

Geography Compass Content Alert: Volume 6, Issue 4 (April 2012)

Cover image for Vol. 6 Issue 4The latest issue of Geography Compass is available on Wiley Online Library.

Issue Information

Issue Information (pages i–ii)
Article first published online: 15 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2012.00488.x

Atmosphere & Biosphere

Mastodons and Mammoths in the Great Lakes Region, USA and Canada: New Insights into their Diets as they Neared Extinction (pages 175–188)
Catherine H. Yansa and Kristin M. Adams
Article first published online: 15 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2012.00483.x

Ecological Disaster or the Limits of Observation? Reconciling Modern Declines with the Long‐Term Dynamics of Whitebark Pine Communities (pages 189–214)
Evan R. Larson and Kurt F. Kipfmueller
Article first published online: 15 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2012.00481.x

Development

Rethinking Territory: Social Justice and Neoliberalism in Latin America’s Territorial Turn (pages 215–226)
Joe Bryan
Article first published online: 15 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2012.00480.x

Urban

Ethnic Entrepreneurship Studies in Geography: A Review1 (pages 227–240)
Qingfang Wang
Article first published online: 15 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2012.00482.x

Content Alert: New Articles (2nd March 2012)

These Early View articles are now available on Wiley Online Library.

Original Articles

Land degradation in Mediterranean urban areas: an unexplored link with planning?
Luca Salvati, Roberta Gemmiti and Luigi Perini
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01083.x

Neoliberalising violence: of the exceptional and the exemplary in coalescing moments
Simon Springer
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01084.x

Who loses if flood risk is reduced: should we be concerned?
Edmund C Penning-Rowsell and Joanna Pardoe
Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01085.x

‘At the next junction, turn left’: attitudes towards Sat Nav use
Stephen Axon, Janet Speake and Kevin Crawford
Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01086.x

Original Articles

Scarcity, frontiers and development
Edward B Barbier
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2012.00462.x

Commentary

Beyond trial justice in the former Yugoslavia
Alex Jeffrey and Michaelina Jakala
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2012.00461.x

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers Content Alert: Volume 37, Issue 1 (January 2012)

The latest issue of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers is available on Wiley Online Library.

Click past the break to view the full table of contents.

Continue reading

‘We Need You’: Geographies of Youth Voluntarism

 

Sarah Mills

Over the last month, many of the stands and activities available to new and returning students at University and College event fairs will have had a voluntary aspect. Most Universities run their own voluntary schemes/RAG and there are a host of corporate organisations looking to recruit student volunteers for a summer or year abroad, as well as local organisations and charities that try and recruit new students as volunteers. Volunteer recruitment and retention has been boosted this year by the 2011 European Year of Volunteering campaign.  However, in the UK, there remains a disjuncture between the role of voluntarism in the coalition government’s ‘big society’ vision and the realties of auserity cuts and their impact on communities and charities.  Indeed, these issues around voluntarism and the lifecourse have been highlighted in diverging opinions expressed at this week’s Conservative Party conference.

Two articles in October’s issue of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers reflect the increasing interest in the geographies of volunteering and youth voluntarism in particular. Volunteer tourism, gap years and charity work are playing a more central part in the student experience and geographers are examining these recent trends in terms of broader theorisations of youth identities, lifecourse transitions, globalisation and the ‘big society’.  In his Transactions paper, Andrew Jones (2011) draws on data with young people involved in a range of overseas volunteer placements as well as exploring how corporate recruiters understand “the value (or otherwise) of international volunteering” (p.530). Matt Baillie-Smith and Nina Laurie’s paper (2011) also examines the geographies of international volunteering but with a focus on citizenship, development imaginaries and neoliberal ideas of professionalisation. Indeed, their paper explores “discourses and practices of citizenship, professionalisation and partnership as they produce and are produced through contemporary international volunteering” (p.545). Both of these papers highlight how the complex spatialities of volunteering can illuminate broader economic and political processes, as well bringing young people firmly into the spotlight in a shifting landscape of voluntarism and philanthropy.

Read A. Jones (2011) Theorising international youth volunteering: training for global (corporate) work? Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 36 (4): 530- 544

Read M. Baillie-Smith and N. Laurie (2011) International volunteering and development: global citizenship and neoliberal professionalisation today Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 36 (4): 545-559

Read Conservative Party Conference 2011: Baby boom generation should do charity work says minister, Telegraph Online 4th October 2011

Explore European Year of Volunteering 2011

NGOs and microfinance

On 29 July 2010 The New York Times reported that one of the world’s largest microfinance organizations, India’s SKS Microfinance, was preparing to launch on the Indian stock market. Whilst not the first, SKS was one of the biggest, and it caused controversy because a US-based non-profit microfinance group invested in SKS, Unitus, had said it would close down its microfinance activities after the launch. Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the microfinance pioneer he co-founded (Grameen Bank), criticized the move as encouraging profit maximisation. The launch ultimately raised around $350m. Besides launching on the stock market, Indian microfinance institutions are also pursuing securitization, with micro-loans being pooled into marketable securities.

A 2010 article by Bipasha Baruah looks at the role of NGOs in microfinance. Baruah acknowledges the success of NGO microfinance in extending credit to financially excluded groups, particularly women, but points to problems of sustainability, with many smaller microfinance NGOs dependent on donor funding and government subsidies, partly because many provide social services such as rights awareness and literacy classes alongside microcredit. Particularly for these less financially focussed NGOs, attempts to provide links for the poor into the formal banking system can serve poverty reduction well, since this offers a much broader range of financial instruments, including savings accounts, which NGOs cannot legally provide. Baruah highlights doubts in the literature about the long-term impact of microcredit on income levels of the poor, whilst noting benefits in consumption smoothing and women’s control over household resources. Studies also show concentration of NGOs in urban and better-developed areas, with less activity in very rural and very poor areas, following a certain market logic which in some cases leads to competition between microfinance NGOs in relatively well-served areas, at the expense of covering areas with greater financial exclusion. Contradictions between financial sustainability and reaching the poorest may also appear, with NGOs in some cases “moving up the poverty scale” to focus on those more able to borrow and repay.

Beyond this, Baruah argues that “the use of microfinance carries implicit neo-liberal assumptions about how development should occur.” She highlights literature showing that borrowers often lack economies of scale, complementary inputs, key skills, or other requirements for succeeding in an often highly competitive marketplace with limited microcredit funds. Uncoordinated access to microcredit can often lead to an overexpansion of particular local industries, limiting the poverty alleviation benefits and making microcredit, in one commentator’s words, “a glorified form of subsistence.” Some NGOs have recognised these problems and attempted to support borrowers with various aspects of enterprise development, including information and training. Some NGOs also organise women to pool their labour or act as unions to demand increased wages and better working conditions, and Baruah suggests pressing for government employment programs to support the poorest, who are often unwilling to seek credit because they lack the other resources needed to use such credit effectively. Baruah concludes that overall microfinance “is firmly embedded within a neo-liberal framework that seeks to increase access to existing financial resources without really challenging the entrenched status quo of unequal power relations between different groups of people,” and that this is precisely why microfinance has enjoyed such great support from governments, NGOs and donor agencies.

View the Baruah (2010) article here Baruah, Bipasha (2010), “NGOs in Microfinance: Learning from the Past, Accepting Limitations, and Moving Forward“, Geography Compass, Volume 4, Issue 8, pages 979–992

Rich I.P.O. Brings Controversy to SKS Microfinance Stephanie Strom and Vikas Bajaj, The New York Times, 29 July 2010, “Rich I.P.O. Brings Controversy to SKS Microfinance

Robin de la Motte

Neoliberal Urbanisation and New Labour

By Kate Botterill

In a series of reflections on the legacy of New Labour, Jonathan Glancey asks ‘what has Labour done for architecture?’ He claims that since 1997 the Labour party has championed urban regeneration projects and the re-development of many post-industrial cities of the UK into ‘World Class Cities’, with competitive edge and creative promise. The sparkle of these ‘big promises’ for architecture and an ‘Urban Renaisssance’ in British cities, Glancey claims has been marred by mistakes in development approach, favouring centralised power and public private partnerships with big business.

Glancey argues that none of the parties have a handle on architecture and planning in this election and the current process is overwhelmed with too many interests –  ‘on the one hand there are private developers and party-funding big businesses; on the other, a tangled web of quangos, rival government departments, snake-oil design consultants and local councils’, while the interests of local communities and grassroots groups are struggling to be heard.

In an article written during Labour’s first term of office, Swyngedouw, Moulaert and Rodriguez theorise the nature of urban development in the European Union. The piece is a summary of findings of a Europe-wide study of thirteen large-scale urban development projects (UDPs) that were started in 1997 across the EU. They examine whether UDPs are ‘emblematic examples of neoliberal forms of urban governance’ and what effects they have on social inclusion/exclusion and integration.

They argue that UDPs reflect the New Urban Policies that were a feature of governance in the EU, based on principles of ‘exceptionality’, place-specific design, local forms of intervention and flexibility. In practice, they claim that projects using this framework were increasingly fragmented with a multitude of agencies and interests characterised for the most part by diminished responsibility, lack of accountability and selective participation. Eight years later and the efficacy of pluralist approaches to urban policy remain a point of debate and despite the multitude of interests some voices still remain unheard.

View pictures of the architecture of New Labour here

Read Glancey’s article in the Guardian here