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THE SOCIO-SPATIAL DIALECTIC
EDWARD W. SOJA orthodoxy has begun to emergewithin ABSTRACT. An increasingly rigidifying to choke offthe developmentof a critical Marxistspatial analysis thatthreatens theoryof space in its infancy.The concept of a socio-spatial dialectic is introthedebate and callingfortheexplicitincorporation duced as a means of reopening more than an of the social productionof space in Marxistanalysis as something epiphenomenon. Buildingupon the worksof Henri Lefebvre,ErnestMandel, and is identified and discussed within the context others,a generalspatial problematic of both urban and regional political economy. The spatial problematicis not a for class analysis but it can be an integraland increasinglysalient substitute in class consciousness and class struggle within element contemporary capitalism. Space and the political organization of space express social relationshipsbut once theproducerofurbanism, also reactback upon them.... Industrialization, When we use the words "urban revolution" is now being produced by it .... which run throughout conwe designate the total ensemble of transformations temporary society and whichserve to bringabout the change from a period in which questions of economic growthand industrialization predominate to the period in whichthe urban problematicbecomes decisive.
observations are drawn from a THESE to Social Justice and the City postscript in which David Harvey presents a briefappreciation and critique of the ideas of the French social philosopher, Henri Lefebvre, on urbanism,the organizationof space, and contemporaryMarxist analysis.' But Haralso accomplished somevey's interpretation more. It recreateda patternof response thing to Lefebvre's critical theory of space that matchedwhathad alreadybeen establishedin throughthe writingsof the French literature
Dr. Soja is Professorof Urban and Regional Planning of California,Los Angeles in Los Anat the University geles, CA 90024.
1 David Harvey,Social Justiceand the City(Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973),p. 306; translation from Henri Lefebvre, La Revolution Urbaine (Paris: Gallimard,1970). Otherrelatedworksby Lefebvre include Le droit d la Ville (Paris: Editions Anthropos, 1968), La Pensee Marxiste et la Ville (Paris: Casterman, 1972), La Survie du Capitalism (Paris: Editions Anthropos, 1973), and La Production de l'Espace (Paris: Edi2 tionsAnthropos,1974). Of these, only La Survie du CapSee, in particular, Manuel Castells, The Urban Quesof La italismhas been translatedinto English as The Survival tion (London: Edward Arnold, 1977), a translation Question Urbaine (Paris: Maspero, 1972). of Capitalism (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1976).
ANNALS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHERS ? 1980by the Association of AmericanGeographers. Printedin U.S.A. Vol. 70, No. 2, June 1980
Manuel Castells.2 Harvey praised Lefebvre but ultimately denied the acceptabilityof his major conclusions, which clearly stressedthe "decisive" and "preeminent" role of spatial structural forces in modern capitalist society more than could be comfortablyembraced withinHarvey's own Marxistperspective. Lefebvre was recognized as having dealt brilliantly and insightfully with the organization of space as a materialproduct, with the relationship between social and spatial structures of urbanism, and with the ideological contentof socially created space. But surely Lefebvre had gone too far? He had raised the urban spatial "problematic" to an intolerably central and autonomous position. The structure of spatial relations was being given an excessive emphasiswhilethe morefundamental roles of production (vs. circulation and consumption),social (vs. spatial) relationsof production, and industrial (vs. finance)capital were being submergedunder a ratheroverin-
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236 on Sun.183.Agentsand the "objects" of proboth theoryand practiceare.indicatesthatthe impulseto establish radical spatial analysis must not reach.It represents.instead.manyof those most responsible for introducing an explicitand powerful 3 A recentcommentby RichardWalker. This episode is part of a much more per. The Lefebvreseemed to be arguing theformer and structure of organized space is not a separate was thus succumbingto what Marxists have structurewith its own autonomous laws of traditionally called a "fetishism" of spaceconstruction and transformation.Value reblunting plishments.is preciselythis convenientsuspension of dialectical reacentury.relations (as value relations) remain primary. fyingpatternand cause enough for the pre.has too oftenbeen drawn to the emptyquesstruction. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .ply an expressionof the class structure emergtionships of an autonomous determinant to ing fromthe social (i.e. individuals. eraturein radical urban and regionalpolitical 4 A similarconceptualizationcan be derived fromthe economy in general-has incorporated an un.208 EDWARD W. peared to be substitutingspatial/territorial Rather ironically." In his conceptuali." tial dialecticfitsneither of the two alternatives To Harvey. what Lafebvre called obfuscated through the well-intended but the "urban revolution. See Richard Walker. however. 28-37. SOJA June terpretedalternative." The best in the works of Harvey and Castells but italism:Spatial Differentiation extendable also to the rapidly expandinglit.." i.The reactionto Lefebvre.referring to an spatial interpretation to Marxism thus began earlier version of this paper presented at the Annual to establish certainboundaries beyond which Meetings of the Association of American Geographers. I contend. 1970). are definedas abstract and aspatialbut nonethelesssocial.instead of sensitivelyprobingthe mix the organizationof space (in the context of of opposition. 180. As a The key question to Harvey was whether result. and others to follow. tween social and spatial structures may lie in For one hundredyears. one of lations.avoid spatial fetishism. despatialized "social.eternal even amongthe most spatiallysensitiveMarxists. such as that ism and Lefebvre was to be no exception. nor is it simthe creation in the structureof spatial rela. pp. pressed upon Lefebvreby David Harvey.Thus Books.p.structuralist analysis presented by Louis Althusser and necessarilylimitedand inappropriate concep. aspatial) relations of historyand human action separated fromthe production. "primacy" of the (nonspatial) social is stillalive.Lefebvre ap.whichare structurally linkedto it. between production and consumption.Etienne Balibar in Reading Capital (London: New Left tualizationof space and spatialrelations.tion of which causes which or to endless arlations embedded in some broader structure gumentsabout preeminence.being ductionare thus combined "in a specificstructure of the This content downloaded from 144. It is but one manifestation of thisrigidi.Review of Radical Political Economy. Althusserwritesthat"the structure of the relationsof productiondetermines the places and what could prove to be the most significant functions occupied and adopted by the agents of producimplications of Marxist spatial analysis for tion. "Two explicitformof Marxistanalysis-exemplified Sources of Uneven Development Under Advanced Capand Capital Mobility.3The socio-spa(such as the social relationsof production).e.it has been customary the failure of Marxist analysts to appreciate among orthodox Marxist scholars to resist the essentiallydialectical characterof thisresuch apparent attempts to divert attention lationship and that of other relationships away fromclass conflict as devious revision. attention own laws of inner transformation and con.butthatsocial its impact and weakeningits accom. Castells.cally definedcomponent of the general relationprocess thatgeneratesit. Struggling to be tions of production. relations which are siserious and rigorous in their application of multaneouslysocial and spatial.unity.4 Marxistmethods. a dialectistructure of social relations and the produc. 10 (1978).82.short-sightedeffortsof radical scholars to zation of this urban revolution. Vol. Walker vasive syndrome within the new Marxian argues that dialectical analysis already incorporatesthe analysis of space thatI believe is significantly spatial relationsof the mode ofproduction.and contradiction which urbanism)was "a separate structurewithits definesthe social-spatial dialectic."or "the expression of a set of re. New Orleans. 1978. This depictionWalkerhimself dethe leading spatial theoristsin the twentieth scribes as "undialectical and convenient" and I agree." apparentlyas a rigid structural pose to discuss here a broader proposition: universal evident in every historicalmomentin the dethatthe recent emergenceof a more spatially velopment of capitalism.yet immediately(and undialectically)subordinatedto a counterargument. the primary source of conflictfor class conflictas the motivating misunderstanding over the relationship beforce behind radical social transformation.soningthatpermitsspatial relationsto be "incorporated" sentation of a forceful I pro.
the objective formof the existence of matter.tion.1980 SOCIO-SPATIAL DIALECTIC 209 in manyways: in then is Marxistanalysis is reflected What mustbe clearly demonstrated and a flurry thatthereexists a fulland equally salientspa. turaltransformation. objectifiable can be foundin Lefebvre. but also dialecticallyinSOCIAL PRODUCT tertwined and inseparable. with the nature of this relationship value. a "new" geography. and socially based and Engels-in discussions of the antithesis spatiality. residentialspace under industrialcapitalism.6That this tendencyre. the geographical therole ofrentand privateownership Time.the materialist analysis of historyand society with the intermains difficult to combat even withinthe re. physicalist view of Indeed. and matterare inextricably conduction.as possible the distinction between space per duction is suggested in the writingof Marx se.5 quiry.82.a "new" urban ment. But it an inappropriateand is essence. Created Space ogy betweenwhat might be called the vertical It is necessary to begin by makingas clear and horizontalstructures of the mode of pro. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . in a process not dissimilarto what space has deeply influenced all formsof spaoccurred in the rise of the bourgeois social tial analysis.. perdivision of labor. marily sociological-histor. such an homologousstructure withinthe spa.183. footnote1. space.a structure the resurgenceof spatiallyexplicit. It will be suggestedthat continuingdivision between urban. its social basis.character as "container" of human life. This contextual.cit. the multaneously are not onlyhomologous."imagination" in both formhas been conceptuallyincorporatedinto theoryand practice. or a "new" planning theory when broader is something thisdoes not mean thatthe spatial relationsof what it actually signifies productionor the center-periphery structure than these disciplinary compartments.however. whetherphilosophicaland theosciences.and credentials. Marxismhas evolved without It has imbuedall thingsspatial witha lingering a pertinent and physical composispatial perspective.whetherapof a significant spatial analytical framework plied to the movementof heavenly bodies or and an uncoupling of spatial organization from to thehistory and landscape of humansociety.places and functions.economy. timeand space in the general sense represent unevenness of capitalistpro. two sets of relations in thattheyarise fromthe same originsin the THE ORGANIZATION OF SPACE AS A mode of production.radical poa "new" urban sowhichis capturedwithgreaterprecisionin the liticaleconomy represents concept of geographicallyuneven develop.cit.and internationalpolitical economy where be a more unifiedspatial political tial relationsof productionmay exist in the theremight claims that divisionof organizedspace intodominant cen. its 5One of the few attempts been so littledeveloped in Marxism ysis has historically and its phenomenologgeometry. and the dialectics of nature.It shouldbe emphasized. whethermechanisticor dialectical. ical op.that politics. ical-as opposed to whatHarvey perceptively Space in this generalized and existential called a geographical. relationsof production. That thereexists such a dialectical homol.historyof philosophyand epistemologicalinvelop the logic and scope of this argument. the geographicaltransfer of surplus nected. objectivity.La Pensee Marxisteet la Ville. 6 See chapter 1 of Harvey. or contextual space.On the contrary.its to explain why spatial anal.in such a way as to interfere cent emergence of more explicitly spatial pretationof human spatial organizationas a social product.) about its absolute and relative properties. op.ciology.terminology. of land. regional. upon which to analyze misleadingfoundation This content downloaded from 144.Contextualvs. in which there was a submergence reticalor practicaland empirical.."(Empha.sense of primordiality in a predominantly and inevitability.236 on Sun.the risingcry of spatial fetishism over debate and controversy tial homology to traditionallydefined class of unproductive emphasis.philosophicalinterest distribution sis inoriginal. the created space of social organithe territorial zation and production. footnote1. dwellingpri. the segmentationof urban spective.in the structure and hence to class conflict and struc. But one being an importanttraditionaltheme in the hundredyears of Marxism has failed to de.perthatis siare separate and independentfromthe social haps even a dialectical materialism historicaland spatial. and in the multiplying ters and subordinateperipheries. Contextual space is of broad discussion in generating of relations.From a materialist betweentown and countryside.
contextualspace but Organized Space and the clearlydistinguishable fromit. and has tized space arisingfromthe applicationof hualready been the focus of past processes whose traces man labor. p. a link to human action perspective.7 It is this second nature that beare not always evident on the landscape. Thus. Lefebvre distinguishes between Nature with regardto its contentsand thus seems to be "purely" as given contextand what he terms "second formal.210 EDWARD W. Space has been shaped and molded fromhistoricaland natural comes the subject and object of historical elements. translated in Harvey. 31. Mode of Production Once it becomes accepted that the organiit is difficult to convey and focus upon this zation of space is a social product-that it arissocial meaningand originof organized space. 25. SOJA June the concreteand subjectivemeaningof human cation of centersof productionand consumpspatiality.the uneven geographof space is a product of social translation. Along similar and politics. Vol. footnote1." "economic. Space materialist analysis. use.production. all organized to other social constructionsresultingfrom space will be seen as rooted in a social origin the transformation of given conditionsinher. superstructural. meanings. Unfortunately.From a materialist otherwise specified.organizedspace and motivation. Space and Whether abstract.236 on Sun. social practice-then there The dominanceof the contextualview has so es frompurposeful even is no longera question of its being a separate permeatedspatial analysis thatit distorts withrules of construction and transour vocabulary.febvrewrites:9 minologicaldebate. is an evolvingproductofhumanaction. let us assume thatthe use Can the realitiesof urbanismbe definedas something of such words as "space. a part of the "environment. 9 La Revolution Urbaine. op.ratherlike science. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . But instead of entering into a ter.cit. op. p. it be the form." and even "historical" generally suggest. 8 "Reflections on the Politics of Space. Urbanismbecomes being sufficient duced organizationof space and not to their a force in production.a form of social construction arisingwithinthe physical frameof ubiquitous.or the ideological attachmentsto locational duced space is a created structure comparable symbols and spatial images." the transformed and socially concrecisely because it has been occupied and used. Antipode."a context vided Marxist spatial analysis into at least orientations. for society-its container-rather than a threedistinctive At one extreme are those whose interprestructure created by society.the epitome of rational abstraction. the relativelo7See chapter 1 of Lefebvre.but this has been a political process. ical distribution of income and employment. and meaning territorial jurisdictions." translated by M. Socially pro.cit.. the political organizationof space into given.. the term spatial typically relationship withina given mode of evokes the image of somethingphysical and and other structures externalto the social contextand to social ac. We really do not have a widely used and tations of the role of organized space lead accepted expression to convey the inherently them to challenge established Marxist apespecially with social quality of organized space.it is prenature. The Survival of Capitalism. Enders.183. footnote 1.content.and filledwith social meaning. while such adjectives structure formation which are from the independent as "social. The realityof urtions.and distributional patternof the built environment. but the organization." "political. especially proaches and interpretations. human historyrepresents a social transfor. If space has an air of neutrality and indifference lines. what becomes importantis the between created.Space is not a scientific object removedfromideology mationof timeand temporality. it has always been politicaland strategic. As Lefebvre in muchthe same way that states:8 entin life-on-earth. filled is politicaland ideological.externalizedinterpretation. 8 (1976). the political organizationof space express social relationshipsbut also react back upon them." "spatial relaon the surfaceof the economic basis. It is a productliterally The spatial organizationof human society withideologies." and "spatial structures"in this paper banism modifiesthe relations of production without will referunequivocally to the socially proto transform them. transformation and experience. of the ecosince the term"social space" has become so regardto conventionaldefinitions Thus Lemurkywith multipleand often incompatible nomic base and the superstructure.82. unless wider social framework. whethercapitalistor socialist? No. This content downloaded from 144.It is this basic issue that has dition. Space itself may be primordially tion.
analysis adds littlethat is inherently new to By not subordinating the spatial structure of more conventional Marxist approaches. In his examinationof regional inequalities under capitalism. a point of view which has been labelled fetishistand determinist. A third approach can be identified. they maintain the preeminence of aspatial social available. Within the regionalas opposed to the urban frame. has potentialin capitalist society comparable to David Harvey. Needless to say.and willattempt less. to be adoptingmuch the same formulathe most rigorous and systematic Marxist tion as described for Lefebvre and Mandel. (Emphasis added. The key notion introducedby Lefebvre in the last sentence suggests thefundamental premiseofthe sociospatial dialectic: that social and spatial relationships are dialectically interinter-reactive. he presentsperhaps least. to resist the implicationsof trying a cross-scalarsynthesis tempt to define a more tortuously general socio-spatial dialectic and their for. Mandel focuses upon the crucial historical im.moreclearlyin the sections whichfollow.it.similarideas have been presentedby ErnestMandel. dependent. the direct social conflict between labor and capital. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and thus that the contributions of Marxforthe regionaland international scale a spa. in their to the structure attribution of spa.183. that uneven developmentto social class but view. "Capitalism and Regional Dispari. tations into analyticallyweak and vulnerable 43. howportance of geographicallyuneven developto fall in which seems beever. positions on the role of spatial structure as it 1978).that tial relationsof a significant transformational thisgroup(in whichI includeManuel Castells. the structure. too often unacceptably revisionist and Lefebvre's interpretation of the urban spatial even to the point of suggestinga analytically muddled.sis. and ImmanuelWallerstein) developed some of the most insightful presentationsof the socio-spatialdialecticas I define 10 Ernest Mandel.) 11Ernest Mandel. but has also backed offfromits interpreties.236 on Sun.that it is in some way homologous to class structure and relations. both Lefebvre and Mandel have presenteda point of view which engenders strong resistance fromother Marxist scholars. This resistance to the suggestionthat organized space representsanything more than a reflection of the social relationsof production.much largergroup of radical scholars. I contend.theirown observations.the centralityof traditionalclass analysis is ingit as "on the same level. Mandel as10 serts: This content downloaded from 144. Typifying is the veryessence of capitalism. Late Capitalism (London: Verso. Here I would include the growingcadre of critics seeking to maintain some formof Marxian orthodoxyby persistent screening of the "new" urban and rethisgroup The unequal developmentbetweenregionsand nations gional politicaleconomy.1980 SOCIO-SPATIAL DIALECTIC 211 thatwhichhas conventionally been associated with the "vertical" class struggle.beingmade towardan understanding ist urban and regional analysis. that it can contain its own major contradictions and transformational potential with regard to the mode of production. in contrast with the prevailing materialist formulation whichregardsorganizedspace and spatial relationsonly as a culturalexpression comprisingpartof the superstructure.emphasis.century.group differs acterized in general over the past Marxism ist accumulation.definesanother. Vol. somewhere mentin the capital accumulationprocess and tween. relates to contemporary capitalism. analysis of regional development currently Yet when pushed to an explicit choice. implicitly thus in the survivaland reproduction of capitalismitself. and analyto demonstrate mulationsthus remainincomplete. however. 1 (1976). In his major recent work."1 sometimes to the point of NeitherLefebvrenor Mandel.In doing so. Its at practitioners appear.thatsocial relationsof production are both space-forming and space-contingent (insofaras we maintaina view of organized space as socially constructed).class definitions. while interesttial problematicwhich compares closely with are ing." Mandel suggests inviolable.at.on the same level as is the belief that contemporaryneo-Marxist the exploitationof labour by capital. powerfulrevolutionary force arisingfromthe conceptualizationof space adhered to by this littlefromthat which has charspatial inequalitythatis necessaryforcapital. p." SouthwestEconomy and Society.Neverthe.82. Whereas Here we have opened the possibilityof a true socio-spatial dialectic operating within the structure of the economic base.
) 13 chapter to MiSee.236 on Sun. . men. As a first illustration." of social structure. ed. For the momentlet us returnto Castells' attempted resolution of the "debate on the theory of space. thisgroupretreats from it without effectively capturingits meaningand implications. a social signification. Captive Cities (New York: JohnWiley and Sons. withprevious urban sociology and with Weberian urban sociology . a mere occasion for the deploymentof social but a concrete expression of each historical structure." transforms himselfand transforms his environment in his struggle forlife and forthe differential of the productof his labour.This is tantamountto conceivingof natureas entirely fashioned by culture. 115. Castells' own extension of these ideas has itselfbeen criticizedas revisionist by others who claim he commits the same errorthathe criticizesLefebvreforcomfrom mitting: separatingthe spatial structure its roots in productionand class relations. for example. For. op." (p.212 EDWARD W.which explicitlyand systematically incorporates the powerful and fundamental to underminethe primerelevance of productionand the study of its effectsto any Marxist analysis of space "to the point that his emphasis on consumption[along with David Harvey's] bears comparison. a book purposefullytitled to contrast with The Urban Revolution. man and environment. in relation with other material elements-among others. but a concrete expression of a combination. p. ensemble in which a society is specified." ofinteracting material elements and structures.82. consider the conceptualization of space presented by Castells in his most influential book. otherreal object.. written by Castells' former teacher. "man. to the spatial strucand significance function. It is not.Henri Lefebvre:'2 To consider the city as the projection of society on space is both an indispensable starting point and too elementaryan approach. (Emphasis added. both of which he has severely criticized.. throughthe dialectical process by which a particular biological species (particularlybecause divided into classes).withoutencountering any other obstacle thanthe trace of past generations.This means thatthereis no theory of space thatis not an integral part of a general social theory. for to suggestotherwisewould appear to be contrary But to conventional Marxist interpretations. creating confusion and contradiction which are reacted to in turnby the more orthodoxcritics. whereas the whole social problematicis born by the indissoluble union of these two terms. To complete the categorization discussed above.of establishing. although one must go beyond the empiricismof geographical description. what if "class" were seen to be associated withboththe social (vertical)and spatial (horizontal) relationsof productionin a dialectical withthe "social problematic" ininteraction. but thenargues thatCastells seems fetishization 12 This presumed erroris expressed in an overand other emphasison collectiveconsumption social and spatial aspects of the consumption an emprocess in thebulkof Castells' writings. who themselves enterintoparticularsocial relations.How then this created can one understandand interpret space? Through the identification of the laws thatgovern "structuraland conjunctural its existence and transformation.cit. appropriation Space is a materialproduct.'3 Castells. SOJA June the firstgroup mentionedoccasionally overstatesits case. 21) This content downloaded from 144. . 1976). The Urban Question. I will address myself to the production-consumptionissue in the next section. footnote 2.183. in some respects. " Castells presents space as a materialprodfroma dialectical process relatuct emerging between the relationship ing and transforming culture and nature.It is a quesin the same way as forany tion. Harloe praises Castells' analysis of the of space. the structural and conjuncturallaws that govern its existence and transformation. more specifically. ture and all other "elements of the combination. casion for the deployment. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .even an implicitone. or "mere ocSpace is not simplya reflection." One "structure"-the aspatial social relations of production(which somehow intheirspawhileignoring cludes property rights dimension)-is thusgiven detertial/territorial minant and inviolable significance. and the of its articulation specificity withthe otherelementsof a historicalreality. division of volving the social and territorial labor? It is truethatthereas yetdoes not exist of the spatial relations of proa formulation ductionwhich matches the depth and persuasiveness of social class analysis or. as burying phasis which has been interpreted the more fundamentalrole of production.an "historicalensemble. This briefencapsulizationof the socio-spatial dialectic is presentedas an alternativeto the rejected Lefebvrianview which is fundamentally similar.whichgive to space (and to the otherelementsofthe combination) a form.therefore. a function.then. one runs the very great risk of imaginingspace as a white page on which the actions of groups and institutionsare inscribed." What appears to separate Castells and Lefebvregrows out of the former'sassumption that "particular social relations" give form. the introductory chael Harloe.
It a rigorousand to attempt would be premature of the socio-spacomprehensiveformulation tial dialecticat thistime. sociological. the stateprovisioning and sitingof public services.arises only through the ap14 I refer here both to the "consumptionist"revisionof Marx containedin the worksof Baran.14 Moreover. Urban planningwas criticallyexamined as a tool of state. See Perry Anderson.Major attentionwas given to contradictions at the place of work (the point of production). however. For the most part.183. the emphasis given to spatial analysis triggered fearsof a new varietyof to matchthose ofthepast. and Marof superstructural cuse. Furthermore. these new conditions demanded a different approach to the city and to the urbanization process than thatwhich characterized the treatment of urban problems under the competitivecapitalism of Marx's time. primarily upon consumption characteristics-typified bourgeois social science and its effortsto counter the argumentsof historicalmaterialism. for example.82. dependence on the role of the state increasing were interpreted as having introduced new historical (and spatial) conditionsintocontemand intothe porarycapitalistsocial formations Among otherefrevolutionary class struggle. and its italism.and other issues which revolved around how urban space was socially organizedforconsumption and reproduction.to class conflict over housing and thebuiltenvironment. gional-international THE URBAN SPATIAL PROBLEMATIC Marxist spatial analysis at the urban scale has evolved as part of a larger development whichhas drawntogether particular emphases (economic. The city came to be seen not only in termsof its role as a centerof productionand accumulation. I will turnnextto a more specificdiscussion of several importantconceptual issues that have shaped the currentdebate on the theory of at the urban scale and then at respace. exchange. the growing emphasis on distribution. Marxism (London: New Left Considerationson Western Books. This content downloaded from 144.1980 SOCIO-SPATIAL DIALECTIC 213 contradictionbetween capital and labor.it could be arguedthatMarx himselfviewed productionand consumption as dialecticallyrelated momentsof the same process.At one level. Marxisturban analysis was solidly withinthe criticaltradition of WesternMarxism. Many orthodox Marxists saw in these derevisionvelopmentsa potentially destructive ism. community and neighborhood economic development. first scale. Is fact. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Underlying this development was an important set of assumptionsabout the nature of the urbanization process in advanced capitalism. as the focus for capitalistexploitation.The rise of monopolycapits expansionon a global scale. spatialdeterminism Insofar as the new urban political economy did fall into a consumptionist tangentand disconnected spatial relationsfromtheiroriginin the relations of production. Surplus value. the activitiesof financialorganizations. fects.but it is nevertheless necessary to add some substance to what adremainslargelyin the realm of assermittedly tion and conjecture. 1976).A specifically spatial problematic was thus put on the agenda for both and radical social acconsideration theoretical tion. exchange.236 on Sun. thiswas an understandable reaction. and consumption. it deserved a forceful criticalresponse. geographical) into a common focus on the political economy of urbanization. or the thisan immutable product of historical processes which have deemphasized the social interpretationof space in Marxian analysis? These questions merely reconstruct the challenge raised earlier: to demonstratethe homologous and dialectical relationshipbearising tween the social and spatial structures fromthe mode of productionand concretely expressed in particularsocial formations. especially with regard to the traditional primacyof productionin Marxist theoryand practice. Toward this end. Sweezy. In this sense.an inviolatelaw.Efforts to separate consumption fromproductionand to assign to it a signifiin society and hiscant autonomous strength tory-to defineclass. servingthe dominantclasses by urban space for organizingand reorganizing the benefitof capital accumulationand crisis management. narrow economism. and collective consumption did not represent a denial of the centralrole of productionas much as it was a call for greaterattentionto certain processes which historicallyhave been relativelyneglectedin Marxistanalysis but which have become more pertinent to class analysis and class conflictin advanced capitalism. as well as to the broadertradition analysis vs. but also as the controlpoint for the reproductionof capitalistsocietyin termsof labor power.
(Emphasis in original. Lefebvre nevertheless rooted his work in the foundationslaid down by Marx. 1975). 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and Hegel. by producinga space.Henri Lefebvre.236 on Sun. SOJA June plicationof humanlabor forthe productionof commodities. Finally. Existential MarxisminPostwar France: From Sartreto Althusser (Princeton:PrincetonUniversityPress. Althougha severe criticof the early Sartre. 2) reproduction of labor power (the workingclass) and the means of production. pp.) 19Lefebvre distinguishes three levels in the reproductionprocess: 1) bio-physiological essentialreproduction.15 more than any other exemplifiesthis third group. 1971). and Lenin a strong geographical and spatial orientation and thatit was important to draw out and elaborate upon these classical observationsin the contextof contemporary capitalism. In an effort the debate on the theoryof space.cit.in the hundredyears since the writing of Capital.Marxistspatial analysis expanded. 7 (1975). "The Geographyof CapitalistAccumulation:A Reconstruction of Marxian Theory.to whathas become the dominantfocus of urban political economy. 1973). a methodological emphasis.withthe developmentof the productiveforces.But such surplusvalue remains abstract and potentialunless and untilit can be realized through the nexus of exchange and thus throughthe consumption process. but we do know the means: by occupyingspace. 9-21." We cannot calculate at whatprice. 18 Lefebvre. 21. Guardians of Marxist orthodoxy continue to referee Marxist spatial A analysis to weed out any hintsof fetishism.and consequently. L'Existentialisme (Paris: Editions du Sagittaire.and misinterto reopen pretationof theirwork. It was widelyaccepted thatthereexisted in the classical works of Marx. This content downloaded from 144.. The three distinctiveapproaches to spatial analysis identified earlier thus expressed themselvesclearly. the means wherebythe capitalistsystemas a whole is able to extend its existence by main19From thiscenits defining structures. the search for a Marxist theory of the state. p. and 3) reproductionof the social relationsof production." Antipode.The abilityof capital to intervene directlyand affectall three levels has developed over time. Vol. The Survival of Capitalism. pp. In this search. Urban Revolutionand Spatial Praxis Lefebvre's work as a whole representsa to resistdogmaticconstrictions lifelong effort first as perhaps the leadof Marxistthinking. later as a forceful critic of both existentialistand structuralist reductionism. 90-94. footnote 1. a third moreboldlyto develop groupattempts Marxistspatialanalysis despiteincreasingdismissal. 16 An excellent example is David Harvey.16 But the fearof spatialfetishism weakened the attempt to focus directlyon the role of space within the largercontextof dialectical and historical materialism-to explain why spatial analysis had been virtually ignoredfor a centuryand to explore whether under the transformed conditionsof advanced monopoly capitalism the social productionof space has indeed become more centralto the survival of capitalism itself. Engels.183. op.Le MaterialismeDialectique (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 1939). ly withinthe context of familyand kinshiprelations. See Mark Poster.thus constraining opmentof a criticaltheoryof space. second group persists in making important contributions but tends to sidestep the spatial develfurther problematic. Lefebvre presenteda series of increasingly elaborated approximations (as leadingto his major he called them)ultimately thesis:18 Capitalismhas founditselfable to attenuate(if not resolve) its internalcontradictionsfor a century. it has succeeded in achieving "growth. taining 17 Henri Lefebvre.As a result. vituperativecriticism. The production of this advanced capitalist space was linked directlyto the reproduction of the social relations of production. ing French Marxistcriticof Stalinismand the productivistorthodoxyof the Second International duringthe 1930s.Lefebvre later embraces Sartre's existentialMarxism.that is. Lenin. 1946). Although his ideas appeared overlyeclectic to some. but increasinglyas an adjunct. To break this linked chain and to erect one momenttimelesslyabove the otherswould be to Marx's own conceptualizationof oversimplify the process. Au-deld du Structuralisme(Paris: Editions Anthropos. I will focus on the contributionsof the one figurewho 15 This is most explicitlystated in Grundrisse (New York: Vintage Books. muchless effort was given to defendthe revival of Marxist spatial analysis.82. theyhad a sinfocus: the search to explain how gle dominant and why capitalism survived fromthe comcapitalismof Marx's timeto petitiveindustrial the advanced monopolycapitalismof today.17 Constantly trying to keep Marxism open to new philosophical developmentsand adaptive to changingmaterialconditions.214 EDWARD W. But whereas the emphasis on consumption and reproduction became effectively legitimized.
op.and the penetration of the state into everydaylife. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . for example.20 in the beLefebvregroundedhis arguments lief that social space (essentially urbanized space in advance capitalism) is where the dominantrelations of production are reproduced. The secondary circuit comes to supplantthe principalcircuit. 23 Harvey.women.and extended to the global scale.only 22 By 1974.it becomes possible to clarifythe meaning and intentof several controversial concepts and arguments presented by Lefebvre in his more specifically urban-oriented writings. proletarianized petty bourgeoisies. 312.fragmented into parcels. and controlledreproduction of the system as a whole. was leftprimarily to the market).In advanced capitalist countries. In framework less advanced countries. the proportion ized in speculationand in construction and real estate developmentgrows.and the working class itself. The survivalof capitalismhas depended upon this distinctive occupation and productionof space.1980 SOCIO-SPATIAL DIALECTIC 215 tral "discovery. Spatial praxis is necessary therefore. It would appear fromthe Harvey translationthatLefebvredoes not statethatsurplus value is createdin thissecondarycircuit. They are not reproducedin society as a whole but in space as a whole. withLa Production de lEspace.. p.Instead.La Production . organizedintothelocations of control. manipulation of tractionof urban rent. The finalcrisis of capitalismthenbecomes the momentwhen the relationsof productioncan no longer be reproduced. the differentiation of centers and peripheries.particularlywithregardto the growingneed to control the reproduction of capitalist social relations (which. his comments on the historical relation between the primary (industrial)and secondary of surplus (financial)circuitsin the circulation value. the strugglewill take the formof une revolution forla droita la vilurbainefighting le and controlover la vie quotidienne in the territorial of the capitaliststate. a concretized and produced space which has been progressivelyoccupied by advanced capitalism. spatial revolution." forthis secondary circuit is deeply involved in the the exof the builtenvironment. one can construct a framework ofpropositions whichhelp defineLefebvre's effort to build a criticaltheory of space and to create the basis forradical spatial praxis.the narroweconomic foouvrigrisme cus on exploitation at the workplaceand on revolutionary transformation eitherthrough the interruption of production (the general strike)or by the haltingof production (total economic crisis). the territorial structureof exploitation. not simplywhenproduction itself is stopped. Lefebvre more explicitlypresented the urban problematicwithin the broaderproblematicof space and the reproduction of the social relationsof production. it will also focus and reconstructionupon territorial liberation withregardto the imposed structures of dom20 Two volumes of Grundrissewere firstpublished in Russian in 1939 and 1941.22 Take. including all those who are exploited by the imposed spatial organizationof advanced capitalism: landless peasants.183.is now beingproduced by it..the first English editionin 1973. is his major work on space.21 Thus the class struggle must encompass and focus upon the vulnerablepoint: the productionof space." which Lefebvre argues became explicitonly in the later works of Marx (particularlythose which were not readily available untilafterthe second World War). Withthis background. cit.236 on Sun. footnote1. Lefebvrethusraises the spatial problematic to a centralposition withinclass struggleby embedding class relations in the structures and contradictions of socially organized space. The struggle mustbe one of a global proletariat. achieved through conbureaucratically trolled consumption. cases facilitated by the increasingrole of the state. This content downloaded from 144. . but always as partof an encompassingsocio-spatial praxis.forits significance reflects the progressivedevelopment of the forces of productionover time. inantcore and dependentperiphery within the global structure of capitalism.Nor does he presentthe spatial struggle as a substitute for class struggle.once the producer of urbanism.82. under competitive capitalism. The firstGerman edition appeared in 1953.and the organization in all urban space forcollective consumption. It is in this sense that Lefebvre claims that "Industrialization.students. but it tends to be neglectedin most of the recentliterature. 21 Lefebvrehas been a strong criticof what he calls the of the modernleft. He does not arguethatthe spatialproblematichas always been so central. homogenized into discretecommodities. he argues that no social revolutioncan succeed withoutbeing at the same timea conscious. translated by David Harvey as follows:23 Whereas the proportion of global surplusvalue formed and realized in industry realdeclines.
althoughthe diversion of capital intounproductive activitiesis a significant structural problemin monopolycapitalist economies.mostof these struggles acquire a definite character.. What labour takes away with one hand (in the workplacestruggle)it gives away withthe other(in the urban livingplace) .in brief.instead.increasingly global.thathis emphasis is on realization.has shifted from the sphere of production(of commoditiesand services) to thesphere ofreproduction (i. is thatthe increasingsurplusproduct yielded throughthe centralizationand concentration of capital under monopoly industrialization and the accumulation of capital on a world scale has disproportionatelyincreased the the costs of reproducing labor and maintaining social relationsof productionto the pointthat collective consumptionhas become a major. in the realm of collective consumption and reproduction. What is suggested.arena for the realization of itself.. This.. The struggle. If Lefebvreintended to suggestthatsurplus value can originate in the secondarycircuit. if not dominant.e. The main problems in early capitalism were problems of production(i. conflictover the "housing question. This has been associated witha "change from a period in which questions of economic growth and industrialization predominateto the period when the urban problematic becomes decisive. fromthe reproduction of the means of productionto the reproduction of labor power and the general social order. ble.) This content downloaded from 144.hence relativescarcity).82. They have instead become expressed not only in the direct of capital and labor at the point confrontation of production but also. Problems ofproductiongave way to problems of overproduction .." c'est a dire de realisationde la plus-value".withthe ever increasingurbanizationof the popurban ulation.24 Lefebvre's argument thus builds upon the idea that the realization of surplus value has shifted over timefroma in directindustrial dominant involvement productionto an increasingly greater involvement in the circulation/consumption process-or. and as intensively. if not improving. is the necessary interpretation. Whereas under competitive capitalism. It seems. Withthe intensified and expanded state intervention. I believe.this is no longer strictly true. with the rise of monopoly capitalism is presented by ShoukryRoweis:25 in the locus of class conWe finda pronouncedshift flictsaccompanyingthe shiftfromearly to late capitalism. themaintenanceofstastandards of urban living). 1975). Competitiveindustrialcapitalism has been able to extend and transform itselfthrough a series of structuralchanges associated with the increasing centralizationand concentration of capital (in the rise of monopoly capitalism)." These argumentssuggest that the proportion of surplusvalue thatis necessary forthe reproduction of labor power and the social reurbanlationsof production in an increasingly ized.216 EDWARD W. Unlike the situationunder industrialcapital25 ShoukryRoweis. not production." Papers on Planning and Design (Toronto: Universityof Toronto. capitalist society has become larger thanever before.perhapslargereven thanthe in industriproportion absorbed more directly al production. increasinglymonopolistic. see La Revolution Urbaine. p.thenthis would contradictthe labor theoryof value and be unacceptable in Marxistanalysis. pp. the struggles over wages lose theirmeaning.At the same time. SOJA June that the proportionrealized thereinhas massively expanded. In today's capitalism. Nowhere is it said thatthisnecessarilyleads to a reductionof surplus value produced in industry. Concretely.and the development of accumulation on a global scale. (Emphasis in original.and the struggleover political/administrative power begins to impose itself as crucial. class conflictswere over the division of surplus production.183.e. 212. such consumption-based conflictcan no longer be coopted as easily. 31-32.. problems of insufficient aggregatesupply. But it has done so withouteliminating its fundamental contradictions.Engels could argue thatconsumpas in the tion-based workingclass militancy. more appropriately.Immediately precedingthe translatedquote he writes: "II peut meme arriver que la speculation fonciere devienne la source du capprincipale. but yet unpursued struggle.le lieu presque exclusifde 'formation ital..236 on Sun." could be resolved by the bourgeoisieto its own benefit(either by playing off improved housing conditions and reduced rents against debad houscreased wages or by simplyshifting ing conditionsto anotherlocation ratherthan eliminatingthem). "Urban Planningin Early and Late Capitalist Societies. the conflicts were strictly labour/capital conflictscentered in the workplace and focussingon wage/profit disputes.Under such conditions. value and forthe class struggle A more detailed and less ambiguous interpretation of this historical shift associated 24 What complicates mattershere is the fact that Lefebvreactually uses the wordform&ewithregardto the secondarycircuitas well. but the word is omittedin Harvey's translation. Departmentof Urban and Regional Planning.the dramaticincrease in therole of the state as a vehicle for social control. however. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .
whilefinancecapital "can apparently in control. cit. in contrastto Lefebvre. footnote13. as a possibility. that concerned with circula. op. finance capital cized. serves that the two concepts clearly describe This compulsionto assert the ultimatedomi.the relationshipbetween finance. labor as bothworkersand consumers. the nature of spatial analysis. 12. Vol. However. 9 (1977). a combinedwage and consumption-based of analysis. The issue is thus the accumulationof capital itselfhas become how thisaffects to the ensemble as dependentupon controlover the means of a conjuncturalone. but his criticssuggestthatfinancecap. the following Michael Harloe. the realization of surplus value and hence 27 26 Harloe. state antiredlining monopolystrategy-involving er financecapital dominatesindustrial capital "in the last analysis.however. 25.and theylead to different oncilable deviant. At other times. as one fractionof capital. p.the dominantrole stillfalls to proThe two views of financecapital are not really comductive capital. "Rent Theory and Working Class ism.82. as coalesced with industrialcapital in cause it ultimately has to abstractits wealth fromsurthe to the latterin the last a monopoly imperialiststage. a sees financecapital.even while this duringparticularperiods of time. appropriatelyI becapital within the monopoly capitalist city. Thus he does not directlyassert either that Finance Capital and the Class Struggle capital are in permanent financeand industrial or thattheyhave totallycoalesced in more specifically the preceding conflict To illustrate and to exemplify arguments again the tripar.let us examine the controver. as Lenin describedin his tite typologyof contemporary approaches to theoryof imperialism.sense.parasitic monopoly sector sucking up funds tion ratherthan production. leftopen foranalysis.structuraldeterminations tionof capitalismhas come increasingly to re. p. industrial.the same issue.a cooperativeunion. He does not go quite so far as Lefebvre who viewed as a separate fractionof capital. In an excellent paper on renttheory.Harvey is dangerouslyamdefinition holds. sy whichhas risen around the role of finance and propertycapital is.Matstatement of Take.Indeed. supplanting workplace conflict-a theory heavily criti. based on the role capital withindustrial ingand in directconflict of such capital in property speculation and land.and class action.becoming the dominant which would otherwisebe available forhousforcein society.hence to eliminatethe city itselfas a subject gle. erally or for specific ghetto subgroups. Edel obanalysis. appear to have taken specific but incompatiblepositions on In general Harvey's emphasis on the role of finance is ratherthan productivecapital in cities has been criti. George and the Urban Crisis.thew Edel argues thatDavid Harvey and othalyst:26 ers.183. If the first bivalent and confused.one in whichthereis connant becomes epitomized in the conclusion flictamong major capitalists. then an antiThe majorquestion. controlrests ultimately Marxist analysis to the assertion of ultimate is to eliminate all It can thus be argued that the transforma.in other ization process? Although Lefebvre clearly stresses the words a struggle arisingfromthe exploitative structuresinherentin both the vertical and growingimportanceof finance capital in the horizontal class divisions of society. another where be theyare unified. Strategy:Marx.He then adds:27 that. To reduce in the same hands. referring as upon control of class relations arising at particularplaces consumption/reproduction over the means of production. controlling plus value and so is subordinate totalityof the productionprocess.e. Harvey distinctly sees this surplus in the formof rent).1980 SOCIO-SPATIAL DIALECTIC 217 tions within specific social formations. he does not unbetween thusinvolvesthe articulation of social ambiguouslyspecifythe relationship struggle finance capital and other capital fractions. eitherforworkersgenreignssupremeand inviolable.historical and geographical specificity-and volve aroundboth a social and a spatial strug.is not whethlaws.236 on Sun. a leading Marxist urban an. Class realization of surplus value. while production are if financialmonopolies or financialdiscrimination makinghousingfinancescarce." Lefebvre is thus an irrecstrategic implications patible. and forthe workingclass..different situations. How thenmay we assess the role urbanan organization and consciousness of of financecapital in the contemporary conflict.however. lieve." Review of Radical Political Economy. and spatial praxis.(fromwhich it is able to extract part of the cized by Castells. This content downloaded from 144. to other capital fracMatthew Edel. i.and urban conflicts. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." but how it relates. it is seen in almost the Leninist ital must remain secondary to productivecapital be. At times. forexample.
I would contend. leaving his arguments"un. be it more oftenin alliance with monopoly indusbankingor landlords.Along of contem.class conflict.82. a two-front struggleover consumption and In the monopoly capitalist city. in the houshold appliances.privateproperty to market competitionamong industrialproducers for access to labor.would create a need for the workingclass to as wage earners and as conorganize simultaneously sumers. it has. they were was a need to interveneto reorganize urban of space and to make urban systems function largelyresponsible for the transformation metropolitancores. and forces. an financecapital. in order to make any economic gains under since capitalism. Also. the nature of the rela. and surplusvalue in collectiveconsumption. as the urban view theoreticallypossible.) housing banks. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . productionrelations.ue through especially socialized consumption. Edel argues.but not because for restructuring the city as a consumption it has supplantedindustrialcapital in the re. plored historicalmoments.28During the sumption.ital in the centers of advanced capitalismand betweenfinanceand industrial capital created intensified tionship pressuresforinfrastructurmust be seen as historicallydeterminedand al investments.when it became clear that imperialistexpanital institutions. formost of the industrial Finance capital under these conditionswas The various alternatives outlined by Edel relatively in the urbancontext. the wage struggle.withthe state. of capital but forthe realizationof surplusvalinto spectacular new centers forfinancecap. (David Harvey. in of the means of produc. but claims that productionmachines surpassed theircapacity Harvey swings back and forthbetween the to consume their product and faced falling two definitions. the automobile. however. becomes more significant than it financecapital has become an had been in theindustrial Unproductive capitalistcity.g.it has become a primary elementin the structure important means porarymonopolycapitalism. begun to supplant small-scale private 28 Harvey now accepts this view and argues that he capital in controlover urban land. however. SOJA June capitalism. a The industrialcapitalist city was primarily productionmachineand as such took on a reuniform spatial structure-thestrucmarkably ture depicted so perceptivelyby Engels for Manchester and later by the urban ecologists capitalistworld. albeit at different has come out What repercussions. therebyestablishingthe need for economic crises in the core countries.however. Thus. costs mightbe met by reduced wages. therefore."a reflection. materials.conjunctionwiththe state.218 EDWARD W. and for maintainingcontrol over earlyphases of stagnationin the 1970s. throughurban renewal moreeffectively notonlyforthecentralization and reduced low income housing supplies.transforming luxuriesinto needs.183. multisidedstance Harvey has rentgrowth the intrinsically of monopolycapitalism. tended to take on the "urban question. personal communion Marxisturban mostclearlyin the literature cation.But such victorieswould be difficult. Under competitiveindustrial the organizationof urban space forboth procould be leftlargely ductionand consumption capital. is no longer sufficient.rates of profit Expanded reand class conflict. finan.More than ever before. I would arand the reproduction gue.relativeto directly of the workingclass. the burdenback to the reductionof sion would not eliminate class conflictand sis shifted real wages. or even moratoriaon mortgagepaytwo ments-would make sense. sometimesin competition but attack on only one sector of capital. for expandingcollective conthus clearly subject to change. Finance capias to whetheraccumulation tal's "certain indifference takes place by keeping wages down in the immediate production process or by manipulationin the consumptionsector. faalization of surplus value. and gadgetry).It unimportant summarizethe issues arisingover the role of played a major role. reproductionof labor power and the social working toward the segregation/territorial productiveactivities fragmentation order.in capitalistexfinancecapital very well. tion. side would tactical errorson the consumptionstruggle and vice versa. But deepeningeconomic cri. there cial barriers had a major effect. He considers either pansion through imperialism. a property of the relationbetween finance process with interesting adopted both definitions but relativelyunexand industrialcapital for both apply. adverselyaffect This content downloaded from 144." if it emerges as Harvey suggestsit might. It obtains its im.236 on Sun." of captheconcentration massivelyintensified As Edel concludes. If.of productionon a global scale and the concurconvincing.cilitatingsuburbanizationand its associated portance from the increasing absorption of privatizedconsumption(e.machine.definition financial groupcontrolsboth applies and one integrated then a reductionof housing housingand employment. trialcapital.and infrastructure.
growth. 39-62.ratherthan stickingto the dynamics of a process as the analytical focus.1980 SOCIO-SPATIAL DIALECTIC 219 surfaceonly within the past few years.236 on Sun. a bourgeois delusion." Capital and Class.183. as adjuncts to theirinsightful struggle but largely or the "uneven development" of consump. capitalismcan be revealed as a systemof productionbuiltupon a set of internal contradictions betweentheforcesand relationsofproduction whichmuchinevitably lead.which has appealed so strongly Western conceptualizations of science in terms of the establishmentof general laws freed fromthe specificity of time and place.3'It has arisenprimarily fromthe interpretations given to the works of such scholars as Immanuel Wallerstein. the fundamentallogic of structure and process is indeed spaceless. It is necessary firstto distinguish between an analysis of the general laws of motion of capital underpure and homogenous(i. 6 (1978). vividlydescribed and interpreted by Castells in his discussionof la vile sauvage. and transformation of capitalism.The presentation whichfollows is therefore two. Vol. Vol. with each structure forming part of the general relations of production. spatially undifferentiated)conditions and the analysis of the concretized conditions which exist within and between particularsocial formations. Following Marx in Capital. forexample.nonspatialanalyses of expanded reproduction tion. 10 (1978).because the debate on the theory of space has been much less explicitthan in Marxisturbananalysis. it depends upon the degree to which Mandel's assertion-that the unequal developmentof regions and nations is as fundamental to capitalism as the direct exploitationof labor by capital-can be accepted and built upon. Markusen criticizes (p. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . added.82. geographically uneven development is not it is definedaway. Arghiri Emmanuel.Samir Amin. pp.as theconstruction struggle of a separate structure unacceptably autonomous fromthe social relationsof production. Ann Markusen. Vol.Stated somewhatdifferently. the "Wild SPATIAL PROBLEMATIC in Parallelingcriticismsof spatial fetishism urbanpoliticaleconomyare equally vehement arguments against an emphasis on spatial inequality and center-peripheryrelations in Marxistregional analysis. 1977)." GeographicallyUneven Development The spatial problematicand its social ramifications at the regional and international levels hingesupon the importanceassigned to uneven geographical developmentin the origin. Such an emphasis is seen as a diversion away from the class and class analysis. 4 (1976). Alain Lipietz.Vol. and Ernest Mandel. THE REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL it should be analysis-and more importantly.This connectionbetween the vertical and horizontal dimensionsof theclass struggle in both theoryand practice requires a fundamentalrethinking of many Marxist concepts to introducea more explicit spatial problemwhichis beingunnecessarily atic."29 It has rooted the urban-based class gional politicaleconomy ratherserendipitousnotjust in the relationsof production ly. 31 In particular. but in the unityand articulationof the under capitalism. The constructionof this argumentfor regional political economy is made more difficult." Kapitalistate.see Review of Radical Political Economy.and has come to the 29 Manuel Castells.who unwitmimicthe tendencywithin tingly bourgeoissocial science to assign characteristics to places and things..survival. 40) "younger Marxist social scientists. Andre Gunder Frank." Kapitalistate. In this essentiallytheoreticalanalysis of to capitalism. who have made important contributions to reCity. a rethinking sacrificed by a reassertionof Marxian orthodoxy. Special Issue on Regional Uneven Development in Advanced Capitalism.to revolutionarytransformation. in practice-is that these structural changes have failedto resolve the old contradictions. theyhave created new ones. "Regionalism and theCapitalistState: The Case oftheUnited States. Le Capital et son Espace (Paris: Maspero. 7 (1978). 2-30.however. In the former. only irrelevant. through crisisand class struggle.30 My response to these attacksremainsthe same: thatthereexists in the structure of organized space under capitalisma fundamental relationship whichis homologous to and inseparable fromthe structure of social class. "Survey: Regionalism: Some CurrentIssues. 102-25. "The Wild City. pp. pp.abstracted fromthe particularities of time and place. This content downloaded from 144.Indeed. 30 See.e. Doreen Massey. more of a piecingtogether of a debate thana critiqueof already established positions and stances.
by itself. Here we have a directlink between the regional/international problematic and the urban spatial problematicdiscussed earlier." italistproduction.And this itself would be modified in its own turnby the impactof the that would ensue. no more accumulationof capital otherthan thatmade necessary by demographicmovement. The creation of labor reserve space also marsupplies importantand complementary kets for capital in the "overdeveloped" centers of accumulation. more thanthe average) whichin 32 Ernest Mandel. its imminentself-destruction. cit. SOJA June Marxist analysis built upon these general laws of motion. This combination of economically depressed labor reserves serving also as marketsforthe surplusproductof the center is maintained and intensified througha system of unequal exchange. upon the contradictionbetween labor and capital in the productionprocess.semicapitalist or. He builds this synthesis in the process of upon a criticalcontradiction expanded reproduction. Defined away by appeal to orthodoxMarxisttheoryin its abstractedform. the role of space becomes salient when concretizedin the contextof reproductionand is crystallizedmost clearly in response to Lefebvre's centralquestion: how and whydid capitalismsurvivefromthe competitiveindustrial capitalismof Marx's timeto the monopolycapitalismof today? It is no coincidence. they place the class strugglein its appropriatelocation. This content downloaded from 144. therefore. then therewould no longerbe reserves of wage labour freeforthe sudden expansions of industrialcapitalism.the key role of uneven geographicaldevelopmentbecomes apparent.Furthermore.explain how and why capitalism has continued to exist. 43.. they are produced artificially through directforce and othermeans. it can be argued thatthe historicalsurvival of capitalism has depended upon the differentiation of occupied space into "overdeveloped" and "underdeveloped" regions. op.as well thentherewould be as in all the branches of industry.183. 34 Mandel. p. Marxist Economic Theory. 1968). "all of the working found jobs in theregionwheretheylived. footnote10. and its goal in the appropriatedirection.e.220 EDWARD W. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ..32 population Mandel argues.All these contributions have two thingsin common: theyfocus upon the process of expanded reproduction and they recognize the existence of noncapitalist. under monopoly capexpanded reproduction ital depends upon the extractionof "superprofits"(i. Mandel presentsan excellent historicalsynthesisof the importance and the ofgeographically uneven development relationbetweenthegeographicaland sectoral transferof value. thatthe major contributions to regional political economy are associated first withthe developmentof the theory of imperialism and more recentlywithrelated analysis of accumulationat a global scale. Whereas the development of competitivecapitalistproductionrelationstendstowardan equalization in therate of profit between sectors and among regions. and contradictory "If in order to survive.82. huge its principaldirectrole being to furnish areas of labor reserves and complementary able to respondto the spasmodic."33When these labor reserves are not created by "natural" population movements." and various processes of unequal exchange and underdevelopment. When the laws of motionof capital are related to their concrete historicaland geographical context." 33 Mandel. especially to the expanded reproductionof capitalism(forsimplereproduction alone cannot assure capitalism's survival). p. severe economic stagnation In Late Capitalism. more broadly.. Regional uneven developmentis described here as "usually underestimated in Marxist economic writing"and "one of expanded of the essential keys to the understanding reproduction. demonstratesthe ephemerality of capitalism. op. Vol. 43. the developmentof a capitalist "world system. or. not fullyand purelycapitalistrelationsof production.236 on Sun. p.against of capitalism. 373. I (New York: MonthlyReview Press.thegeographicaltransfer ue. at least.that between differentiationand equalization in the rate of profit and. Mandel observes thatregionalunderdevelopmentis a universalphenomenonof capitalism. Mandel writes:34 If the rate of profit were always the same in all regions of a nationand in all the countriesof the world. To do so requires more direct attentionto reproduction processes. cit. the development of the forces of production. unmarkets developmentof capequal. to how they unfold over time and of expanded space in the evolvingframework reproduction. But it does not. of valmorebroadly. the expanded reproduction How then can we definethe role of uneven geographical developmentwithinthis framework of expanded reproduction?Most basically. at the global level. footnote10.
and accumulation.82. Relations Center-periphery Merely assertingthat uneven development is inherently It is necspatial is insufficient.focusingon New England see Jeremy Rifkin and Randy Barber.spatial inequalities as a means 35 "Three Main Sources of Super-Profit.. for its own survival. and comprehensive analysis of geographically uneven development. In the age of freelycompetitiveindustrial capitalism. and subordinate.and firms-is to remainin an incomplete.equalization/differentiation and for I suspect they will be homogenization/fragmentation. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .exploited peripheriesrepresents the primary horizontalstructure arising from the process of geographically uneven developmentand fromthe dynamictension between equalization and differentiation." chapter3 in Mandel. for example. butthatthecapitalistmode of productionactivelycreates.37To ignorethe inherent horizontality of unequal development-to see only the vertical differentiation of sectors. but each advance has met with strongresistance and frequent backstepping. In the age of classical imperialism.unleashed by the quest for surplusprofit.the major focus is sectoral. branches. the particularmechanisms essary to identify which sustain geographicallyuneven development.exploitation. its source shifted primarily (althoughnotexclusively)to thejuxtaposition of development in the imperialist in colonial and states and underdevelopment semicolonial countries. This content downloaded from 144.This dialectical tension between differentiation and equalization is the underlying dynamicof the uneven development process. regional underdevelopment-of the rural peripheriesand between town and countryside-was the major source of superprofits (until the limited homogenization whichoccurredin the consolidationof national markets and bourgeoisnation-states).therestilldoes not exist a rigorous. 1978). For an interesting politicalanalysis. in thatboth are rooted in the same contradiction between capital 37 This dynamic contradiction is paralleled in Lefebvre's work in the contradiction between homogenization and fragmentation in the productionof space.cohesive. and to explain how it linked with class relations and class struggle. the continuing expansion of capitalismis accompanied by countervailing tendencies toward increasinghomogenizationand the reduction of geographical differences.capitalist economic growth. overly abstracted. The opposition between dominantcenters of production.1980 SOCIO-SPATIAL DIALECTIC 221 turnrequires sectoral and/orregional differentiation. crucial in the further developmentof Marxist spatial theory and practice.and seeks to maintainregional or. Several important contributions have been made in thisdirection over the past two decades. op.As a result. Thus.as a hierarchicalstrucpears.The accumulation of capital itselfproduces developmentand underdevelopment as mutuallydetermining momentsof the uneven and combined movementof capital. Mandel asserts. (Emphasis in original. more broadly. dependent. Take. Whatis beingarguedhere is not simplythat capitalist development is geographicallyuneven. At the same time. This role reversalof regionsis a source of new regionalcrises and deserves intensivestudy. In Mandel's conceptualizationof late capitalism. incapable of fully comprehending (and changing) the history of the capitalist mode of production.236 on Sun. 85.p. from tureof different levels of productivity arising fromthe unequal developmentof states.cit. decline of New Englandbeing a good example.) 36 Also important in late capitalismare renewedefforts at regional underdevelopment in advanced capitalist withthe current countries. the actual growth process of the capitalistmode of production is not accompanied by any effective equalization in the rates of profit(or in the organiccompositionof capital):35 Thus even in the "ideal case" of a homogeneous beginning. forsome geographicalunevennessis the resultofeverysocial process. The NorthWillRise Again (Boston: Beacon Press.to specifymore clearlyhow it relates to the expanded reproductionof capitalism.336The entire capitalist system thus apits origins. which he presentsas the deeper conflictive relationunderlying the center-periphery structure. Much more workis needed in unravelingthe natureand implicationsof these interlinkedcontradictions. the analysis of centeror core-periphery relations.183.extended reproduction and accumulation of capital are still synonymous withthejuxtapositionand constantcombination of developmentand underdevelopment. branches of industry. regions. It is fundamentallyhomologous to the vertical structure of social class. intensifies. and nondialectical Marxism. footnote11.and firms.the combinationof rapid growth in some sectors with underdevelopment in others. The in the capitalisteconomy is a neclack of homogeneity laws of motionof capessary outcomeof the unfolding ital itself.
38 duced by ImmanuelWallerstein. and costs of variable capital (e.183.between regions which differ significantly along these lines and." BritishJournalof Sociology. are shaped by an exploitativerelationshiprooted in control over the means of productionand sustainedby an appropriationof value by a dominantsocial class. 118-23. "The WorldSystemPerspective on the Social Sciences.236 on Sun.ed. from local. See also Wallerstein's The Modern World-System(New York: Academic Press. the geographicaltransfer even geographical-developmentresults in a in labor productivity. 1974). but also as a process operating at a sinprimarily gle scale." one of class (bourgeois vs. this group ofschol- Wallersteinthus goes further toward an explicitrecognition of the structural bases of the socio-spatial dialectic than the underdevelopmenttheorists. see Andre Gunder Frank. SOJA June and labor that definesthe capitalistmode of productionitself. Class strugglearises from increasing consciousness of theexploitative natureof the combined social and spatial structure of capitalismand is aimed at a simultaneoustransformation of both. One of the reasons why no solid theoretical foundationhas been established forthe corehas been the failureto periphery relationship mechaclarifythe workingsof its underlying of value.exploitation.Amongotherthings. periphery). 1979). Celso Furtado. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1973). organiccompositionof capital. wage rates them. "The De38 40 An excellentcollectionof Wallerstein'sessays has recentlybeen published as The Capitalist World-Economy (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press. pp. Vol. has been the source of great confusion and criticismsurrounding the school of "underdevelopment" and "dependency" theorists. between core and peripheralareas.222 EDWARD W. regional differentiation rates of profit. pp." Monthly Review. pp.Exchange work presenting a Marxistperspectiveon the tween different core-periphery relationship has been pro. Unnism. even in the absence of direct exchange.82.In this sense." in Charles Wilbur. The Geographical Transfer of Value velopment of Underdevelopment. After positingwhat appears to be a dialectical relationship between social (class) and spatial (core-periphery) the spatial strucstructures. of the capitalistsystem. "The Concept of External Dependence in the Study of Underdevelopment.40 Wallerstein depicts the capitalistworld systemas revolving around two basic "dichotomies.Not only was exploitation seen as almost entirelya territorial process. 39 Gunder Frank has openlyaccepted thispointof view in his recentwork. proletarian)and the other of "economic specialization" withina spatial hierarchy (core vs.g. 17-31. The Political Economy of Development and Underdevelopment (New York: Random House. if you will. Althoughthis international process of is exceptionallyimportant underdevelopment in the historical emergence of a capitalist world system. but ultimately steps back in a manner which parallels the treatment of the urban problematic by Castells and Harvey.it must be understoodin conjunction with the vertical conflict between capital and labor and as operant withina hierarchicalstructure whichpenetrates the class relations withinnations as well as between To many observers. ture is subordinatedto the social and viewed of space whichdoes largelyas a manipulation not affect class hierarchies.39 Perhaps the most important contemporary and reproductioncosts) both withinand besocial formations. 18 (1966). 27 (1976).is the interweavingof these two channels of exploitation whichoverlap but are not identicaland create the culturaland politicalcomplexities(and obscurities)of the system. 350-51.Wallerstein is thus able to use the core-periphery as an structure effective but never sucdescriptivemetaphor.Both structures. social and spatial. and inequalityin peripheral capitalist states exclusively in the hands of core countriesand an international divisionof labor based on some formof colonial or neocolonial domination. Failure to make this connection between social and spatial structuressufficiently explicit and to stress the combinationas it operates at multiple theglobal to the levels.. Vol.it has made it possible to respond to the politico-economicpressures of cyclical economic crises by re-arranging spatial hierarchies withoutsignificantly impairing class hierarchies. at the level of relationsbetween nations. their coexistence within a For example. ars appeared to deemphasize class relations and class struggle by placingthe cause of poverty. This content downloaded from 144.pointing to the necessary combination of underdevelopment and class analysis.He then adds that:41 The genius. core and periphery are the spatial expressionsof the same underlying relations of productionwhich define bourgeoisie and proletariat. 41 ImmanuelWallerstein. ceeds in establishingits structuralbasis in Marxisttheory.
fer pricing within multinationalconglomerates.. Los Angeles. Capitalismand Theory(London: Pluto Press.magnifies differences in the relativesize of capital the destruction of surplus in the pethrough riphery via war and the productionof armaments and "waste"-in other words.in conjunctionwith the homologous concentration and centralizationof monopoly capital.183. in the not merelythe rewardof labor but also the periphery. The various forms of what Kidron calls "neutral centralization. the net export of profits.. University 43 Michael Kidron. 46 Amin (1974). 22. op. 95-123. expressed in a transfer of value fromthe periphery to the center. profit marginof local capital. What Kidron calls "positive centralization" is esaccumulation sentiallyequivalentto primitive and involves a directgain to the center without a loss to capital in the periphery. Samir Amin summarizesthe political conthe geographical transtroversysurrounding ferof value in the following way:46 If the relationsbetween the center of the systemand its periphery are relationsof domination.It would mean that the peripherypays for the higherwages. 44 Mandel. Unequal Exchange: A Study of the Imperialism of Trade (New York: Modern Reader."in contrast.to employthe expressionswhichhave become of value fromthe periphery to current?If thistransfer in the the center makes possible a large improvement reward of labor at the center than could have been obtained withoutit. footnote11. It would challenge the basis of worldwide workingclass harmony. Amin and others argue that unequal exchange has become the dominantmechanismin the geographical transfer of value in post-War capitalism. in precapitalistsocial formations. through the transfer of value. should not the world systembe analyzed in termsof bourgeois nationsand proletarian nations." chapter5 in Kidron.has received perhaps the greatestattention in the contemporary literature.This involves what has been called the "brain drain".e.44 "Negative centralization.leads to a differential accumulationand realizationof value. Emmanuel. while peripheral accumulation is distortedand decreased accordingly.. was the chiefformof metropolitan exploitationof the Third World prior to World War II. the transfer directcontrolover peripheralcapital to multinational thetechniqueoftranscorporations. This geographicalcentralizationtakes place in manydifferent ways. i. the emergingdebate over the theory of unequal exchange provides a usefulcontextwithinwhichto discuss the politicalimplications of thegeographicaltransfer of value and the more generalprocess of geographically uneven development. fees. 1973). This content downloaded from 144. "Black Reformism: The Theory of Unequal Exchange. but the end result is clear: accumulation in the center is augmentedby directand indirect transfers of value fromperipheralregions. and idem. and. in particular. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .42 The geographicaltransfer of value thus becomes the basis for the geographicalcentralization and concentration of capital which. the unequal exchange arising from trade in commodities. If this were true. p. Mandel. of California. is this not a reason for national solidaritybetween the bourgeoisie and the proletariatin theirstruggle for national economic liberation? the Implied here is the question as to whether contradiction between bourgeoisie and proletariathas been replaced by one between rich and poor nations. pp. 1980. Accumulation on a WorldScale: A Critiqueof the Theoryof Underdevelopment (New York: Monthly Review Press. between dominant centers and subordinate peripheries. 1974)."the transfer of surplus between capitals with no change in the total. for the labor "aristocracy" and relative social harmonyand well-beingof the core. over "aid" receipts." unpublished doctoral dissertation. creates and reproducescontinuing differences in the relativesize of capital between centers and peripheries. op.1980 SOCIO-SPATIAL DIALECTIC 223 unified world capitalistmarket. the diversion of the peripheral surplus into nonproductiveactivities in terms of the accumulation process. cit. a territorially definedcontradictionarising from uneven geographical development. Unequal Development(New York: Random House. thatthe only alternative for the peripherywould be a bourgeois-proletariatclass alliance aimed at disengagement 45 Arghiri Emmanuel. 1974).82.unequal relations.Mandel argues. royalof ties.43 This direct extractionof surplus profitthroughcolonial tax tributes and plunder. Samir Amin. 42 A more detailed elaboration of these ideas can be Hadjimichalis.It is not possible to present this process in detail here.236 on Sun. Against much criticism. 1972)."The Geographical foundin Constantinos Transferof Value. thinkof the implications.45 Whetherthisclaim can be statistically verifiedor not. cit. etc. footnote 45. ought not the proletariatat the center ally itselfwith its own bourgeoisie to maintain the world status quo? If this transfer reduces.
that spatialconsciousness can be dismissedor casand pracin Marxisttheory ually subordinated spatial relatice. for the most spatial structure part.224 EDWARD W. 24. fundamental thatthe to specifyexplicitly it serves primarily social relations of productionand social forobserved. perhapsmorethan century. the commodity demystified social relations which lie beneath theirideotask logical blanket..e. in my view." he writes. the contradiction is not between the bourgeoisie and the proletariatof each country considered in isolation. SOJA June withthe international fromand confrontation capitalist economy. can be made The two forms of class struggle to appear in conflict.Much the same argumentcan be applied to the global system. op. linkingon the one hand territorial lectivities and. A socio-spatialdialectic is a productiveand appropriatefocus forthe concrete analysis of and for concerted capitalistsocial formations social action.Lefebvre would argue that this is precisely how capitalism has survived.Instead. Among other effects. CONCLUSION Amin (1974). each underdevelopedand exploitedunder capitalist relationsof productionand reproduction. on both the social and spaby transformation tial planes.the has remained.Amin attemptsto resolve the politicalproblemswhichhave become associated with this perspective by reasserting the dominance of the "social plane."are thus on a world scale. people) and shapall agentsof production social and spatialdivision inga simultaneously of labor. The production of space has indeed been socially obfusof capin the development cated and mystified italism. bourgeoisie)class struggle. It is necessary to demystify tionships in much the same way Marx to reveal the form.Thus the transformation of capitalism can occur only of a the combinationand articulation through horizontal(peripheryvs. But whenterritorial consciousness is based on the exploitative nature of capitalist relations of production and reproduction. but between the "147 worldbourgeoisieand the worldproletariat. It is no wonder that any has met intimation of such an interpretation counterargument among Marxist withforceful scholars. especially with the maidentitiesunder bournipulationof territorial geois nationalism. that characterized Harvey's evaluation of Lefebvre. been necgone beyond what has historically revisionismand is essary to resist distorting the diabeginningto restrainunproductively lectical materialistanalysis of human spatial organization. a pattern which could choke off the necessary growth of Marxist spatial analysis in its infancy. on the other. the socio-spatialdialecticis notaimed at submerging class analysis or elevatingspace per se to the level of a "scientificsubject" in Marxist science or presentingthe organizationof space as an autonomous structurewith regard to relationsof production." "The characteristic of capitalsocial contradictions ism. center) and vertical (workingclass vs.and not on parochialism and emotional attachment to place. that is. p. This does not mean. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . but now expressed at the global scale. any otherindividualin the twentieth has cogentlyincorporatedthe social productionof space intoMarxisttheoryand practice. cit.a mere reof a deliberately despatialized concept flection This content downloaded from 144. one step backward. it is class consciousness. and this has allowed it to be used 47 againstthe class struggle. Herein we have the same two steps forward.a generalworking class.82. Amin resolves it in favor of the social. As an analyticalfocus. externalized and incidental. This may be the primary of Marxist spatial analysis.regionalism.183. thema fundamental containwithin the position of horizontal structureaffecting (i. Ratherthan confrontingthe dialectical relationship between the social and spatial planes. footnote45.I argued thatthe socio-spatialdialectic was expressed in practice in the formof a two-front struggle over productionand consumptioniscolsues. provocative I have presenteda deliberately pattern rigidifying response to an increasingly on urban and regional in the recentliterature political economy.as Marx himself verticalvs.this has and dismissal of the led to a misinterpretation of such Marxistscholcontributions important ars as Henri Lefebvrewho. In the developmentof Marxism. mationsin general. In my earlier discussion of the urban spatial problematic.and localism. however. While retainingan emphasis on the geoof value and the center-pegraphicaltransfer ripherystructure. of assigning it too fear of fetishizing in mapowerfuland autonomousan influence terial historyand society has.236 on Sun.Indiscriminate space.
But untilthe productionof space sense of originating ative structures (e. whichmay varyin different social formations it will tend to remain as more apparent than and at different historicalconjunctures. at the same time.There "real.Indeed.description.g. 2 Feb 2014 13:34:06 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . is taken one step further by suggesting thatthe verticaland hor. Marxistanalysis. over the other in all concrete historicaland not be detained by the reassertionof antispageographicalcircumstances.mains incomplete. the relationbetween la. in the an at least superficially for in the same set of gener.82.236 on Sun. however. homologous.e." The social-spatial dialectic social and spatial structures-theinterplay bethus representsa call for the reinclusion of tween the social and territorial division of lasociallyproduced space in Marxistanalysis as bor-should be a central issue in concrete something more than an epiphenomenon. in alism.into the mode of by the other in a complex interrelationship productionitself. the his.and especially into praxis.intothebasic definitions oftherelations thateach shapes and is simultaneously shaped and forces of production.1980 SOCIO-SPATIAL DIALECTIC 225 of the "social. There may be some willizontal expressionsof the relationsof produc.183..is rooted more deeply into historicalmateribor and capital). and dialectically linked.ingness to accept the appearance of a sociotion under capitalism(i.." as epiphenomenalratherthan transSuch a task lies ahead and should is no permanentand rigid dominance of one formational. torical developmentof the dialectic between This content downloaded from 144. This attemptat critical spatial analysis reThe argument. relationsof class) spatial dialectic in specific circumstancesas useful framework are.tial dogmatism.
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