Political Geology: An Introduction

  • Adam BobbetteEmail author
  • Amy Donovan


This chapter introduces the emerging concept of political geology in the context both of the recent literature in geography and anthropology, and the historical studies of science that have in part inspired this collection. We trace the history of science and its encounters with the earth, with a focus on the political dimensions of these encounters. We explain the different sections of the book – political geologies of knowledge, a modern political geologies and political geologies of the future – with reference to the studies to which they seek to contribute. Political geology has perhaps emerged from the recent interest in the Anthropocene, but it is much more than that: it seeks to understand how Western geological science in particular has been implicated in and by politics, and how non-Western knowledges of the earth might infiltrate and shift this discussion. In doing so, we move through historical, epistemological and philosophical frameworks that influence the authors in the volume. Ultimately, we demonstrate how geological knowledge-making, representation and thought have inscribed and are inscribed by political activities.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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