IGU commission C20.32

Steering committee of the commission

The steering committee of the commission is chaired by Borna Fuerst-Bjeliš and has eight members from five continents.

Link to the Steering committee page

The mission of the Commission

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.

Given that, during the last four years, inequalities and marginality have increased instead of receding, the commission intends to continue to follow the objectives that were in its focus already in this period, that is:

1. To further the understanding of marginality and the processes of marginalization in our globalized world, through the study and analysis of the forces responsible for the dynamics and structures of marginality at various scales. They will include, among other variables, issues of ethnicity, technology, gender, social structure and the environment.

2. To analyze marginality as the result of power relations within societies, more precisely of human perceptions and decisions, leading to the understanding of the role of the various agents in those processes, and their response to prevailing conditions.

To develop comparative approaches in order to identify various types of marginality and to put them into perspective and assess their role in an increasingly globalized world. Emphasis in particular needs to be placed on the experience of the Global South.

To study policy/institutional/community responses to economic and societal problems where we can find marginal people – especially where they form clusters, at various scales in relation to local, regional and societal development; this includes to study human responses to global change, and their implications for marginalization.

The development of theoretical and methodological tools of understanding of marginality in itself, as well as for the processes of marginalization and demarginalization.

To improve the role of research, education and teaching in decision-making/politics in order to reduce inequalities et and marginality.

The use and development of appropriate theory and methodology is to be involved in each of the above.

ob ribniku
Zimbabwe: handicraft

Achievements for 2016-2020

1) Number of members

2) Conferences and scientific meetings

3) Publications

4/5) Networking

1) Number of members.

Our Commission in January 2020 counted 352 members, an increase of 15% from 306 members in December 2015, including 36 from developing Asia and 13 from Africa.

2) Conferences and scientific meetings

We have held six scientific activities (each can count as an achievement): 2016 (2), 2017 (1), 2018 (1), 2019 (2)

3) Publications

We started to edit a book series, published by Springer: “Perspectives on Geographical Marginality”. Since 2016, we have published four books. Each can also be seen as one achievement in itself.

4) Networking

We have published two Newsletter per year from 2016 to 2019 (total = 8) + several Newsflash bulletins to keep in touch with our members, depending of the needs.

5) Networking between commissions

In 2018 (Quebec), we have successfully organised panels with the Commission on “Regional development” and more talks were done with this commission and also the commission on “Geography of governance” for the 2020 conference (Romania) and congress (Istanbul). For now, these conversations and potential organisations have been postponed to n2021.

Planned activities for 2020-2024

1) Enlarging the participation of geographers from the Developing World

2) Conferences and scientific meetings

3) Publications

4/5) Networking

1) One of the Commission’s special efforts is and will be to enlarge the participation of Geographers from the Developing World

This has been possible to a limited extent only when the IGU provided the commissions with adequate funding. Any reduction of these subsidies will make such initiatives impossible in the future. Moreover, in this wake, due to the lack of funding, it is also quite difficult for colleagues of poorer countries (like Lao PDR, Cambodia, or sub-Saharan countries) to organise any scientific meeting. Our last meeting (2019) in Nepal has helped to enlarge the participation from South Asian countries.

2) Conferences and scientific meetings

We plan to hold seven or eight scientific activities during the next four-year plan.

- 2020: virtual conference, organized by Laval University (Quebec) in December

- 2021: Romania (Commission conference) and Istanbul (IGU congress)

*Note: we also have commitments from Namibia and Bangladesh for commission conferences to be held between 2021 and 2023. The current Covidian pandemic has changed our plans. The next steering committee will make decisions on this matter.

- 2022: Paris (IGU regional congress)

- 2023: Malaysia (Commission conference)

- 2024: Ireland (IGU congress)

3) Publications

Two new books are expected to be published in our Series in 2020 or early 2021. And at least two more are planned for the rest of 2021-2024.

4) Networking between members

We plan to continue to send two Newsletters per year (June and December) as well as several Newsflashes to our members, in order to keep them informed of the various activities organised by the Commission or some of its members.

5) Networking between commissions

We plan to continue the discussions and work with commissions which objectives are similar to our own, depending of the opportunities.