SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Tourism, development and power: Disciplinary dilemmas and political priorities for the 21st century

Raoul Bianchi (University of East London)

Date: 21 March 2017Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 21 March 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4426

Type of Event: Colloquium

The aim of this talk is to provide a critical reflection and commentary on the political economy of tourism development and the distinctive contribution made by this subdiscipline to our knowledge and understanding of tourism’s ‘industrial’ characteristics. It reviews some of the varied theoretical perspectives and epistemological debates that have both advanced and obscured our understanding of the tourism’s relationship to the economic and political relations of power in the current global (dis)order. Drawing on both cultural and Marxian political economy the talk makes the case for a radical political economy of tourism that does not merely critique the positivistic preoccupation with the metrics of tourism development but rather also attempts to steer a course through the impasse between the unquestioning embrace of the market on the one hand, and the cultural-discursive realms of tourism on the other.

About the Speaker: Raoul Bianchi is Principal Lecturer in Tourism at University of East London. He holds a doctorate in the social anthropology of tourism development from University of North London (now London Metropolitan University). He has developed and carried out a range of funded research projects into tourism development, sustainable tourism planning, World Heritage and the cultural politics of heritage, principally in the Canary Islands. He has also worked on EU-funded programmes including EU-TEMPUS and was part of the coordinating team for the Euromed Heritage II project Mediterranean Voices, which explores urban intangible heritage in 13 Mediterranean cities.