Travelling through various historical and geographical contexts, Social Imaginaries of Space explores diverse forms of spatiality, examining the interconnections which shape different social collectives. Proposing a theory on how space is intrinsically linked to the making of societies, this book examines the history of the spatiality of modern states and nations and the social collectives of Western modernity in a contemporary light. Debarbieux offers a practical exploration of his theory of the social imaginaries of space through the analysis of a number of case studies.
Advanced geography scholars will find the analysis of space and its impact on societies a valuable tool in understanding the ways in which space, culture and behaviour interact. Historians of Western modernity will also benefit from Debarbieux's analysis of case studies that impact modern life.
'Debarbieux continues to traverse with ease the Anglophone/Francophone border in social theory with this most recent work, a creative and highly readable exploration of the political significance of social imaginaries of space. Through a series of conceptual essays and related case studies, or in his terms "detours", he crafts an intriguing, jargon-free narrative that examines the spatial imaginings that have generated the territorial ideals and practices of modern states and nations. Debarbieux further demonstrates that while the rhetoric of post-nationalism and globalization has changed the content of these imaginaries, it has not diminished their constitutive role. His is a cosmopolitan vision but one that does not dismiss the power of particularism, especially evident in the place loyalties that have become so prominent in current national and global political debate.'
– J. Nicholas Entrikin, University of California, Los Angeles and University of Notre Dame, US
'Social Imaginaries of Space explores a crucial contact zone between cultural and political geographies. Written by a major figure of contemporary Francophone geography, this ambitious book brilliantly analyses how spatial imaginaries have continuously constituted societies and their mutations in the modern era.'
– Ola Söderström, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Bernard Debarbieux, University of Geneva, Switzerland Translated from French by Sheila Malovany Chevallier.