Roepke Lecture in Economic Geography—Crises, Geographic Disruptions and the Uneven Development of Political Responses



The current financial crisis may be deeper and more far reaching than earlier ones except the Great Depression, but it fits into an all-too-common pattern of capitalist development experienced over the past 40 years. What can Marxian theory, with its focus on crisis formation and the internal contradictions of capital accumulation, teach us about the nature of capitalist crises, and what can the actual experience of the crisis teach us about Marxian theory? In what ways has the distinctive geographic unfolding of the crisis—all the way from subprime lending in specific locations to disruptions and spatial fixes in patterns of financial, commodity, capital, and labor flows—contributed either to the deepening of the crisis or to its partial resolution? How, finally, can adequate responses to the crisis tendencies of capitalism and the stresses of endless compound growth be articulated in these times?