Marginalization, Globalization and Regional and Local Responses

Commission C20.32 Marginalization, Globalization, and Regional and Local Responses

is one of 43 International Geographical Union (IGU) commissions

The mission of the Commission is to research marginality and the processes of marginalization from different perspectives and with a geographical basis. The main focus is to better understand multiscalar relations between the globalization process and how marginality evolves at the local and regional levels. Moreover, we seek to improve our understanding of local and regional responses to different forms of marginality and marginalization processes.

More about C20.32

Great Zimbabwe

The questionnaire about the future of C20.32

Every four years all the IGU Commissions need to apply to extend their terms of operation. This is also an opportunity to reflect on the work and focus of each Commission.

In order to help us determine the future direction of the Commission, we would be grateful if you could please complete the below questionnaire. You can answer even if you are not  (yet) a corresponding member.  

Case Studies from Nepal, Southeast Asia and other regions

This book focuses on the interrelations between nature and humans, in particular on those segments of societies that have been left behind (marginal groups). Nature is both the friend of humans and their adversary, depending on the way people treat and use it. Consequently, the book adopts a wide perspective of marginality: nature that has been marginalized by man (ecological marginality), but also social groups marginalized by politics, economic interests, and value judgements imbedded in culture. Many chapters deal specifically with issues in Nepal, but along with the other chapters with case studies from Southeast Asia and other regions, they demonstrate that the major man-nature problems are the same everywhere and can only be solved by constructive politics through clear regulations, convincing actions and general acceptance. 

Forthcoming events

2023 Regional Studies Association - RSA Annual Conference

14-17 June 2023, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Special session:

SS39: Responding to the Marginalisation of ‘left behind places’ in an era of Local, Regional and Global Uncertainty

Session Organiser: Stanko Pelc, University of Primorska, Slovenia

Submission deadline: 28 February 2023 at 

Session Description:

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated global social and economic inequality levels, induced economic recession and exacerbated political uncertainties which altogether have destabilised the predictability and perceived improvements in human welfare which characterised the last three decades. These processes have forced many communities, places and regions into more pronounced situations of marginalisation – economically, socially, politically and geographically as well as environmentally. A reality now widely associated with the term ‘left behind places’. In this session we will explore evidence of growing marginalisation and its causes as well as debate solutions – drawing on emerging evidence of regional and local response and national and international support where it exists. Papers which explore issues such as the nature and causes of marginalisation, the role of place-based leadership, social capital and the realities of the causes and implications of ‘left behind places’. We conceptualise left behind places as emerging from developmental disruptions and are particularly prevalent in border and cross border regions. In this regards papers which focus on cross border cooperation projects – aiming to foster the cooperation, involve local communities and (re)building regional identities as drivers of regional development), endogenous development and related issues are particularly welcomed. More generally, papers can focus on global, regional or local issues or on multi-scalar issues.

4-7 September 2023, Barcelona, Spain

Session: Landscape and change in marginal regions Code: 01183


Prof. Walter Leimgruber, University of Fribourg/CH (Switzerland), Dr. Stanko Pelc, University of Primorska, Koper (Slovenia) 

Call for abstract open until March 15, 2023

Session description:

Landscape has been a central theme in geography for centuries, albeit with varying interpretations of the word, but it always has a spatial connotation. Although at first glance it looks as if it is an objective term, it has in fact a very subjective component: landscape is perceived by humans and assigned (aesthetic) qualities that will eventually also enter politics. This emerges, for example, in the discussions about wind parks, photovoltaic parks or dams. The sheer necessity of such structures for modern energy supply and the energy transition has to be weighed against the concept of ‘beautiful landscape.’ As with all geographical spaces, inequalities exist - socially, economically, politically and environmentally -, creating landscapes characterised by either privilege or marginalisation. Our interest in this session is in the latter - namely how people and places in landscapes ‘marginal’ to the mainstream cope and respond in an era of change.

The transformation of landscape is therefore an interesting and insightful topic to understand human values and actions. Marginal regions are often left behind in development processes and considered of little interest for investment to improve their situation. However, demarginalization requires the will to go beyond lip service and entails also certain (financial) risks.

This session wants to shed light on the potential of landscape changes in marginal regions.

Session topics:

Papers (in English or French) are invited with a focus on the following topics:

·  Renewable energy and landscape

·  Landscape diversity

·  Perception of marginal regions

·  The role of grassroot movements

·  Policy issues on inequality and marginal regions

Recent events

Centennial UGI-IGU congress

Paris - 18-22 July 2022

The event was organised in venues epitomising the living heart of geography in the city: Sorbonne, Institut de Géographie, Société de Géographie.


Within our Commission, three sessions have been accepted:

Marginalization, globalization, and grands projets agricoles dans les périphéries des Suds : des

logiques adaptées aux transitions actuelles ?

Marginalization, globalization and large agricultural projects in the peripheries of the global South: a

logic adapted to the current transitions?

La valorisation internationale du local au sud de la Méditerranée : entre impasses et recompositions territoriales

International valorization of the local scale in the southern Mediterranean: between deadlock and spatial reconfiguation

Global and regional inequalities. what does the past teach us for the future?

Inégalités globales et régionales : qu’est-ce que le passé nous renseigne pour le futur ?

Thematic session:

The plight of the marginalized women in the developing world.


We invite you to submit your abstracts on the conference website to one of the Commission’s sessions, or to the thematic session, all listed above.

The call for abstracts is now open until January 11th, 2022. When you do so, please send also a copy to the Commission chair and the secretary (links below).


Thank you! Looking forward to meeting you in Paris



Commission's session at 

34th International Geographical Congress

16-20 August, 2021 

Link to session's description



Monday, 9th August 2021

       9.00 –   9.30 Opening ceremony

       9.30 – 11.00 Morning paper session

     11.00 – 11.15 Break

     11.15 – 12.30 Paper session

     12.30 – 13.30 Break

     13.30 – 15.00 Afternoon paper session

     15.00 – 15.15 Break

     15.15 – 16.30 Paper session

     16.30 – 17.00 Conclusions

Tuesday, 10th August 2021

       9.00 – 11.00 Morning paper session

     11.00 – 11.15 Break

     11.15 – 12.30 Paper session

     12.30 – 13.30 Break

     13.30 – 15.00 Afternoon paper session

     15.00 – 15.30 Conclusions

     15.30 – 16.00 Break

     16.00 – 17.00 Business meeting

Please note that this is an interim programme and is subject to change depending on the number of conference registrations.

The full online Conference Programme will be available starting with 15 July 2021.

News from the commission's secretary.

If you want to share some marginalization and globalization related information please contact prof. Walter Leimgruber (secretary) or prof. Borna Fuerst-Bjeliš.