The Colonial Geopolitics of the Global Knowledge Economy
21st IRS International Lecture on Society and Space with Sami Moisio, University of Helsinki
I present a critical-colonial perspective to understanding the contemporary expansion of the so-called knowledge economy. The kernel of argument is that the knowledge economy can be understood as a geopolitical process of producing entangled yet different “worlds” through a logic of coloniality. In order to trace the specific colonial dynamics in knowledge economy’s expansion I use David Harvey’s (1985) discussions of geopolitics of capitalism as the origin point of analysis. Second, I draw from colonial critique to further uncover specific spatial dynamics that characterize the global expansion of the knowledge economy. Hence drawing from Harvey’s analysis on the geopolitics of capitalism and from a critical-colonial perspective I go on to propose that the expansive logic(s) of capitalism and the expansive logic(s) of colonialism come together and constitute the “global knowledge economy” as different and entangled worlds.
Discussant: Prof. Dr. Jana Kleibert, Universität Hamburg
Sami Moisio is since 2015 Professor of Spatial Planning and Policy at the University of Helsinki, where he is also vice-dean of the Faculty of Science. Before his current positions at the University of Helsinki, Sami Moisio used to be Professor of Geography at the University of Oulu (2010 – 2014). Sami obtained his first PhD in Human Geography at the University of Turku in 2003 after which he received a position as research fellow at the Academy of Finland (2006 – 2010). He obtained a second PhD in Political Science from the University of Lapland in 2012. Combining his interests in political sciences and geography, his research contributes to critical geopolitics of the state, of the knowledge-based economy and of urban and spatial planning in Europe and Finland. His recent book on the geopolitics of the knowledge-based economy published by Routledge in 2018 won the 2019 Regional Studies Association Best Book Award. In addition, Sami has authored a larger number of book chapters and scientific publications in journals such as Environment and Planning A & C, Geography Compass, Progress in Human Geography, New Political Economy as well as in several Finnish journals. Recent publications have also addressed current crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from a geopolitical lens.