Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom

Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom

Hardback Wellek Library Lectures (Hardcover)

By (author) David Harvey

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  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 226mm x 30mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0231148461
  • ISBN 13: 9780231148467
  • Sales rank: 273,534

Product description

Liberty and freedom are frequently invoked to justify political action. Presidents as diverse as Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush have built their policies on some version of these noble values. Yet in practice, idealist agendas often turn sour as they confront specific circumstances on the ground. Demonstrated by incidents at Abu Ghraib and Guant namo Bay, the pursuit of liberty and freedom can lead to violence and repression, undermining our trust in universal theories of liberalism, neoliberalism, and cosmopolitanism. Combining his passions for politics and geography, David Harvey charts a cosmopolitan order more appropriate to an emancipatory form of global governance. Political agendas tend to fail, he argues, because they ignore the complexities of geography. Incorporating geographical knowledge into the formation of social and political policy is therefore a necessary condition for genuine democracy. Harvey begins with an insightful critique of the political uses of freedom and liberty, especially during the George W. Bush administration. Then, through an ontological investigation into geography's foundational concepts--space, place, and environment--he radically reframes geographical knowledge as a basis for social theory and political action. As Harvey makes clear, the cosmopolitanism that emerges is rooted in human experience rather than illusory ideals and brings us closer to achieving the liberation we seek.

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Author information

David Harvey is considered to be one of the world's leading geographers and social theorists. Currently director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, he previously held professorial positions at Johns Hopkins University and Oxford University. He is the author of fifteen books, ranging from studies in political economy and cultural change to works on urbanization, uneven geographical development, imperialism, and neoliberalism. His works are translated into more than a dozen languages, including Arabic and Chinese.

Review quote

Highly recommended. Choice Harvey certainly succeeds in furthering the academic debate on cosmopolitanism by crisply introducing an intriguing and original line of critical inquiry. The Hedgehog Review

Table of contents

PrefaceProloguePart One: Universal Values 1. Kant's Anthropology and Geography2. The Postcolonial Critique of Liberal Cosmopolitanism3. The Flat World of Neoliberal Utopianism4. The New Cosmopolitans5. The Banality of Geographical EvilsPart Two: Geographical Knowledges 6. Geographical Reason7. Spacetime and the World8. Places, Regions, Territories9. The Nature of EnvironmentEpilogue: Geographical Theory and the Ruses of Geographical ReasonNotesBibliographyIndex