Edited by Dallen J. Timothy
The geopolitical turn in tourism studies accounts for the ways in which, with more than one billion tourists crossing national borders annually, the tourism industry is one of the most far-reaching geopolitical practices of the 21st century. In this chapter, we consider how geopolitical discourses permeate the everyday activities of volunteer tourists, the projects they choose, and the legacies they (hope to) leave. We argue that critical geopolitics lends a productive, underutilized lens to better understand the transnational and humanitarian interactions which occur on tour. Volunteer tourism, we further argue, is mediated by a range of geopolitical discourses and practices such as securitization, territorialization, migration, statecraft and nation-building. Finally, we outline a framework for integrating feminist, environmental and imperial geopolitics into volunteer tourism research. This chapter contributes to emerging work which examines addresses the role of geopolitical discourse and practice in tourism generally and volunteer tourism in particular.
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