Rationality and Discursive Articulation in Place-Making
Cham. Switzerland : Springer
Knowledge and Space ; 9
InMeusburger, P.; Werlen, B.; Suarsana, L. (ed.), Knowledge and Action, pp. 57-66
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Meusburger, P.; Werlen, B.; Suarsana, L. (ed.), Knowledge and Action
SubjectGlobal-Local Divides and Connections (GLOCAL)
In the debate on action-theoretic and the poststructuralist approaches in human geography, the former relies on a theory of modernity; the latter, on praxis theory. Action-theoretic approaches rest on the assumption of the effectivity of various kinds of rational and deliberative decision-making and actions. Proponents of poststructuralist approaches, their critical stance notwithstanding, often tend to refrain from deliberative interventions and emphasize the structural aspects of discourse, especially power structures. Laclau and Mouffe (Hegemony and socialist strategy: towards a radical democratic politics. Verso, London, 1985), by contrast, try to retain and restore the possibility of deliberative interventions in these discursive structures by inverting Foucault’s power/knowledge equation. The author of this chapter explores the extent to which this inversion reinstates responsible and rational spatial decisions and actions as a focus of research in human geography. Rationality could be reconstituted as a culturally contingent phenomenon, and critical geographical analysis could again contribute to concrete problem-solving, though in a culturally much more informed and embedded way than if one maintains critical distance.
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