Politics & Political Theory

Reading Hospitality Mutually

This article addresses debates in geography regarding the nature and significance of hospitality. Despite increasingly inhospitable policy landscapes across the Global North, grassroots hospitality initiatives persist, including various global travel-based initiatives and networks. Drawing from research with these travel networks, we argue that hospitality is fundamentally based on a pervasive, mutualistic sociality in a multitude of forms. Such initiatives, and hospitality more generally, can be better understood in terms of their relationship to these wider mutualities. We therefore use Peter Kropotkin’s anarchist-geographic concept of mutual aid – in conversation with Jacques Derrida and other thinkers – to reimagine hospitality as ‘mutual hospitableness’; systemic, spatio-temporally expansive and underpinned by a conception of self that is constituted through, and gains its vitality from, intertwinement with the other.

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Volume 37 Issue 2