Conceptualizing Geographic Scale as an Analysis of Scale Practice; Towards a New Politics of Climate Change Governance

Authors: Ayure-Inga Agana*, University of Arkansas
Topics: Political Geography
Keywords: climate change governance, geographic scale, climate politics, climate change policy
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Muses, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper revisits the problematic concept of geographic scale, with the goal of bringing clarity to it, particularly in terms of how it should be applied by students of geography. Thus, the effort is not to answer the question ‘what is scale? but rather, “Just what it is that we do when we invoke the concept of scale to understand spatial-political processes?” (Jones, 1998, p. 28). I argue that geographic scale should be conceptualized as an analysis of scale practices. My position is premised on the conviction that given political struggles produce multiple spatialities and scale is just one of them. Hence, the scale interest of geographers should be in terms of its deployment (materially or discursively) in specific circumstances, and the associated outcomes. The position is further buttressed by reviewing the empirical cases of some of the early influential conceptualization of scale (Herod’s analysis of labor relations in the United during the New Deal Era; Howitt’s examination of Aboriginal people’s employment in the mining industry in the Australia; Miller’s study on the peace movement in Cambridge Massachusetts) and trancing the scale practices in global climate change governance.

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