Researching spatial injustice – ‘making a difference’Session sponsored by the Geographies of Justice Research Group

Authors Organisations
Type Other
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Jan 2020
EventRGS-IBG Annual Conference 2020 - London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Duration: 01 Sep 202004 Sep 2020


ConferenceRGS-IBG Annual Conference 2020
Abbreviated titleRGS-IBG 2020
CountryUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Period01 Sep 202004 Sep 2020
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This session invites papers on the challenges of ‘making a difference’ with contemporary research on spatial injustice. Spatial justice is broadly understood by scholars as the realisation of spatial aspects of social justice (Léfebvre, 1968; Harvey,1973), as emphasising a content- and values-focused perspective on spatial justice (Pirie, 1983), as the production of space as an act of (in)justice, and a normative commitment to the equitable spatial distribution of resources, services and access as a basic human right (Soja, 2010; Santana Rivas, 2012). ‘Making a difference’ implies the capacity for research on spatial injustice to produce evidence and propose solutions to mitigate the negative societal impacts of spatial inequalities.
Spatial justice is applied increasingly to critique contemporary EU and national public policy positions and actions on issues such as regional development, territorial cohesion, territorial governance, austerity budgeting, public service delivery and environmental protection. The challenge for research in terms of how it can bring about change may be related to how the concept of spatial justice is understood by policymakers; for example, how it is interpreted and applied to shape policy and programme targets at various spatial scales and what drives those interpretations. Challenges may also be methodological; for example, lack of relevant data at appropriate levels and spatial scales, particularly data sources collated by governments; over-reliance by governments on measures such as GDP to assess and respond to need; missing levels of governance from which a degree of experience or expertise in identifying and setting context-specific policy targets would emanate.


  • Spatial justice