Implosion-Explosion around 1900 in German Spatial Discourse: Considering the Relatively Simultaneous Development of Industrial Location Theory and Geopolitics through the Ideas of Henri Lefebvre

Authors: Parker Everett*,
Topics: Geographic Theory, Urban Geography
Keywords: Historical Geography, History of Geography, Geopolitics, Industrial Location Theory, Henri Lefebvre, Fordism, Geographic Theory
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Studio 5, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In his 1970 text, The Urban Revolution, Henri Lefebvre characterized capitalist urbanization as a totalizing process of simultaneous implosion and explosion of spatial relations. This paper argues that the foundation of Industrial Location Theory with Alfred Weber’s groundbreaking treatise in 1909 and the foundation of German Geopolitics with Friedrich Ratzel’s essay on Lebensraum in 1901 represent two sides of the same ideological coin: the implosion and explosion, respectively, of this moment in the history of capitalism. Founded before the war, both theories grew in the interwar period. This paper argues that they represent a key ideological duality in the formation of a new Fordist regime of accumulation from the wreckage of the preceding liberal era.

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