Nigel Thrift

Nigel Thrift

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294
Publications
88,795
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25,227
Citations
Citations since 2017
13 Research Items
7842 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400

Publications

Publications (294)
Chapter
The contributors to Grammars of the Urban Ground develop a new conceptual framework and vocabulary for capturing the complex, ever-shifting, and interactive processes that shape contemporary cities. Building on Marxist, feminist, queer, and critical race theory as well as the ontological turn in urban studies, they propose a mode of analysis that r...
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This chapter considers the promises and problems of fandom and enthusiasm within capitalism. Crowdfunding has emerged as an alternative way of funding creative projects in the face of the more cautious investments of record companies following the MP3 crisis. Through crowdfunding artists seek to harness the affect and emotions of fans to access new...
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In this paper, I read across from universities to Latour and back again. The paper is in four parts. In the first part, I attend to the new strands of activity that have accreted to universities over the last twenty years or so and, at the same time, to the growth in variation in what is called “university.” The second part of the paper alights on...
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This paper examines the future of Western higher education. Situated midway between an analysis and a polemic, it concerns itself with how we might begin to actively design the universities of the future. That will require a productionist account of higher education which is so far sadly lacking. But there are signs that such an account might be po...
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The claim is frequently made that, as cities become loaded up with information and communications technology and a resultant profusion of data, so they are becoming sentient. But what might this mean? This paper offers some insights into this claim by, first of all, reworking the notion of the social as a spatial complex of ‘outstincts’. That makes...
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Marilyn Strathern has produced a remarkable body of work that not only demonstrates range and tenacity but also has produced a host of inspirations that have made their way into the world. This Afterword to the special issue 'Social Theory After Strathern' dwells on the subject of the modesty of what Strathern is proposing and how it relates to spa...
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Foreword by Professor Thrift
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Introduction Habitat Ecology Cultivation Conclusion
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This paper will consider how we might think about the capitalist economy that now seems to be emerging, one based on spontaneous synthesis. Following an extended introduction, the first part of the paper examines the main changes that have been taking place in the economy grouped around the notion and value of innovation. I will argue that these ch...
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This article is an edited transcript of a panel discussion on ‘Space and Spatiality in Theory’ which was held at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Washington, DC, April 2010. In the article, the panel map out some of the challenges for thinking, writing and performing spaces in the 21st century, reflecting upon the emer...
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Can we detect changes in the way that the world turns up as they turn up? This paper makes such an attempt. The first part of the paper argues that a wide-ranging change is occurring in the ontological preconditions of Euro-American cultures, based in reworking what and how an event is produced. Driven by the security-entertainment complex, the aim...
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There is no abstract for this paper.
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This paper takes the emergence of new localized industrial complexes seriously, but seeks to set them firmly within a context of expanding global corporate networks. The paper is in four parts. The first summarizes the key arguments of the "localization' thesis which predicts a return to industrial districts. The second attempts to reformulate the...
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The paper argues that the origins of the financial crisis of 2007--2008 can ultimately be located in four spaces: in international financial centres, in particular, in the longstanding competition that has existed between London and New York; in the insularity of the everyday geographies of money that have emerged in such centres in the wake of the...
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This paper begins with an appreciation and critique of the remarkable work of Peter Sloterdijk which makes it possible to open up a number of issues concerning philosophy and its relation to the social sciences and humanities, most particularly concerning the role of evidence and the pervasiveness of Eurocentrism. In particular, the paper argues th...
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One of Joseph Wright of Derby’s most famous pictures is called ‘A Philosopher giving that Lecture on the Orrery, in which a Lamp is put in place of the Sun’. I want to argue that Wright’s picture, by a man who never went to a university, can stand foursquare for the ambition of the university Though putting a lamp in place of the sun may seem a mod...
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The paper argues that the work of Gabriel Tarde on imitation provides a fertile means of understanding how capitalism is forging a new affective technology which conforms to a logic of propensity rather than to means-end reasoning. This it does by drawing together a biological understanding of semiconscious cognition with various practical geometri...
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This chapter documents the hard work put in by business to the task of 'explicitation' through concept-practices like 'community of practice' and the dividends that it has paid in terms of constructing a series of realities - new kinds of inhabitation - in which business forms a foregrounded background. In particular, it outlines how a new kind of...
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This article is a preliminary attempt to consider the spatial consequences of business organisation segmentation in the Australian economy. The first section outlines a framework that can be employed in an analysis of business organisation segmentation. The second section applies this framework in the context of the Australian economy. This section...
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This paper argues that subjectivity needs to be understood as a geography. The “psychotopical” analysis that is necessary in order to understand subjectivity requires that more emphasis be placed on arts of experiment drawn from the battery of performing arts that exist on the borderline between the humanities and the social sciences. Some examples...
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Introduction: Detailing “Real” ExperienceBare LifeThe Business of Bare LifeConclusions AcknowledgmentsNotesReferences
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The Case for the ProsecutionThe Case for the DefenseCodaNotesReferences
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IntroductionThe Cultural Circuit of CapitalThe State and the Global SchoolhouseNegotiating the Global SchoolhouseConclusions Notes
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This astonishing book presents a distinctive approach to the politics of everyday life. Ranging across a variety of spaces in which politics and the political unfold, it questions what is meant by perception, representation and practice, with the aim of valuing the fugitive practices that exist on the margins of the known. It revolves around three...
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So why are people attracted to goods? I want to open up a new dimension to this debate by understanding goods as surfaces which are both active and inert. I will do this by considering the history of the material practices of what I will call glamour. Through the manipulation of surfaces, glamour casts a secular spell – often only very briefly – bu...
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IntroductionThe Main ChangesChanging PerspectivesConclusions
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This paper is intended to be a synoptic account of the current trajectory of capitalism. Such an account demands a focus on the cultural technology that has been constructed around the sigil of ‘talent’. I argue that this small word hides a multitude of different responses, each of which adds up to the same thing, namely an attempt to produce a new...
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This article examines an apparent dichotomy that lies at the heart of the contemporary financial system. On the one hand, the financial system would appear to be becoming ever more complex and intricate, as financial innovation continues to develop ever more exotic and complicated financial instruments and trading strategies: such developments serv...
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This paper provides an introduction to the sociology of Gabriel Tarde and to the papers in this special issue. The first part of the paper examines how Tarde conceived of the relations between sociology and the natural sciences, including astronomy and physical geography. It also discusses Tarde's account of the significance and value of statistics...
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This article seeks to demonstrate the centrality of maintenance and repair to an understanding of modern societies and, particularly, cities. Arguing that repair and maintenance activities present a kind of 'missing link' in social theory, which is usually overlooked or forgotten, the article begins by recalling Heidegger's concept of material thin...
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This article seeks to re-imagine the urban economy from a cultural-economy perspective. The first part summarizes a perspective arguing that economic life is so shot through with cultural inputs and practices at all levels that ‘culture’ and ‘economy’ cannot be seen as separate entities. Focusing on the power of such influences as passion, moral va...
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This is a report on an Academy of Social Sciences debate held on 15 March 2006. The debate concerned the nature, character and development of the social sciences. Four leading social scientists were asked to reflect upon the nature of the social sciences in the light of various transformations in both intellectual thought and in those processes tha...
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This commentary argues that Donna Haraway’s still remarkable ‘Manifesto for Cyborgs’ provided one of the first windows on the invention of a different kind of world, one in which environments figure and bodily registers expand. In her attention to bioscience she was clearly one of the first to remark on these developments. But, or so I argue, she m...
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This paper argues that a shift is taking place in the fabric of capitalism as a result of a change in how the business of invention is understood. Using theoretical approaches that rely on the notion that capitalism increasingly tries to draw in the whole intellect, in the first part of the paper I argue that the new understanding of innovation cur...
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The turn to space is best understood as part of a more general struggle to produce a material thinking that has preoccupied social theory over the last 20 years or so. Its effect has been to multiply both the number of inhabitations that are understood to exist and the sensory registers through which they can be characterized. Most particularly, th...
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This chapter aims to provide an account of the “revolutions” that took place in the practices of clock time in England between 1300 and 1800. However, in order to account for why and how these practices changed and why these changes constituted a revolution requires a certain amount of preliminary ground clearing. The chapter wants to consider revo...
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This paper is concerned with forging new links between geography and biology and technology by delivering a set of shocks to the meaning of accepted categories like ‘nature’ and ‘technology’. To achieve these dual aims, the paper will double click on the icon ‘intelligence’. ‘Intelligence’ prioritizes the active shaping of environments. It thereby...
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ABSTRACT This article is a synoptic review of the recent work of Paul Virilio, conducted through the book, City of Panic. I point to the problems with the increasingly apocalyptic content and tone of Virilio’s work on modernity by referring to recent social science research on the city that makes it possible to construct a somewhat more hesitant ac...
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This paper considers the phenomenon of e-commerce as an achievement of serial acts of representation and re-representation. Drawing upon the concepts of virtualism and the cultural circuit of capital, we attempt to demonstrate the material consequences of economic abstractions. The paper looks at the constitutive role of virtualism within the devel...
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I take as my starting point the fact that Western cities are often depicted as on the brink of catastrophe. Indeed some contemporary authors would argue that they have never been closer to that brink. The first part of this paper argues against this tendency by focusing on the preponderance of activities of repair and maintenance. Having looked at...
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This chapter shows that the pathways or routes through Deleuze's texts form an open tracery: ‘There is no heart, but only a problem – that is, a distribution of notable points; there is no centre but always decentring, series, from one to another, with the limp of a presence and a absence – of an excess, of a deficiency’. And that, within this open...
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Gilles Deleuze was arguably the twentieth century's most spatial philosopher – not only did he contribute a plethora of new concepts to engage space, space was his very means of doing philosophy. He said that everything takes place on a plane of immanence, envisaging a vast desert-like space populated by concepts moving about like nomads. Deleuze m...
Book
'This is an ambitious, original, and complex treatment of key aspects of contemporary capitalism. It makes a major contribution because it profoundly destabilizes the scholarship on globalization, the so-called new economy, information technology, distinct contemporary business cultures and practices' - Saskia Sassen, author of Globalization and it...
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Mobility - flows, movement and migration in social life - has emerged as a central area of sociological debate, yet one of its most dominant forms, automobility, has remained largely ignored. Edited by three leading social analysts, Automobilities presents one of the first and most wide-ranging examinations of the car and its promise of autonomy an...

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Projects (3)
Project
This ESRC-funded project evaluates local currency systems as tool for promoting social inclusion