CFP: Operations of capital: Studying the nexus of land, housing, and finance across the North-South divide (RGS 2016)

December 22, 2015

Dear colleagues, we hope you will consider submitting an abstract for what we hope will be a pair of sessions at the 2016 Royal Geographical Society conference, to be held in London from 30 August to 2 September. Please circulate this CFP (also available via this link) to relevant colleagues.

In the years since the global financial crisis, geographers and other social scientists have developed parallel bodies of work on housing, largely in the global North, and farmland, primarily in the global South. While geographically and thematically distinct, these lines of inquiry are nevertheless linked by a shared focus on processes of financialization. However as the concept of financialization has assumed the status of the next ‘globalization’ or ‘neoliberalization’, such analyses risk not only a loss of analytic coherence and diminishing theoretical returns, but also a tendency to reify finance as a totalizing, hegemonic and a-historical force (Christophers, 2015). By contrast, a focus on the operations of capital (cf. Mezzadra and Neilson, 2013, 2015) emphasizes the situated and variable processes by which finance encounters rural and urban landscapes, the materialities characterizing such relations, and the resulting tensions and contradictions—while keeping sight of how these specific operations coalesce into more general tendencies.


This session has a dual motivation: first, to highlight research that attends to how financialization is actually accomplished in the present, historicizing how it has played out in the past, and how this process is subject to fragmentation and problematization; and second, to provide a space for intentionally linking finance-oriented research on land (including agricultural land) and housing across the North-South divide. We explicitly invite papers that advance methods of inquiry and abstraction for opening the black box of finance so as to gain a better understanding of the land-housing-finance nexus, which we consider a long-overdue endeavour.


Please send abstracts of 250 words for this paper session to both session organizers by 1 February 2016:

Desiree Fields, University of Sheffield (

Stefan Ouma, Goethe University Frankfurt (


References Christophers, B. (2015). The limits to financialization. Dialogues in Human Geography, 5(2), 183-200.

Mezzadra, S. and Neilson, B. (2015). Operations of capital. South Atlantic Quarterly, 114(1), 1-9.

Mezzadra, S. and Neilson, B. (2013). Extraction, logistics, and finance: Global crisis and the politics of operations.Radical Philosophy, 178, 8-18.


One Response to “CFP: Operations of capital: Studying the nexus of land, housing, and finance across the North-South divide (RGS 2016)”

  1. Amazing many of good tips.

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