Talk:David Harvey

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Good article. Could perhaps do with being a little less hagiographic. Icundell 19:08, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

This was deliberate, when I started it. Nice to see that after a year, 80% of it is intact. SB

I know David Harvey best for his work as an urban theorist - would it be okay to add him into this catagory too? - br

I added the blurb about A Brief History of Neoliberalism in the fifth paragraph as I just read the text and felt that it should be present in the article. Matcoz

Last paragraph: The University of Texas is generally taken to mean the Austin campus (to which the linked article pertains). Brian Berry, however, is at the University of Texas at Dallas (but was previously at Chicago, Carnegie Mellon and Harvard).

What is with the last part, as marxism has faded recently.

As one of the thousand or so people unable to fit into the lecture theatre when David spoke at LSE recently I deleted the "interest in Marxism has faded recently" bit and replaced it with a reference to how popular his lectures on Capital are. ChristopherFraser

Are there any Geographers who are not famous?[edit]

Yet another puff for an obscure academic. Wikipedia appears to be inundated with this kind of thing - 'I touched the hem of His garment, and He made me whole' - particularly as regards geographers. Has someone decided to put all the outpouring of their mutual admiration society on Wikipedia? We should be told. 15/9/06

Hey, I coughed recently, and a friend told me the noise it made sounded like 'geographee'. Can someone now write me up as a famous geographer? VS 8th October 2006

I'm working on it right now, in furtherance of my BAPPP qualification (see Discussion about Derek Gregory). 02-11-06

I didn't realize "fame" was the requirement to be included in wikipedia, virtually all academics are obscure. In the grand scheme of things, the most famous intellectuals around are still obscure compared to say, Britney Spears, so should we just only include the famous?...11.30.06

If 'fame' is not the criterion for a wikipedia entry, then why are some academics but not others given write-ups as if they were 'famous'? The point concerns not those written-up in this manner, but those who do the writing-up. What do the latter hope to gain from this client-like behaviour (on which see the discussion about Michael J. Watts)? 02.12.06

Fair enough, the write ups could be better and less obsequious. The Watts entry is particularly horrid. Both of these geographers, while not particularly famous, are influential among geographers and non-geographers alike. The Harvey entry here isn't as fawning as the Watts entry (which should be scrapped and re-written), but could be more critical. Nevertheless, the intellectual influence of both these authors (Harvey especially) is such that the question of their inclusion in wikipedia should be beyond discussion.

Nothing is ever 'beyond discussion'. You’ve missed the point, which is the way ‘fame’ (or ‘influence’) is generated and reproduced. As is clear from the discussion about Watts, the writer of that entry is responsible not just for sycophantic reviews of books edited by Watts but also for similarly fawning entries about other geographers holding senior academic positions. The discussion about Watts details the errors made by the same wikipedia writer in attributing to geographers the critique of post-development that was in fact made earlier by non-geographers. What all this suggests is that ‘fame’ or ‘influence’ is an effect of unwarranted – and in this particular instance, inaccurate – puffery of senior academics by subordinates in the same discipline. 02.12.06

I agree that it is possible for both fame and influence (two distinct concepts) to be generated through wikipedia entries, although it is highly unlikely. Your beef seems to be with the discipline of geography as a whole, where even its most influential figures are unworthy of an entry, with all such entries being merely "puff" pieces.

Again, you are wrong. As my reference to non-wikipedia materials (book reviews) demonstrates, the problem is much wider in scope: wikipedia is merely one particular manifestation of this. My beef, as you so inelegantly put it, is not with geographers per se but with academics who now aspire to celebrity status, and either on their own account or as a result of action by clients, are involved - either directly or indirectly - in self-promotion. Part of this involves making claims to have been the first to criticize this or that wrong theory that ignore earlier critiques which did the same. In this geographers do seem to feature prominently: perhaps it is just the one geographer responsible for a rather large number of sycophantic entries in wikipedia about his senior colleagues, a fawning approach that applies also to his non-wikipedia pieces of puffery, of which there are many. It is a problem, and will not be defined out of existence by claims about the intrinsically worthy nature of those puffed in this manner. The two things - clients composing puffs about senior academics, and the inflated reputation of the latter - are connected. 04.12.06

I don't know how any of you can be debating whether David Harvey deserves a Wikipedia entry or not! Come on - this is DAVID HARVEY. Do you know anything about this field? 19/10/2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

You forgot to sign your name, David Harvey.... 05/11/2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 5 November 2009 (UTC)


So...when is it a piece a piece of "puff" and when is it a legitmate entry? That is the original issue raised here and in the Watts discussion. Should the Harvey entry be deleted or not? How about the entry on Marx? That reads like a fairly fawning entry to me. If your beef (sorry, I'm American, we're not so elegant over here) is with, as you concisely put it, "puffery", what are the standards for this?...12/4/06

You might start by asking what the purpose of these fawning wikipedia entries is. Alternatively, you could question the epistemology that underwrites them. Rather than focusing on a person, which immediately takes the entry into the territory of celebrity, in the process reproducing academic hierarchy, there could be a focus instead on ideas, where an individual is identified as one among many who have contributed to a process of intellectual formation. Such an approach has the additional advantage of moving away from the pervasive concept of academic-as-hero (carving ideas out of the ether) that informs these kinds of sycophantic presentation. Intellectual formation is never simply a case of one individual contribution, but a synthesis of knowledge generated by many. Recognition of this fact would also be a useful beginning. 04.12.06

Two additional points: being the ‘the world’s most cited academic geographer’ means nothing, in the sense that we do not know what is said by those who cite Harvey. It may simply be that ‘he is wrong’, or that ‘these ideas are not new’. And second, his being ‘credited with bringing back class…in the critique of global capitalism’ ignores the fact that for a lot of social scientists (especially non-geographers) the issue of class never actually went away. 26/12/06

Wikipedia isn't concerned with academics or epistemology, nor does it have a concept of what such things are, nor is it seeking one. Wikipedia is a database of information that humans have been thought to seek due to its references in secondary sources, that is pretty self evident. Perhaps you could focus less on David Harvey's scholarly ability and more on your own? Just a thought. (talk) 21:17, 5 August 2011 (UTC)


"It has been cited widely (over 1000 times, by 2005, in a discipline where 50 citations are rare), and it makes a significant contribution to Marxian theory by arguing that capitalism annihilates space to insure its own reproduction."
Shouldn't it be "MarxIST" instead? I may be wrong but I've never heard the word 'Marxian'...Zigzig20s 00:07, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Another star-struck geographer giving vent to his/her fan-dom. The argument about capitalism and space attributed to Harvey has in fact been made earlier – at least twice. First, at the start of last century by Rosa Luxemburg in her work on how capitalism occupies and changes in its own image non-capitalist social formations. And second, by Frobel et al., in their book The New International Division of Labour (published in German in 1977, and in English in – I think – 1981), who show how capital was engaged in outsourcing production to ‘off-shore factories’ in the so-called Third World countries where labour-power was cheaper. Geographers who don’t bother to check the lineage of a discussion as conducted by non-Geographers are always going to fall into this kind of trap – thinking that it was someone in their own subject who ‘discovered’ an issue and/or initiated the debate about it. Jong the Tippler, 17th January 2007.

Tim Cresswell, in Place, a short introduction, mentions David Harvey's marxist take on the notion of 'place'. So did my lecturer. I was not questioning that. However, does the word "marxian" actually exist? Zigzig20s 16:40, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Very depressing, but not surprising, to learn that statements made by institutional authority (‘my lecturer’ – how quaint!) remain unchallenged. You are asking the wrong question: rather, it is the validity of claims made by some geographers (no matter where these are positioned in the academic hierarchy) about the theoretical ‘discoveries’ made by other geographers that should be examined. Kip the Jacqueur, 17th January, 2007.

Not to the point. This subsection is about the word 'marxian'. If you wish to hold forth about something else, feel free to edit another subsection. Anyway, should anyone know if this word exists, please enlighten me. If no one does, I shall change it to 'Marxist'. Zigzig20s 01:43, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

It is precisely the point. If you want an answer to what is anyway a rather pointless query, along the lines of how-many-angels-fit-on-the-head-of-a-pin, then why don't you go and look it up in a book? The more important question is the one geographers seem unwilling to address: are they correct to attribute to one of their number the ideas actually presented by non-geographers a long time ago. In other words, are they the 'discoveries' that geographers think they are. Jac le tippleur, 18th January 2007.

I hate to have to point out the obvious to Le Tippoir, but Frobel et al.'s book was published AFTER Harvey's Social Justice and the City, where his argument about the "spatial fix" first appeared...More on Luxemburg to come...

Welcome back, el zalamero, and many congratulations on your BAPPP. But as usual you are wrong. On the issue of ‘spatial fix’, Jessop (Spatial fixes, temporal fixes, and spatio-temporal fixes) observes that Harvey ‘first discussed “spatial fixes” at length in an essay on Hegel, von Thunen and Marx (1981/2001)’. So the concept emerges after, not before, Frobel at al. What we are talking about here, anyway, is not the ‘spatial fix’ per se but the claim that Harvey was the first to come up with the idea that international capitalism occupies and changes in its own image non-capitalist social formations – the argument about the internationalization of capitalism (or globalization), in other words. The focus of Social Justice and the City is urbanization, not the outsourcing of production to take advantage of cheap labour in the Third World (both rural and urban) and its economic logic in terms of Marxist theory. As Harvey himself admits (NLR July/August 2000) ‘[w]hat I realized after Social Justice and the City was that I didn’t understand Marx, and needed to straighten this out’. That he now talks about global capitalist restructuring in Marxist terms should not obscure the fact that, more accurately, this was a process discussed and conceptualized initially by Frobel et al. and Rosa Luxemburg. Jip le Bongleur, 29/01/07

No less than three attempts at spelling (‘Luxembourg’, ‘Luxemberg’) before you got the name of Rosa Luxemburg right. Oh dear, oh dear, just a hint of unfamiliarity here. Presumably, now that you have had time to rush out and enquire as to how to contact this Rosa Luxemburg (‘At which university does she teach? Is she a geographer? Is she a professor? Is she famous?’), where are the fruits? Bong le Jippleur, 08/02/07

Having found out that Rosa Luxemburg did indeed make the case all those years ago that geographers erroneously now attribute to Harvey, el zalamero seems to have given up. Jong le Pipleur, 24/02/07.

There is a decent account of the distinction between 'marxist' and 'marxian' at the Marxian economics page. 27/02/07


Any source to the school he attended? It was listed as Chatham Grammar School for Boys (and included in that article) but this was changed by an IP. Gary Kirk [Talk] 09:53, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Again, who cares? Is there no end to this attempt to construct a personality cult around obscure academics in general, and academic geographers in particular? MT, 31 March 2007

I see that someone changed Harvey's label from "geographer" to "social theorist", his/her explanation has something to do with how long it took to find the entry, bizarre. Anyone even remotely familiar with his work knows geography has been central to his research. The "social theorist" (which is vague and unhelpful anyway) should be reverted back to "geographer", I can't seem to do this though. Does anyone know how to change the top heading of an entry?

I was wondering if anyone knows the source, reference of the part that states "the condition of postmodernity" is the independents 1 of 50 most important non fictional books since 1945?

thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jenz.87 (talkcontribs) 13:26, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Its here: Boyd Tonkin, "Fifty Books to Change Your Life," The Independent,(London), Apr 23, 1998. AW, 11 Feb 2008

No doubt it was there, but sadly no longer. The Independent's miserably under-funded online service will be the explanation. Not to be found via my library's expensive online newspaper search service, either. Wingspeed (talk) 17:47, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
One of my university libary's expensive online news search services,, finds 7 articles when searching for Boyd Tonkin in 1998. All 7 happen to be in The Independent, both before and after April 23, but none of them are anything like the article mentioned above. Petershank (talk) 19:09, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:DavidHarvey.JPG[edit]

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Image:DavidHarvey.JPG is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 20:18, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi, apologies for my lack of understanding the full protocol of these talk pages. Somebody brought to my attention this note and just in case it is not solved and needs a bit of clarification I love help if possible. I am the author of the image used, and I chose to release it to the public domain, which when taken from flickr where it was probably hosted meant that it was under a license that only requested recognizing my authorship but allowed all other uses or transformations besides that. I believe that whoever uploaded the image to wikicommons took care already of adding that date. But in essense the picture is surely whithin the realm of fair use, whether it needs another data attached to it in order to comply with Wikipedia standards I don't know. If you need more details from my part please just let me know.

Daniellobo (talk) 00:18, 15 May 2010 (EST)

This is a misunderstanding. The image used now is File:David Harvey.jpg. File:DavidHarvey.JPG was deleted in 2008. --Beao 20:12, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Requested move 2011[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved per unopposed request. - GTBacchus(talk) 17:38, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

David Harvey (social theorist and geographer)David Harvey (geographer) — Since the article has been moved several times in the past without any discussion, I want to settle this: David Harvey is, first and foremost, a geographer, both by profession and influence. It's also right that he's a "social theorist", and that some of his later works are less "geographical" in approach than his earlier ones; however, for me, this is generally too much a vague, non-specific term to be used as a disambiguation (This is a general argument. I don't know of any other "social theorist" named David Harvey who could be notable). In the past, someone argued that using just "geographer" in the title wouldn't be suffice, as not everyone knows that he's a geographer (Quote: "I've just spent about an hour looking for this page, only to find (...) he's listed as a bloody geographer"). Sry, but somebody's missing knowledge isn't really a good rationale to me. Either way, using both terms in the article's title is, imo, the worst option, as it makes the title longer than necessary, and nobody would search for this in the first place. --Axolotl Nr.733 (talk) 11:47, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

"is cited in..."[edit]

Is it really necessary to mention how often Harvey is cited?In my opinion this is no criteria for the quality of his work. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:34, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Harvey is a social geographer[edit]

I disagree that Harvey is most well known as a geographer. His influence in popular culture (where most readers of wikipedia come from) know him best for his social criticism. His social criticism and geography are intertwined, so I modestly suggest that we should refer to him as a 'social geographer'. I will be bold and make the move; until there is some discussion here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ValenShephard (talkcontribs) 13:58, 4 September 2011

Social geography (an article I've admittedly left half-finished) is usually considered a subfield of human geography in the English-speaking world, so your attempt to catch his wide influence by a single phrase might actually result in the opposite. Personally, I've never considered him a "social geographer" in this narrow sense, and when performing a web search on this combination of words, I find a lot of results, but not a single one by anyone I would consider to be a "social geographer" him-/herself, so it seems to be a label from outside the field. Interestingly, those who dub/dubbed themselves "social geographer" (for example, Emrys Jones, Anne Buttimer or David Ley) are barely called that by their colleagues, either (I realise there generally is a big difference between them and David Harvey in total citation numbers and especially those from outside of geography, but still...). It seems social geographers know best about the ambiguous nature of the word. I'm afraid that the attempt to find a "catch-it-all phrase" is exactly why we're discussing such vague terms here, just like "social theorist" used before. To put it briefly, I'm of the opinion that the article's name should, first and foremost, lead to disambiguation in the shortest way still describing the article's subject in a sufficiently precise manner. Imo, that's what "geographer" does. --Axolotl Nr.733 (talk) 19:28, 3 October 2011 (UTC)


Man, what a hagiography this article is!-- (talk) 13:34, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 2013[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: move. -- tariqabjotu 05:54, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

David Harvey (geographer)David Harvey – Primary topic, having 10x more views than the second most viewed David Harvey (footballer) and 4x more than all the other articles linked from the dab page. Describing him as geographer in the article title is also somewhat confusing given his notability as social theorist, as confirmed by the move log. Relisted. BDD (talk) 22:59, 17 June 2013 (UTC) ELEKHHT 09:55, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

He looks at Marx and Marxism through a geographical lens, but the majority of his more famous work is not explicitly a contribution to geography, it's explicitly a contribution to Marxism. The Limits to Capital, The Enigma of Capital, A Companion to Marx's Capital, The Condition of Postmodernity, The New Imperialism, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, etc. Wetdogmeat (talk) 00:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Sure, the point I was making was that is not correct to say that "his books have nothing to do with geography". --ELEKHHT 00:23, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Clearly primary, and 'geographer' is reductive at best and potentially confusing at worst, as he is more publically known as a Marxist theorist. Wetdogmeat (talk) 17:39, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Clear primary topic. --NSH001 (talk) 16:19, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose. So many other notable biographies by the same name is an important but not quite compelling point. 4x more hits than all others combined is compelling (not that I trust hit counts), but I have concern that this man is now at the peak of his notability, and that on retirement interest will decrease, and we will later be wanting to reverse this change. "(Geographer)" seems OK, as it seems the leading point of notability, just not his current strongest interest, though I admit that it feels unsatisfying. I may prefer "(academic)" or "(professor)". --SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:52, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
    Your argument above is based on speculations about the future. Even so, it is not convincing to presume that a former footballer's notability would increase over time while the notability of an already significant author would decrease. Would suggest to check out Google books to make a more informed call about the likely legacy of each David Harvey. -ELEKHHT 22:01, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.