Tom Baker

Tom Baker
University of Auckland · School of Environment

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24
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (24)
Article
Full-text available
With the intensification of calls for social 'impact' from research, there is renewed emphasis on academic-activism as a means to realize social change. But what 'counts' as activism in these visions of academic-activist impact? Drawing on interviews with sex work scholars in the United Kingdom and Aotearoa New Zealand, we examine the borders-and t...
Article
Public libraries are increasingly recognised in popular discourse as key sites within urban space. They are implicated in encompassing projects of civic investment and abandonment, education and memorial, as well as providing specific settings for the unfolding of everyday life. However, despite their clear geographical dimensions, geographers have...
Article
Drawing on observations at the 2017 Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) – a global conference held in Christchurch, New Zealand – this paper examines the significance of localised event spaces in shaping economic subjects and, by extension, economic sectors. Conferences such as the SEWF are sites and moments that provide access to new knowledge, f...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing significance of temporary urban initiatives—like community gardens, markets, festivals and artistic ventures—raises questions about their role in the public life and “publicness” of cities. In dialogue with normative and alternative literature on public space, we examine how temporary urbanism is implicated in the production of publi...
Article
In this article, we examine strategies to ‘end’ homelessness in Anglo-American countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia. In the process, we critically reflect on the shifting terrain of homelessness governance in these ‘liberal’ welfare regimes. Beginning in the early 2000s, municipalities across the United States, and later Canada...
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Full-text available
In neoliberalising universities, collegial and collective practices such as reading groups are often positioned by students, staff and managers as less important than meeting individual KPIs (such as producing research publications, seeking research grants, or meeting the increasing demands of producing quality teaching outcomes.) However, reading...
Article
Full-text available
Research on policy transfer and policy mobility has focused much attention on relatively elite actors, such as politicians, international organisations, think tanks, philanthropic donors, and consultancy firms. In contrast, this article uses the case of ‘harm reduction’ drug policy, an area of practice and research that is committed to valuing ‘non...
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The management of poverty is undergoing significant changes with the rise of social investment states. In this context, we examine how governmental concern about the long-term public cost of poverty is increasingly modulating the selection, sequencing and targeting of interventions that seek to manage poverty. Using examples drawn from the manageme...
Article
As literature on the ‘shadow state’ shows, the voluntary sector has long served as a necessary conduit through which states orchestrate the governance of various populations. However, relatively little is known about the active role that voluntary organisations play in shaping and mobilising the capacities of the state to advance their own projects...
Article
This paper joins literature on suburban advertising with Lefebvre's concept of representational space to analyse property advertisements as part of the representational production of suburban space. Based on comparative analysis of advertising material for suburban residential developments on Auckland's “North Shore” in two time‐periods—1950s and 2...
Article
Why does policy tourism remain a popular and influential method of policy learning and mobility in an age of information abundance? Framed by a case study of homelessness policy tourism to New York City, this paper suggests that policy tourism remains popular because it allows for: (1) thinking outside the everyday strictures of the bureaucratic wo...
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Focusing on the 20-year history of unsuccessful proposals for Supervised Drug Consumption Sites in Melbourne, Australia, this paper highlights the generative effects of apparent “failure” in policy-making and policy mobilization. Rather than framing thwarted proposals as categorical failures, we show how they altered parameters of policy acceptabil...
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Assemblage thinking as methodology: commitments and practices for critical policy research. Territory, Politics, Governance. The concept of assemblage has captured the attention of critical social scientists, including those interested in the study of policy. Despite ongoing debate around the implications of assemblage thinking for questions of str...
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Full-text available
Growing influence of the new mobilities paradigm among human geographers has combined with a long and rich disciplinary tradition of studying the movement of things and people. Yet how policy ideas and knowledge are mobilized remains a notably underdeveloped area of inquiry. In this article, we discuss the mobilization of policy ideas and policy mo...
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Over the last fifteen years, programs based on ‘housing first’ models have swept to prominence as solutions to homelessness. Such programs serve a small subset of the overall homeless population, namely the ‘chronically’ homeless, offering direct access to permanent housing with comprehensive and flexible support services attached. Hailed as social...
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Attending to the recent and growing debates on urban policy mobilities, this commentary offers a view towards an intellectual and methodological reflexiveness for urban policy mobilities researchers. We consider connections between the various approaches and considerations that researchers have argued for in regards to doing policy mobilities resea...
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An increasing number of scholars are focusing attention on the circulation of urban policies and the concept of ‘policy mobilities’. This collection of short commentaries identifies emerging areas of interest and contention for urban policy mobilities researchers. Exploring issues from conceptual dualisms and topological thinking to interdisciplina...
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This article critically examines the expression of global spatial imaginaries in urban policy and planning. Following recent calls to understand how the global is ‘made up' in and through cities, we argue for the usefulness of Roy and Ong's concept of ‘worlding’. By analysing how strategic spatial plans envisage ‘Global Sydney’, the article reveals...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing residential densities by promoting urban in-fill housing is a central element of contemporary Australian urban strategy. Such increases will rely, in part, on maintaining a resident appetite for higher density housing forms. Despite the important role that residents' tastes, values and experiences play in securing the success of current...

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