The politics of changing human geography's agenda

Textbooks and the representation of increasing diversity

Ron Johnston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


A discipline's changing agenda involves the introduction of new practices which challenge those already deployed and may at least partly replace them. Historians of human geography have identified several major changes over recent decades but have been less successful in accounting for them. This paper adopts a recently-formulated model of disciplinary change, to which it adds a missing political element. It argues for the importance of mobilizing support for a new agenda among students and other new entrants to the discipline, in which textbooks can play a substantial role. Several recently-published texts are analysed to illustrate their use as political tools in attempts to promote particular visions of human geographical practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-303
Number of pages18
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006


  • Change
  • Human geography
  • Politics
  • Textbooks

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