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Accepted Paper:

How Decolonized is the Concept of the Politics of Scale?  
Selma Benyovszky (University of Reading)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on the concept of postcolonialism, the aim of this text is to offer an examination of whether (and eventually how) the concept of politics of scale has been “decolonized” across the discipline of Critical Geography.

Paper long abstract:

This paper advances political geography by critically examining power dynamics and knowledge production of politic of scale through a postcolonial theoretical analysis, particularly in relation to decolonization. By introducing a Subaltern politics of scale, it establishes a novel framework that challenges the prevailing Western-centric perspective and expands the scope of analysis to incorporate the experiences and scales from the Global South.

The essence of politics of scale relies on the presence of physical and abstract boundaries, as without them, the concept itself would cease to exist. Given the paramount importance of borders in postcolonial theories, this analysis aims to investigate the historical construction and conceptualization of the 'imaginary' boundaries associated with scale, that is, how we perceive and contemplate its borders. By examining the relationships between different scales and everyday experiences, the study unveils the hidden power structures that perpetuate Western dominance in knowledge production. It argues for the necessity of recognizing and naming Subaltern scales, as this act not only challenges Western supremacy but also fosters true pluriversality within the scholarship.

The findings of this research advance political geography by promoting a more inclusive and equitable understanding of the politics of scale. By amplifying the voices and experiences of marginalized communities, the paper contributes to the broader decolonization discourse within geography and emphasizes the importance of decolonizing not only the concept of scale but also the underlying epistemological and ontological foundations of the scholarship.

Panel P07
Anthropocene and the Global South. Decolonizing knowledge through spatial imaginaries and the everyday
  Session 1 Friday 30 June, 2023, -