Toward a Publicly Engaged Geography


Geographers and other scholars have advocated that academics undertake more publicly engaged research, and university administrators increasingly support these calls. Grassroots and policyfocused engagement models derive from different disciplinary origins, but come to similar conclusions. They find that effective research engagement should link multiple academic and non-academic groups in a polycentric (multi-centered) web or network. These require iterated (repeated) interactions across these groups to develop effective communication and common agendas for action. The discipline of geography reveals a parallel history, encompassing clusters of research around policy decision support, activism and advocacy, and participatory capacity-building and community development. Geographers are well prepared to play key brokerage roles as diverse scientific, public, private, non-profit, and grassroots groups pursue collaborative boundary-spanning activities. As faculty or professional staff, we bring skills in integration across diverse disciplinary, professional, and practical orientations, as well as crossscalar analyses.

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Southeastern Geographer


UNC Press

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