[URBANTH-L]Call for Papers: AAG 2006 Chicago

Justin Beaumont j.r.beaumont at rug.nl
Sat Sep 10 22:34:11 EDT 2005




A paper session of the 102nd Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Chicago Illinois, 7-11 March 2006


Justin Beaumont, Urban and Regional Studies Institute (URSI), University of Groningen, THE NETHERLANDS, Email j.r.beaumont at rug.nl


The proposed session explores the role of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in urban politics from a human geographical perspective. Recognizing that Chicago was once the home for various Alinsky-inspired mobilizations involving faith actors, the session critically investigates the growing interest in the more recent (re-)politicization of FBOs - such as churches, para-religious organizations of various types and their affiliated groups - in tackling persistent social problems in cities.


At least three strands provide the framework for the session. First, certain work within the political sciences draws attention to increased penetration of FBOs in secular political issues since the 1980s (Haynes 1998; McGuire 2001; Bruce 2003). This "deprivatization" of religion captures part of the explanation for the recent claim among certain politicians, activists and academics that FBOs are better placed to substantially reduce urban poverty and strive for social justice than government and the welfare state more generally. Far less is known within human geography, however, on the precise nature, the complex and variable internal and external organizational geographies of these developments and the political implications for poverty reduction and the achievement of social justice. Second, research on the geographies of justice movements (Nicholls and Beaumont 2004; Beaumont and Nicholls 2005) reveals that FBOs sometimes enter the fray as active partners in progressive multi-organizational antipoverty and social justice coalitions. This body of work stands to gain from deeper analytical insights into the factors that determine as well as limit FBO involvement in social justice coalitions and to discern their contribution to progressive social change. Third and more generally, the session aims to confront contemporary political economy perspectives in human geography, with humanistic strands within the discipline, in the context of a highly specific and politically contentious organizational and policy domain.


The proposed session seeks theoretical enrichment and empirical advance through paper presentations and discussion in the context of one or more of the following themes:


·                Geographies of FBO politicization;

·                Ideological and political ambiguity of FBO activity;

·                Role of FBOs in addressing urban social problems;

·                FBOs and welfare reform;

·                Urban policy and FBOs;

·                Theoretical innovation at political economy/ humanistic interface in geography.


Please express your interest in participating along with an outline of the paper you have in mind at the first opportunity. Final abstracts (250 words max.) and your PINs should be sent to me by email by 30 September 2005. You should consult the AAG website (www.aag.org) for online registration and abstract submission instructions.


Justin Beaumont

September 2005

Justin Beaumont
Urban and Regional Studies Institute (URSI)
Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen
P.O. Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen
Direct: 00 31 (0)50 363 6910
Secr: -3895/ -3896/ -3897, Fax: -3901
Email: j.r.beaumont at rug.nl
Web: www.rug.nl/frw/

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