Geographical marginality


International Geographical Union (IGU) has 40 commissions and one of them is the Commission ‘C12.29 Marginalization, Globalization, and Regional and Local Responses’. As it is suggested by its name, the commission deals with the problem of geographical marginality. That was also the core topic of its predecessor commissions and study groups.

There is no simple and certainly no unique answer to what is geographical marginality. Every annual meeting of the commission reveals that there are many different views and no consensus. It almost seems that marginality is something you can feel, but you cannot define. Marginality cannot be defined without putting it into a certain perspective:

  • economic,
  • political and
  • social (including cultural).

Marginality has to be clearly distinguished from peripherality.  Marginal areas may be a part of periphery or even the centre, but “cannot really be attributed to them”.

More about the topic see also at IGU Marginal, IP 6, Working paper Nr. 4 .

Great Zimbabwe

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