Critical Financial Geography

Authored by: Julian Hartman , Mark Kear

The Routledge Handbook of Critical Finance Studies

Print publication date:  September  2020
Online publication date:  September  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138079816
eBook ISBN: 9781315114255
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, we argue for a co-constitutive understanding of spatial, temporal, and financial relations, and demonstrate the importance of geographically informed critical financial studies by drawing on recent scholarship on the financialization of nature, cities, and everyday life. To position geography within the field of critical finance studies, we outline some of the key features which characterize the loose constellation of scholarship we call “critical financial geography.” First, critical financial geography is reflexive. Second, critical approaches to financial geography work to understand the co-constitution of finance and space by contextualizing these relations within macro-structural dynamics: capital accumulation, colonialism, white supremacy, and hegemony, among others. Third, the relations through which finance produces space and space produces finance are not restricted to “the social”—space and finance are entangled within arrangements of heterogeneous elements, both human and nonhuman. Finally, critical approaches to financial geography are often motivated by an explicit interest in the social and environmental justice implications of finance’s operations, i.e., finance’s role in distributing resources unevenly across race, class, gender, and generations, as well as its entanglements with processes of exploitation, domination, and subjectivization. The chapter concludes with a reflection on financial borders, and the challenges of determining “where is finance.”

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