Links on Wikileaks, and Political Geography

The Guardian has been running a live update all day about reaction to the Wikileaks, here. Loads of things to follow up there. Peter Gratton has a link to a post on links here. If you want to know the motivation behind the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, you can find it here.

Jeremy Crampton at his Foucault blog has some good thoughts here. He led me to Greenwald’s comments, which you can find here. In particular I thought this was interesting from Jeremy:

New York Univ. professor of journalism Jay Rosen has some critical discussion here. He says Wikileaks is the world’s first stateless news organization. Who are the Jay Rosen’s and Glenn Greenwald’s of geography I wonder. Certainly Trevor Paglen comes to mind–see his op ed here which examines how Obama is continuing Bush-era programs of secrecy and surveillance. Derek Gregory. There are a number of political geographers as well. Who else?

Yes, it has been interesting to see people from within geography engage with what’s been going on. But was it political geographers? Derek Gregory’s The Colonial Present was a crucial book, certainly, but Derek (then) was better known as a historical geographer with theoretical interests rather than a ‘political geographer’. And, for me, the most important early books within geography on the ‘war on terror’ were Neil Smith’s American Empire and David Harvey’s The New Imperialism, but they were better known for their writings on the economy and the urban. There is, I think, a difference between political geographers and politicised geographers – one being a topic and approach; and the other a sensibility.

This entry was posted in Derek Gregory, Jeremy Crampton, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Links on Wikileaks, and Political Geography

  1. Pingback: Political Campaign Expert » Blog Archive » Links on Wikileaks, and Political Geography | Progressive Geographies

  2. Jeremy says:

    Ah yes actually I agree with you here Stuart. I mentioned Derek because he was (jokingly) given “political geographer” status at the Pol Geog Specialty Group in DC earlier this year and because his writings have been politicised for several years now. But I agree he isn’t per se a political geographer (nor am I, tho I do teach our Pol Geog course can you imagine, and love it!). Instead I was thinking of eg Colin Flint.

    But my main point was that there aren’t (m)any people akin to Greenwald in geography that I’m aware of. It’s not that he appears on MSNBC as he did today or gets quoted in the press: those things are pretty ephemeral in the final analysis. I’m really referring to his continual, well argued and full-throated support of the law, opposition to illegal surveillance and state actions, and opposition to war. And that this is blog-based (he has to be in the top ten all-time most effective bloggers). This drives him to unflinchingly call out government which he did with great effect during the Bush years. And now also with Obama, much to the annoyance of liberal-eyed Obama supporters.

    • stuartelden says:

      No disagreement here – although I suppose some of the issues are around the public profile of geographers in a range of media fields. David Harvey has had a lot of media exposure, perhaps especially recently in the financial crisis, but he’s unusual in that.

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