Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography

For a Special Issue on

Debating ‘development’ in economic geography: global, decolonial and alternative visions

Manuscript deadline
22 April 2024

Cover image - Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography

Special Issue Editor(s)

Diana Morales, Geography department, Umeå University
[email protected]

Emil Evenhuis, PBL - Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
[email protected]

Laura Sariego-Kluge, Universidad de Costa Rica
[email protected]

Submit an ArticleVisit JournalArticles

Debating ‘development’ in economic geography: global, decolonial and alternative visions

Going from the unevenness of development and dependencies across space, to the specificities of local and regional development, understanding and explaining development demands a close approximation to time and space. This evolving nature calls for examining the relevance of current dominant theorisations. We believe that this examination is especially relevant under current economic and environmental challenges, and having the methodological and theoretical tools to study socio-economic phenomena embedded in time and space while balancing place specificities with extra-regional networks, the field of economic geography is well situated to take on this challenge.

Timely, this special issue seeks to advance and contribute to the integration of discussions of what continues to be one of the most significant issues of our times: debating development. Development, often understood as progress and economic growth, has been a key concern of a multiplicity of disciplines and policy interventions. Yet, it remains an unfulfilled promise and often comes back to academic and policy circles as an unsolved concern. Postdevelopment theories and other 'alternative' approximations have highlighted the inadequacy of defining development as an homogeneous process of economic growth. Moreover, recent events such as the post-Covid 19 recovery, the volatility of interest rates, inflation, conflicts and wars, persistent poverty and rising inequality, alongside grand challenges such as uneven development, climate change and loss of biodiversity, lay bare the failures of economistic approaches to development.

In recent years we have seen an uptake on research aiming to conceptualise and contextualise development's unfilled promises through debates on left behind places, places that do not matter, and the persistence of uneven development. However, with this special issue we aim to go beyond these contributions and push the agenda forward in two ways. First, by critically engaging with the structures that shape local and regional development, challenging the current foundations of regional studies and economic geography. This means that the special issue contributions will engage with alternative ways to understand and materialise development, such as post-development approaches, diverse economies , the Well-being Agenda and debates about going ‘beyond GDP’, to name some. It also includes social and political movements that have gained momentum and try to construct and offer alternative or decolonial visions of development such as the Foundational Economy, Buen Vivir, Ubuntu, Ecosawaraj, amongst others.

Second, by contributing to the conversation that argues that ‘development’ has stopped being a concern for the Global South, or exclusive of the field of Development Studies. The Global North and South binary is preventing the exchange of knowledge and deepening the hegemonic territorial imaginary of the word. Perspectives on development in the Global North have remained by and large separated from discussions on development in the Global South . One could even argue that postcolonialism has not really been embraced within economic geography and regional studies. Ultimately, our aim is to advance our knowledge about how to understand development under current global challenges, as well as providing tools for creating models and approaches that can emerge from such conceptualisations. This special issue will become a key space for such explorations, opening a conversation between regional studies and geographies that are not very present in the mainstream research, namely, the Global South, postcolonial debates and feminist critiques.

To summarise, this special issue will challenge one of the core notions of economic geography and regional studies, proposing alternative conceptualisations. It will harness the opportunities of an exchange between research coming diverse geographies to give an impetus to the development of postcolonial, feminist and, in general, alternatives (to economic) approaches to ‘development’.

We welcome original manuscripts based on theoretical explorations or empirical analyses that cover the following topics (but are not limited to):

Alternative economies

Feminist approaches to development

Decolonial theories on development

Left behind places

The foundational economy


Wellbeing and beyond GDP

Submission Instructions

We welcome original manuscripts based on theoretical explorations or empirical analyses. Please note that we will follow the same criteria described for all authors submitting to the journal. Basic criteria include (please check the links provided for further information ):

    • The papers should contain between 6000 and 9000 words; excluding tables, references, figure captions and endnotes.
    • Use Times New Roman font in size 12 with double-line spacing. Margins should be at least 2.5cm. Include an abstract no longer than 150 words and 4 -5 keywords. S
    • Papers may be submitted in any standard format, including Word and LaTeX. Figures should be saved separately from the text
    • Please bear in mind the scope of the journal when preparing the manuscript. Geografiska Annaler B publishes articles covering theoretical and empirical aspects of human, social and economic geography. It aims to address and contribute to theories, debates and state of the art of human geography.
    • Prior submission to the journal, we have set additional dates for the authors to submit their manuscripts directly to the special issue editors, to provide feedback and ensure coherence in the special issue. Please email your manuscripts to [email protected]. See below for dates.
    • When submitting, remember to select the option special issue, and select ‘Debating “development” in geography and regional studies: global, decolonial and alternative visions’.

Subject to the journal’s timelines, we expect the special issue to be published by spring 2025.


Submission to editors: 19 February 2024

Editors provide feedback: 18 March 2024

Deadline for submission to journal: 22 April 2024

Submission to editors with changes suggested after peer review: 2 weeks before the journal’s submission deadline.

Editors provide feedback on reviews: 1 week before the journal’s submission deadline.

Deadline for submission of reviewed manuscripts: As established by the journal.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article