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portrait photoEmeritus Professor David Slater

B.A. (Durham), Ph.D. (London)


Emeritus Professor of Political Geography, & Associate Fellow of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London


Tel : +44 (0) 1509 222744
Fax: +44 (0) 1509 223930


Room NN.1.10 Martin Hall building, East Park



Research Interests


Since the late 1960s, my research has been generally concerned with spatial politics, power and development. Whilst at the London School of Economics and Political Science, I wrote a dissertation on capitalist development and spatial inequality in Peru, and in the early 1970s when working at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania I analysed the spatial structure of underdevelopment in the context of a post-colonial society. During my years at the Interuniversity Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA) in Amsterdam, my interests revolved around: a) new social movements and political change; b) the spatiality of state power, and c) the relations between geopolitics and development theory.


My current research flows out of earlier work, and connects to a number of contemporary issues. First, in the context of the interface between political geography and international relations, I am working on the linkages between geopolitical power and discourses of North-South encounters. This research is particularly concerned with the role of the United States in the third world and seeks to trace the dynamic of continuities and discontinuities in forms of representation and intervention. A second theme relates to the spatialities of democracy and democratization and is critically focussed on Western conceptions of the democratic as well as on the analysis  of the connections between governmental decentralization and territorial democracy in Latin America. A third area of research critically evaluates the impact of Euro-Americanism in social science and includes an analysis of the limits of Western post-modern and globalization debates. In addition, current research is developing a more multi-faceted conceptualization of imperial power, whereby links are made to the literature on post-colonial & de-colonial perspectives.


My main publications include:

  • Underdevelopment and Spatial Inequality, Pergamon, Oxford 1975.

  • Capitalismo y Desarrollo Regional, CEDLA, Amsterdam 1982.

  • New Social Movements and the State in Latin America (ed.) CEDLA, 1985.

  • Territory and State Power in Latin America: the Peruvian case, Macmillan Press, London and New York 1989.

  • Social Movements and Political Change in Latin America (ed.) Latin American Perspectives, Sage, 1994.

  • The American Century: consensus and coercion in the projection of American power, Blackwell, Oxford, 1999, co-edited with P.J.Taylor.

  • Geopolitics and the Post-Colonial : rethinking North-South relations, Blackwell, Oxford 2004.

Journal articles include:

Spatialities of Power and Postmodern Ethics, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space February 1997.


Geopolitical Imaginations across the North-South Divide, Political Geography, 1997.


Post-Colonial Questions for Global Times, Review of International Political Economy, Winter 1998.


Situating Geopolitical Representations, in Massey, D, et al (eds) Human Geography Today 1999.


Ubicando el Siglo Americano, Nueva Sociedad, No 166, Marzo-abril 2000.


Other Domains of Democratic Theory, Environment & Planning D: Society and Space, Vol 20, No 3, 2002.


On the Spatial Dynamics of Democratic Politics, Development & Change, Sept. 2003, Vol 34, No 4.


The Gravity of Imperial Politics: Some Thoughts on Power and Representation, The Arab World Geographer, Vol 7 No 1-2 2004, pp 91-102.


Imperial Powers and Democratic Imaginations, Third World Quarterly, December 2006, pp 1369-1386.


Imperial Geopolitics and the Promise of Democracy, Development and Change, November, 2007, Vol 38, No 6, pp 1041-1054.

Re-pensando la geopolítica del conocimiento: reto a las visiones imperiales, Tabula Rasa, No 8, en junio 2008, pp 335-358.

Exporting Imperial Democracy: critical reflections on the US case, Human Geography, Vol 2, No 3, 2009, pp 24-36.


Rethinking the Imperial Difference, Third World Quarterly, Vol 31, No 2, 2010, pp 185-206.


The Imperial Present & the Geopolitics of Power, Geopolítica, Vol 1, No 2, 2010, Madrid.

Among the journals in which my work appears are: Antipode, Canadian Journal of African Studies, Development and Change, Environment and Planning D, International Journal of Political Economy, Latin American Perspectives, Nueva Sociedad, Political Geography, Revue Tiers-Monde, Revista Interamericana de Planificación, Revista Mexicana de Sociología, Socialismo y Participación and Review of International Political Economy, and Third World Quarterly.


From 1999 to 2004, I was joint Editor of Political Geography.


I have taught in Universities in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the UK and the USA.



Post-Graduate Teaching

  • Globalization & Imperial Power


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