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The Politics of Contingency: Events, Traveling Models, and Situations

|   SPP Working Paper

Andrew Barry (U College London, UK)

Publication Date2016
PublicationSPP Working Paper No. 19
PublisherDFG Priority Programme (SPP 1448): "Adaptation and Creativity in Africa"


The SPP Working Paper No. 19 by Andrew Barry is based on three strategies. First, by taking into account the work of 19th-century sociologist Gabriel Tarde, Barry develops an analysis of what he terms “political situations”. Secondly, the paper highlights the value of causal explanation and, thirdly, the paper stresses the continuing importance of “regional” or at least situationally-specific expertise in geographical and anthropological research.

The DFG funded research programme "Adaptation and Creativity in Africa" (SPP 1448) publishes online working papers in a PDF format. The editors are Ulf Engel (U Leipzig, Germany) and Richard Rottenburg (U Halle, Germany). All members and associates of the research programme are invited to publish their findings as SPP working papers. Please address any enquiries about form, scope, and procedure to: info@spp1448.de.

Biographical Note
Andrew Barry studied natural sciences and the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University (UK). He subsequently held a joint SERC/ESRC studentship at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex (UK), where he completed his DPhil in Science and Technology Studies in 1988. Andrew moved to Oxford University (UK) in 2006, where he was reader in geography and subsequently professor of political geography in the School of Geography and the Environment, and a Fellow at St Catherine’s College. While at Oxford, he was academic director of the masters’ programme in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy and co-convenor of the Technological Natures Research group. He joined the Department of Geography at UCL (UK) as chair of human geography in September 2013.

He has continued to be involved in a series of innovative initiatives in social and geographical theory, which have led to the publication of edited collections of papers relating to the work of Michel Foucault (Foucault and Political Reason), Michel Callon (The Technological Economy) and Gabriel Tarde. At Goldsmiths College (UK), Andrew was a member of the London History of the Present network and co-founded the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process. He is a long-standing member of the editorial board of Economy and Society and is on the advisory boards of Social Movement Studies, International Political Sociology and Distinktion: Scandanavian Journal of Social Theory. He has held visiting positions at New York University (USA), Istanbul Technical University (Turkey), Halle University (Germany), and University of California, Santa Cruz (USA).