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Introduction: The Spatial Turn In African Studies

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Chapter Summary

European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) 3 was held between 4 and 7 June 2009 in Leipzig under the rubric of ‘Respacing Africa’. This was meant as an invitation to take stock of the impact of the spatial turn on African studies. A strong plea for a reconceptualisation of space has come from what has been labelled ‘new political geography’. Influenced by post-modern, constructivist reasoning geographers such as the Finn Anssi Paasi argued that space is socially constructed. One of the most obvious observations on the relevance of space is that different forms of space are contested by social groups. Reflecting on the production of space beyond mere description has given way to what we would call ‘reflexive space’, i.e. thinking about the meta-theoretical assumptions and the role of different knowledge orders in the production of space.

Keywords: African studies; European Citizen Action Service (ECAS); space; spatial turn



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