Geo-Science Building, Frescati.
Geo-Science Building, Frescati.

Understanding spatial differences lies at the heart of geographical research. Inherit to this is the analytical focus of spatial and social injustices – and the ways in which inequality take place at global and local levels of analysis. These have been important research questions regardless of scientific traditions and paradigms since the birth of modern geography.

The topic for the 7th Nordic Geographers Meeting is: Where are we now? What are the important challenges we have to deal with today? What kinds of spatial and social differences are the most urgent to try to understand? Do we have operational concepts for analyzing today’s inequalities or do we need conceptual improvements? Do we have the methodological tools or is there a need for new approaches?

Is our scientific mission to give guidance to politicians and political agents in order to reduce inequalities and imbalances, or is it to act as uncomfortable and inconvenient analyzers of contemporary anomalies?

Suggestions of topics to address at the meeting:

  • One of the main challenges of urban planning and policies is social, economic and ethnic segregation. How can this persistent and seemingly increasing disgrace be understood in a geographical perceptive? We welcome sessions scrutinizing urban, urbanism and post-urbanism from political, economic, social etc. perspectives.
  • In the time of global and regional migration flows, the need for geographical analysis is self-evident. Permanent, voluntary and forced migrants as well as temporary commuters and tourists constitute powerful factors of change in social and economic activities. We welcome sessions focusing on the social and economic consequences of migration in regions and countries.
  • Inequality is manifested in the landscape through different visible and invisible power relations. Studying these relations through the lens of political ecology, can shed further light on the geographical aspects of inequality. We are open to sessions exploring how these issues are challenged, fought against and resolved from a multi-scalar and historical perspective.
  • Gender inequalities are spatially manifested and thus made visible. Moreover, seemingly contradictory gender relations can be explored and explained by spatial and local analysis. We welcome sessions on the issue of how geographical gender analysis can improve gender understanding.
  • Globalization and industrial restructuring is challenging the economic resilience and sustainability of cities and regions. We welcome sessions exploring different aspects of the economic activities and how these transform and develop national and international relations and distribution of resources and power.
  • Regional inequalities are found in material realities and lived experiences of individuals and groups. Regional inequalities are also manifested in discourses and are active in pronouncing regional demarcations and categories. We welcome sessions exploring various perspectives on how regional inequalities are constituted and managed on individual, group or society level.  
  • Climate change is one of the pertinent issues in the 21st century, creating inequalities economically, socially, and materially – in particular between the global North and South. In a post-COP21 Paris world how has approaches to climate changed? What are the policy implications? Who is benefitting? Which road blocks remain? We welcome sessions that explore all aspects of climate change in the coming decades.
  • In a society characterized by knowledge intense industries, learning and the learning institutions (from public pre-schools to global multinationals) are crucial, not least so to processes of social polarization and equalization. We welcome sessions exploring the geographies of learning covering perspectives from pedagogical school practices over the formation of worldviews and 'learning landscapes' to the political-economic systems of human capital reproduction in a competitive world.