PhD course on spatial thinking in the social sciences

2014 a 2013 IMG_2719Today, the concept of socially produced space appears in publications with little apparent need for justification or explanation. Yet it was not so long ago that “space” was generally ignored in social theory. In this course we critically engage with the spatial turn in social sciences. This spatial turn brings into focus a relational approach, showing how the social comprises the spatial, and the spatial comprises the social.

Building upon a brief introduction about the return of spatial thinking in the social sciences, we will discuss three themes: the construction of the rural, in relation to the urban, our understanding of local in relation to the global, and constructions of nature. The course ends with a special session by prof. Ash Amin of Cambridge University on the spatial dimensions of democratic renewal.

The course “Spatial thinking in the social sciences ” is meant for PhD students in the social, environmental and political sciences. In the course we will switch between close reading of texts, workshops, and discussion. Students following this course will not only learn to think about place as an analytical category, but also learn to ‘work with place’ by applying various perspectives to concrete cases.

The course will be given from April 22 to April 29, 2016.

For more information contact Joost Jongerden at