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Will internationalization be enough to build peace?

Denise Pumain
Traduction de Marie Diebold
Cet article est une traduction de :
L’internationalisation suffit-elle pour construire la paix ?
Autre(s) traduction(s) de cet article :
¿La internacionalización es suficiente para construir la paz?

Texte intégral

  • 1 After 1875, 1889, 1931 et 1984

1This year, geographers from all over the world are coming to Paris to celebrate the centenary of the IGU, their largest international organization. Books published in French have already told the story of the international congresses of geography, which began in 1871, well before the creation of this institution (Pinchemel, 1972; Robic et al. 1996). The meeting of geographers is being held for the fifth time in Paris in July 20221. The work that was published on the occasion of the centennial (Kolosov et al., 2022) focuses in most of its chapters on issues related to internationalization.

2Centenarians lend themselves to taking stock. Most are quite optimistic about the resilience of a discipline that has weathered many conflicts and challenges to its conceptual and methodological foundations. By ensuring the sharing of knowledge and by militating for an education open to the world, geography can boast of having helped the advancement of conceptions more favorable to the peace of societies, which cannot exonerate it from having also helped wars, colonizations and many other enterprises of domination.

3Can geography today help to fight against the dystopias of domination that I analyzed in my previous editorial? It seems to me that its most interesting function consists in making people conceive of peace from a multi-scale perspective, in space and time, and not only as a question of geopolitics centered on relations between states. Geographical criticism can thus help to produce, through its multi-scalar investigations, advances towards situations of non-violence, for a wide variety of types of conflicts. Including that of each person struggling with their own contradictions!

4Across the journals, the most cited emergencies for our century of the Anthropocene concern the tensions and conflicts linked to climate change, or threatening, according to the vulgate of our hyper individualized societies, the protection of all people designated as belonging to minority groups (sometimes even a majority, in the case of women...). Is it enough to denounce these tensions in order to erode the constraints exerted on our lives at different scales by all sorts of hegemonies, cultural or technological, those of traditions and past identities as well as those invented by algorithmic arbitrariness?

  • 2 « pratiquer une écoute profonde par-dessus les barrières de la différence pour commencer à apprendr (...)

5Alongside reflections linking geography and peace, still largely rooted in classical geopolitics and Anglo-Saxon culture, such as those of Megoran and Dalby in the journal Geopolitics (2018), the new Series F of the journal Environment and Planning has invited geographers to share their vision of the future for the discipline. Several authors urge us to fight marginalization processes (Sheppard 2022), call for greater attention to ethics (Howitt 2022)2, and advocate freeing academic publishing from the capitalist maneuvers of large publishers (Liu et al. 2022). This is timely. A number of francophone geography journals have come together to share their editorial experience and to try to make their work better known internationally. They will report on this at the Paris Congress, as well as discuss the options of open science, on July 20, in a round table where Christine Kosmopoulos is the guest speaker. However, let there be no mistake about the importance of the event: numerically, with some 2500 participants, the Sorbonne will bring together far fewer people than the congress of American geographers, which gathers, each year, two or three times more!

July 1st, 2022

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Howitt R. (2022) Ethics as first method: Reframing geographies at an(other) ending-of-the-world as co-motion. Environment and Planning F: Philosophy, Theory, Models, Methods and Practice, Vol 1(1) 82–92.

Kolosov, V., García-Álvarez, J., Heffernan, M., & Schelhaas, B. (eds) (2022) A Geographical Century. Springer Nature International, Switzerland.

Liu W. Cheng H., Han X. (2022) Rebuilding Geography for the 21st century through disciplinary reunification and social engagement. Environment and Planning F: Philosophy, Theory, Models, Methods and Practice, Vol. 1(1) 114–124.

Nick Megoran & Simon Dalby (2018) Geopolitics and Peace: A Century of Change in the Discipline of Geography, Geopolitics, 23:2, 251-276

Pinchemel Ph. (ed) (1972) La géographie à travers un siècle de congrès internationaux. Union Géographique Internationale, Commission Histoire de la Pensée Géographique. Caen.

Robic MC; Briend AM; Rössler M (eds) (1996). Géographes face au monde. L’union géographique internationale et les congrès internationaux de géographie. Éditions de l’Harmattan, Paris, Montréal

Sheppard E. (2022) Geography and the present conjuncture. Environment and Planning F: Philosophy, Theory, Models, Methods and Practice, Vol. 1(1) 14–25.

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1 After 1875, 1889, 1931 et 1984

2 « pratiquer une écoute profonde par-dessus les barrières de la différence pour commencer à apprendre une appartenance commune avec des personnes diverses au fil du temps » (“transforming chaotic commotion to ethical co-motion invites deep listening across barriers of difference to begin the skills of learning to belong together in place with diverse others over time”)

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Denise Pumain, « Will internationalization be enough to build peace? », Cybergeo: European Journal of Geography [En ligne], Éditoriaux, mis en ligne le 08 juillet 2022, consulté le 22 septembre 2023. URL :

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