Re-conceptualising political landscapes after the material turn: a typology of material events

Martijn Duineveld, Kristof Van Assche, R. Beunen

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This paper conceptualises and categorises the various relationships between materiality, discursive construction of landscapes and collective action. Building on both post-structuralist and non-representational geography, and incorporating insights from social systems theory and from evolutionary governance theory, we present a perspective on materiality as shaping landscapes, communities and cultures through different pathways. These pathways might involve the construction of landscape concepts and can potentially affect collective choice in political landscapes of actors and institutions. Five types of material events are distinguished: silent, whispering, vigorous, fading and deadly events. These events constitute the spectrum in which materiality and changes in materiality affect communication and action. Such conceptualisation and categorisations help to avoid setting up a harsh distinction between matter and discourse, or a simple choice for one over the other as ontologically prior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-384
Number of pages10
JournalLandscape Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Discourse
  • Governance
  • Landscape
  • Materiality


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