Progress in human geography?



Publication Details

Lee, R., Castree, N., Lawson, V., Paasi, A., Radcliffe, S. & Withers, C. (2009). Progress in human geography?. Progress in Human Geography: an international review of geographical work in the social sciences and humanities, 33 (1), 3-6.


The possibility of progress - especially with a capital 'P' - is a question that has troubled philosophers, historians and social schemers for centuries. It also has a range of profoundly political dimensions. In David Livingstone's (2006b) terms, these would include progress as a regulative ideal and as an ethical aspiration - although, of course, neither notion can be reduced to the political. Both are, however, central to a scholarly journal like Progress in Human Geography, attempting to provide a space for considered critiques of what is taken to be current understandings. Such an aspiration for PiHG implies the further notion of progress as an epistemic and critical possibility without which the point of academic work becomes either endlessly to reproduce the academic status quo or merely to 'produce the goods' for whatever forms of audit academics are prepared to be governed.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)