Simon Springer

Entry 13949


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Revolt Library People Simon Springer

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About Simon Springer

Affiliation: I am Professor of Human Geography, Head of Discipline for Geography and Environmental Studies, and Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Previously I was Professor (July 2018-Nov 2018), Associate Professor (July 2015-June 2018), and Assistant Professor (July 2012-June 2015) at the University of Victoria, Canada, Lecturer (Dec 2010-June 2012) at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and Assistant Professor (July 2009-Dec 2010) at the National University of Singapore.


A Professor of Human Geography, Simon is the Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the UON. He works in the area of social and political geography, with a particular interest in anarchist philosophy.

He wants you to know that anarchy is not about burning banks or storming parliament.

“The way that the bulk of society interprets anarchism, and the motivations of anarchists, are entirely off base,” he says.

Instead, Simon argues that the history of anarchist theory and practice primarily centers on the promotion of cooperation and mutual aid through voluntary association and non-hierarchical organization.

Hence, his work is more about the power of community than revolutionary chaos. He even describes the focus of his work as the everyday practices of anarchism in mundane spaces.

“Agreeing to watch your neighbors kids, carpooling to work, sharing a meal with some friends. These are all routine practices of mutual aid, which is what the heart of anarchist practice is all about.”


Simon Springer is based at the University of Victoria, Canada in the Department of Geography. His research agenda explores the social and political exclusions that neoliberalism has engendered, particularly in post-transitional Cambodia, where he emphasizes the geographies of violence and power. He cultivates a cutting edge theoretical approach to his scholarship by foregrounding both poststructuralist critique and a radical revival of anarchist philosophy. Simon’s books include 'The Anarchist Roots of Geography: Towards Spatial Emancipation' (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), 'The Discourse of Neoliberalism: An Anatomy of a Powerful Idea' (Rowman & Littlefield), 'Violent Neoliberalism: Development, Discourse and Dispossession in Cambodia' (Palgrave Macmillan), and 'Cambodia’s Neoliberal Order: Violence, Authoritarianism, and the Contestation of Public Space' (Routledge). His edited books include 'The Handbook of Neoliberalism' (Routledge), 'The Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia' (Routledge) and the 'Anarchism, Geography and the Spirit of Revolt' trilogy (Rowman & Littlefield). He serves as Managing Editor of ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies and is coeditor of the Transforming Capitalism book series published by Rowman & Littlefield.


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This person has authored 4 documents, with 30,111 words or 198,529 characters.

The run on toilet paper has brought the failings of capitalism front and center to the bathroom of every house across Australia, a trend that has now spread to other countries. We are witnessing, in real-time and with stunning consequence, the stone-cold fact that markets are an ineffective mediator of resources, prone to the worst vagaries of herd mentality. Perceived impending shortages of toilet paper owing to the spread of COVID-19 set off widespread panic. We might be inclined to laugh at the implausibility of the whole scenario, but whether the situation is real or imagined is beside the point. The truth, which in this case may appear stranger than fiction, is that markets operate in the sweet spot between scarcity and fear. Those wh... (From:
In the 1970s, radical geographers expanded the discipline to study the interplay between spaces and social relations, focusing on the spatial dimensions of inequality and oppression. Since then, the radical geography has come to encompass a wide range of tools—yet Marxism remains the most common framework. In this conversation between scholars in the field, Alexander Reid Ross interviews Simon Springer, author of The Anarchist Roots of Geography: Toward Spatial Emancipation, who argues that a truly radical geography must oppose the state and all notions of command and control. Alexander Reid Ross: Your book, The Anarchist Roots of Geography: Toward Spatial Emancipation, transgresses traditional concepts of geographic space and time b... (From:
Summary The logic and sincerity of Marxist appeals to unity on the Left are worthy of critical scrutiny. I argue against such pleas, suggesting that the devil is in the details. In practice, ‘Left unity’ could only result in the co-optation of anarchism under a Marxist leadership. Such vanguardism is one of the fundamental divisions between the two approaches, having long been rejected by anarchists. I further argue that Marxism cannot withstand the anarchist critique, striking fear into the heart of Marxists as it threatens their worldview. It also means that despite appeals to ‘fertile collaboration’ between the red and black, there is an explicit lack of willingness among some Marxists to actually engage with ana... (From:
Abstract Radical geographers have been preoccupied with Marxism for four decades, largely ignoring an earlier anarchist tradition that thrived a century before radical geography was claimed as Marxist in the 1970s. When anarchism is considered, it is misused as a synonym for violence or derided as a utopian project. Yet it is incorrect to assume anarchism as a project, which instead reflects Marxian thought. Anarchism is more appropriately considered a protean process that perpetually unfolds through the insurrectionary geographies of the everyday and the prefigurative politics of direct action, mutual aid, and voluntary association. Unlike Marxism’s stages of history and revolutionary imperative, which imply an end state, anarchis... (From:

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