Theme: Responsible Geographies

 

Geographers are constantly reminded of the responsibilities that come with the task of ‘earth-writing’. Accounting for diversity in nature and culture, exploring the dynamics of change, and comprehending relations between humans and nonhumans are the core tasks of geography. The resulting geographical knowledges are vital, not only for providing a more comprehensive understanding of earth’s intricacies, but also for revealing the complexity of cultural understandings of these, and for formulating responses to cope with their changing.

Recent and ongoing events have indeed given geographers much to think about. The world’s financial system has shown itself to be without any earthly sensibilities. Political, social and environmental transformations in many parts of the globe have wide-ranging ramifications, and questions of human welfare and social justice are starkly present. Similarly, non-human nature behaves in ways which makes the vulnerability of human societies all too obvious. A key concern is the resilience of both ecosystems and social formations in the face of increasing mobility of people and profits, and escalating risks and uncertainties, at different scales.

Perhaps we could do well in revisiting and rephrasing a familiar question – what kinds of geographies are needed in order to inform public policies so as to deal with the many challenges in just and responsible ways? New, innovative and progressive ideas, perspectives, and solutions are certainly needed.  Are critical concepts, theories and methods being articulated in the Nordic geographical community for this end?