How we deal with strangers is at once a question of profound ethical significance and of practical and political necessity. In the current revival of interest in the concept of hospitality, the reception of philosophical themes associated with Levinas, Derrida and others is increasingly taking place in a context of worldly demands arising out of new global mobilities and institutionalized practices aimed at controlling them. Much critical work, especially in the social sciences, assumes congruence between 'otherness' or 'estrangement' and the crossing of national borders and other concrete boundaries. But is there more at stake than this?
About the Author
Nigel Clark is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at The Open University. His research focuses on the ethical and political implications of inhabiting a physically turbulent planet, and he has recently published articles on natural catastrophes, inter-species encounters, climate change, complexity and cosmopolitanism. He is the co-editor of Material Geographies (Sage, 2008).
Clive Barnett is Reader in Human Geography at The Open University. He is author of Culture and Democracy (Edinburgh University Press, 2003), and co-editor of Spaces of Democracy (Sage, 2004) and Geographies of Globalisation (Sage, 2008).