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Theory and Explanation in Geography


Theory and Explanation in Geography

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 10/09/2023
  • Publisher: Wiley

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“With this book Henry Yeung puts Geography back into the driver’s seat of new theory development. Foregrounding mid-range theories and mechanism-based explanations, he offers a pragmatic approach that has the capacity to shape the wider social sciences for years to come. The timing of this intervention is pitch-perfect, as scholars search for ways to understand and intervene in an increasingly distrustful and polarized world.”
—KATHARYNE MITCHELL, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA

“Critical human geography possesses a distinctive theory culture—pluralist, creative, distributed, restless, contested—prone to “turning,” wary of orthodoxies and fixed positions. In this original and provocative contribution, the leading economic geographer Henry Yeung steps out beyond his home turf to engage styles and practices of theorizing across this diverse field, carving out a new remit and rubric for middle-range theorizing.”
—JAMIE PECK, Canadian Research Chair and Distinguished University Scholar, University of British Columbia, Canada

Grounded in a generous reading of a multitude of critical approaches in human geography and their diverse conceptions of theory, Theory and Explanation in Geography draws upon cutting-edge debates on the mechanism-based approach to theory and explanation in analytical sociology, political science, and the philosophy of social sciences to inform current and future geographical thinking on theory. This consolidated conceptual work represents an extension and much further development of the author’s well-cited works on relational geography, critical realism and causal explanation, process-based methodology, globalization and the theory of global production networks, and “theorizing back” and situated knowledges that were published in leading journals in Geography.

The work has several chapters that identify new directions for Geography’s current and future engagement with the wider social sciences and relevant research agendas in geographical thought. Its main chapters provide the necessary conceptual toolkits for mobilizing such an expanding research program in the 2020s and beyond. Compared to typical texts on geographical thought, this book is less retrospective and historical and more prospective in nature. Detailing why and how mid-range explanatory theories can be better developed through causal mechanisms and relational thinking that have been revitalized in the social sciences, Theory and Explanation in Geography is an essential read for academics, geographers, and scholars seeking unique perspective on an important facet of the field.

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