MENU

Geoff Mann

Professor, Department Chair
Geography

Areas of Interest:

My teaching and research concern the politics and political economy of capitalism. I am interested in everything about it, theoretically, empirically, and politically, in all its varieties, past, present and future. I teach courses in political economy and economic geography, and sometimes SFU’s human geography foundation class, Our World: Introducing Human Geography (GEOG 100).

Currently, my research has developed along two general, and increasingly intertwined, lines. The first is the historical development and future trajectory of macroeconomic governance (monetary, fiscal and regulatory policy) in the affluent global North. I am particularly interested in the ways that the state attempts to address political-economic and ecological crisis: the policies it develops, the ideas and politics that shape those policies, and the historical and political-economic conditions that make these ideas make sense. This is the focus of In the Long Run We Are All Dead: Keynesianism, Political Economy and Revolution (Verso, 2017), an examination of the past, present and future of Keynesianism and its origins in anxiety concerning the fate of “civilization”. From another angle, it is also the subject of Money and Finance after the Crisis: Critical Thinking for Uncertain Times, edited with Brett Christophers and Andrew Leyshon (of the Universities of Uppsala and Nottingham, respectively). The collection considers how we must rethink the role and meaning of money and finance in modern capitalism in light of the most recent run of crises.

The second theme is closely related: the political economy and politics of climate change. Building on earlier work together, Joel Wainwright of Ohio State University and I wrote Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future (Verso, 2018). The book explores some of the challenges global climate change poses to the contemporary geopolitical order. We are trying to wrestle with the implications of what we call “Climate Leviathan”, an emergent form of liberal-capitalist planetary order we find immanent in the hegemonic model of global climate governance. Working from the fundamental premise that the gravest consequences of climate change will be not only ecological, but also political, we are interested in the range of obstacles this emergent order might face, what form those might take, and what other possibilities might be on the horizon.

Beyond SFU, I am a Senior Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and sit on the editorial/advisory boards of Theory & Event, The Journal of Cultural Economy, Antipode, & Historical Materialism, and the book series Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation (University of Georgia Press) and Economic Transformations (Agenda). At SFU, outside the Geography department, I am associated with the Centre for Global Political Economy, the School for International Studies, and the Morgan Centre for Labour Studies.

I am a long-time research associate of the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and chair of its both its Board of Directors and Research Advisory Committee.

If it’s of interest, please take a look at some of my most recent writing. Much of it is publicly available:

La Boîte de Piketty, Analyse, Opinion, Critique, October 2020.
[English translation]

The Inequality Engine, London Review of Books, June 2020.

Irrational Expectations, Viewpoint Magazine, April 2020.

Introduction: Reclaiming the World After Covid-19, Progressive International, May 2020.
[with David Adler and Thea Riofrancos]

The Age of Climate Authoritarianism is Upon Us, OneZero, January 2020.
[with Joel Wainwright]

Socialism’s Biggest Hero Is a Bourgeois Capitalist, Foreign Policy, December 2019.

It Was Not Supposed To End This Way, Boston Review, August 2019.

Democracy Is a Puzzle, Jacobin, August 2019.

Political Scenarios for Climate Disaster, Dissent, Summer 2019 [with Joel Wainwright].

The State Will Not Save Us, Public Books, Fall 2018 [with Joel Wainwright].
Also appeared as L’Improbable État de la Justice Climatique, at La Vie des Idées.

The Left in a Foxhole, Jacobin, February 2018.

War for Equilibrium, versobooks.com, 2018.

Can We Learn Anything from Keynesianism Right Now? Progress in Political Economy, Fall 2017.

 

Graduate teaching

Graduate students with whom I work study a wide variety of problems, focusing primarily on the political economy of capitalism, especially finance, macroeconomic policy and governance, poverty and unemployment, and the relation between capitalist political economies and climate change. These are the questions I am best suited to help with, and students have taken this work into fields as varied as the fringe financial system in the US, the politics of climate change policy in British Columbia, and the militarization of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro. What they share, however, outside of firm and critical grounding in social and political economic theory, is an emphasis on the distributional tensions, both political and economic, in modern liberal capitalisms. If by any chance you are interested in applying, and especially if you have an interest and background in political economy—for example, feminist economics, history of political economy, macroeconomics, or the political economy of colonialism—please send me an email describing your plans. If possible, please attach a brief writing sample and a little bit about your work and educational background, both of which are of interest to me.

 

Student research

Dania Clarke (M.A. current)

Diandra Oliver (Ph.D. current)

Howard Tenenbaum (PhD current): US Retail Bank Migrations and Deposit-Dollar Concentrations: A Post-Financial Crisis Assessment

Maria Wallstam: The Making of a Middle Class Housing Crisis: The Ideology and Politics of Foreign Real Estate Investment in Vancouver, 2008–2018 (MA thesis, 2019; currently researcher, University of Uppsala)

Liam Fox: Regulating in the Public Interest? Canadian Energy Regulation as an Institutional Fix for Sovereign Legitimacy (MA thesis, 2019; currently PhD student, University of Toronto)

Mark Kear: Fringe Finance and the Regulation of Poverty in North America (PhD dissertation, 2015; currently Asst. Professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Arizona)

Emily LeBaron: Reimagining the Geography of the Favelas: Pacification, Tourism, and Transformation in Complexo do Alemão (MA thesis, 2014; currently Manager, UBC Indigenous Research Support Initiative)

Chloe Brown: The Geography of Climate Change in a Rural Resource-Dependent Town: The Case of McBride, British Columbia (MA thesis, 2012; currently at medical school, University of Toronto)

Emilia Kennedy: Found in Translation: Discourse, Imaginaries, and the Production of Meaning in Planning Urban Sustainability (MA thesis 2010; currently Advisor, Alberta Climate Change Office)

Dawn Hoogeveen: What’s at Stake? Diamonds, Mineral Regulation, and the Law of Free-Entry in the Northwest Territories (MA thesis, 2008; currently postdoctoral fellow at UNBC)

Genevieve Bucher: Implementing Sustainability in Surrey: Amending the East Clayton Neighbourhood Concept Plan (MUrb thesis, 2008; currently Senior Social Infrastructure Planner, City of Vancouver)

Robin Jane Roff: Revolution from the Aisle? Anti-Biotechnology Activism and the Politics of Agricultural Restructuring (PhD dissertation, 2008; currently with the UBC Faculty Association)

Books and Publications:

Geoff Mann, 2007,University of North Carolina Press

Geoff Mann, 2013, AK Press

Geoff Mann, 2017, Verso Books

Geoff Mann, 2017, Wiley-Blackwell

In the Long Run We Are All Dead: Keynesianism, Political Economy and Revolution, London: Verso, 2017.

The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: A Reader’s Companion, London: Verso, 2017.

Brett Christophers, Andrew Leyshon & Geoff Mann (eds.) Money and Finance after the Crisis: Critical Thinking for Uncertain Times, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.

Disassembly Required: A Field Guide to Actually Existing Capitalism, Oakland & Baltimore: AK Press, 2013.

Our Daily Bread: Wages, Workers, and the Political Economy of the American West, Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2007

 

Recent articles  

Haute Finance in the Not-So-Quiet Revolution: Colonialisme Anglo-Saxonne and the Bombing of la Bourse de Montréal, Journal of Cultural Economy (2016)

From Countersovereignty to Counterpossession? Historical Materialism vol. 24, no. 3 (2016): 45–61.

Keynes Resurrected? Dialogues in Human Geography vol. 6, no. 2 (2016): 119–34.*

*Subject of a DHG forum, with responses from Brett Christophers, Jamie Peck, Erica Schoenberger and Eric Sheppard, which includes my response, “My Aunt Sally, or, ‘Our’ Keynes and the Varieties of Keynesianism” (pp. 162–69).

Capital, after Capitalism, in P. Petro & K. Ferguson (eds.) After Capitalism: Horizons of Finance, Culture, and Citizenship, Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2016, pp. 14–25.

Poverty in the Midst of Plenty: Unemployment, Liquidity, and Keynes’ Scarcity Theory of Capital, Critical Historical Studies vol. 2, no. 1 (2015): 45–83.

A General Theory for Our Time: On Piketty, Historical Materialism vol. 23, no. 1 (2015): 106–40.

Climate Change and the Adaptation of the Political, Annals of the Association of American Geographers vol. 105, no. 2 (2015): 313–21 [with Joel Wainwright, Ohio State University].

Climate Leviathan, Antipode 45, 1 (2013): 1–22; see also Solving for X: A Reply to Our Critics, Antipode Foundation [both written with Joel Wainwright, Ohio State University].

 

Earlier papers [with .pdf where possible]

Labour, Distribution, and the Monetary Exception, Capital and Class vol. 37, no. 2 (2013): 196–215.

The “Current Situation”: Marxism, Historicism, and Relative Autonomy, Dialogues in Human Geography 3(1): 45–8.

I, Bourgeois? The Contradictions of Tenured Life in Academia, Line no. 77 (2013): 120–26.

A Race Between Economics and Politics, or, a Liberal Theory of Crisis, Geoforum 50: A1–A4 [editorial].

A review forum on Philip Mirowski’s Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown (Verso 2013), Antipode.

“Capitalism”, “What’s Liberalism?”, and “What’s Neoliberalism?”, in Matt Hern et al. (eds.) Stay Solid! A Radical Handbook for Youth, Oakland & Baltimore: AK Press, 2013.

Release the Hounds! The Marvellous Case of Political Economy, in T. J. Barnes, J. Peck and E. Sheppard (eds.) The New Companion to Economic Geography, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, pp. 59–71.

State of Confusion: Money and the Space of Civil Society in Hegel and Gramsci, in M. Ekers, G. Hart, S. Kipfer and A. Loftus (eds.) Gramscian Geographies, Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2012, pp. 104–20.

Economie$, in Vincent J. Del Casino, Mary E. Thomas, Paul Cloke & Ruth Panelli (eds.) The Companion to Social Geography, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, pp. 72–90.

Value after Lehman, Historical Materialism vol. 18, no. 4 (2010): 172–88.

Hobbes' Redoubt: Toward a Geography of Monetary Policy, Progress in Human Geography vol. 34, no. 5 (2010): 601–25.

Colletti on the Credit Crunch, New Left Review II/56 (2009): 119–27. [.pdf]

Should Political Ecology Be Marxist? A Case for Gramsci's Historical Materialism, Geoforum vol. 40, no. 3 (2009): 335–44.

Gramsci Lives! Geoforum vol. 40, no. 3 (2009): 287–91 [with Alex Loftus & Michael Ekers].

Time, Space and Money in Capitalism and Communism, Human Geography vol. 1, no. 2 (2008): 4–12.

A Negative Geography of Necessity, Antipode vol. 40, no. 5 (2008): 920–33.

Marx Without Guardrails: Geographies of the Grundrisse, Antipode vol. 40, no. 5 (2008): 848–56 [with Joel Wainwright, Ohio State University].

Why Does Country Music Sound White? Race and the Voice of Nostalgia, Ethnic and Racial Studies vol. 31, no. 1 (2008): 73–100.

The Social Production of Skill, in Robert Fletcher (ed.) Beyond Resistance? The Future of Freedom, Hauppage NY: Nova Science, 2007, pp. 111–21.

Interests and the Political Terrain of Time, Rethinking Marxism vol. 18, no. 4 (2006): 565–72.

 

 

Courses

Future courses may be subject to change.