Richard A. Walker

Professor Emeritus


Richard Walker
 Professor Walker’s CV
 Professor Walker’s books
 Professor Walker’s published articles (with downloads)
 Professor Walker’s podcasts
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Richard Walker’s research covers a broad range of fields in human geography.  Walker is well known for his work in economic geography, especially The Capitalist Imperative: Territory, Technology and Industrial Growth (Blackwell, 1989), one of the most cited books in the field. His work as an urban geographer stretches from a dissertation and early articles on suburbanization through essays on the urban landscape to recent debates over the origins of cities and global urbanization.  He began his career writing about environmental issues and came back to the subject with his definitive history of the conservation and environmental justice in Northern California, The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area (University of Washington Press, 2007).

Professor Walker is a widely recognized expert on California, a major economic, political and cultural hearth of world capitalism. He has explored the state’s economic development, natural resources, racial conflict and political upheavals.  He has published a history of the state’s astonishing agricultural system, The Conquest of Bread: 150 Years of Agribusiness in California (New Press, 2004) and an Atlas of California: Facing the Challenges of a New Era (University of California Press, 2013).  He is currently at work on a new book about the San Francisco Bay area, City at Bay.

An enduring thread of Professor Walker’s thought is the logic of capitalism as an economic, political and social system, and its geographical evolution.  Works in this vein stretch from early writing on value and rent theory through The New Social Economy: Reworking the Division of Labor (Blackwell, 1992) to recent articles on the financial crisis and Great Recession of the 2000s.

Walker is a celebrated teacher and advisor, and many of his former students hold teaching post around the country and overseas. He served five years as Department Chair, 1994-99, helping to re-shape Berkeley Geography. He edited the journal Antipode throughout the 1990s and was Chair of the California Studies Association in the 2000s. He has also been an activist in public affairs and on campus, fighting against such monstrosities as the Peripheral Canal, the Gulf War, and the Patriot Act. He takes great joy in the arts of gardening, singing and parenting, among virtues not listed on the official CV.



The Atlas of California: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era. Berkeley: University of California Press and London: Myriad Press.

The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area. Seattle: University of Washington Press

The Conquest of Bread: 150 Years of California Agribusiness. New York: The New Press.

The New Social Economy: Reworking the Division of Labor. Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell. (with Andrew Sayer)

The Capitalist Imperative: Territory, Technology and Industrial Growth. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. (with Michael Storper)




112) Value and nature in a relevant Marxism. Human Geography. 9 (1) (in press)

111) Treasure Island: An Introduction. In: Lynne Horiuchi and Sanu Tankala, Eds. Urban Reinventions: San Francisco’s Treasure Island. University of Hawaii Press. (in press)


110) Why cities? International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 39(5) (in press)

109) The city and economic geography: then and now. In: Heather Merrill and Lisa Hoffman, eds. Spaces of Danger: Culture and Power in the Everyday. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. pp. 135-151. (on Allan Pred’s early work in urban economic geography)

108) Building a better theory of the urban: A response to ‘Towards a new epistemology of the urban?’ City. 19(2-3): 183-91. (a critique of N. Brenner & C. Schmid)

107) The strange case of the Bay Area. Environment and Planning A. 47: 10-29. (with Alex Schafran)


106) The Presidio forest. Commentary for SECA 2012 Art Awards, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. October 15.

105) The two Karls, or reflections on Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation. Environment and Planning A. 45: pp. 1662-70.

104) Why write books? Regional Studies. 47/9, pp 1607-09.


103) Geography in economy: reflections on a field. In: Trevor Barnes, Jamie Peck and Eric Sheppard, eds. Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Economic Geography. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 47-60.


102) California shrugged: The fountainhead of the Great Recession. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. 4(3): 303-22.

101) California’s golden road to riches: natural resources and regional capitalism, 1848-1940. Reprinted in: Derek Gregory and Noel Castree, eds. Human Geography (Fundamentals of Geography). Sage Publications. Vol 4: 281-340. (reprinted from Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 91(1)[2001]: 167-99).

100) Genèse d’une ville verte: urbanisation et environnementalisme dans la métropole de San Francisco. In: François Bost & Sylvie Daviet, eds.   Entreprises et Environment: Quels Enjeux Pour Le Développement Durable? Nanterre: Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest.

99) On the edge of environmental history. In: Kimberly Coulter and Christof Mauch, eds. Environmental History: Needs and Opportunities, Rachel Carson Center Perspectives, Issue 3: 48-52.

98) Rethinking money and finance capital. 2011. Rethinking Capitalism Newsletter. 2: pp. 15-21. (original paper attached, not shorter published version)


97) Green women and green spaces. In: Rebecca Solnit, Ed. Infinite City: An Atlas of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 20-22

96) The Golden State adrift, New Left Review. Nov-Dec. 66: pp. 5-30.

95) The Living New Deal: The Unsung Benefits of the New Deal for the United States and California, Working Paper Series, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Berkeley.

94) Blinded by history: The geographic dimension in society and environment, In: Douglas Sackman, ed. A Companion to Environmental History. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 553-77.

93) California, Pivot of the Great Recession, Working Paper (see Bardhan & Walker, 2011)

92) Karl Marx between two worlds: The antinomies of Giovanni Arrighi’s Adam Smith in Beijing, Historical Materialism, 18, pp. 52-73.


91) The lungs of the city: 75 years and counting for the East Bay Parks, Bay Nature, October-December, pp. 18-22.


90) At the crossroads: defining California through the global economy. IN: David Igler and William Denevan, eds. A Companion to California History. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 75-96.

89) Human-environment relations. (Editor’s Intro to 1979 Antipode Special Issue). IN: Bauder, Harald and Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro (eds.). Critical Geographies: A Collection of Readings. Praxis (e)Press. 322-46. (reprinted with minor revisions)

88) In Memoriam: Allan Pred, 1936-2007: reflections on a life. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 98(2): 487-93. (with Michael Watts)

87) San Francisco’s haymarket: a redemptive tale of class struggle. ACME: Online Journal of Geography. 7/1: 45-58.


86) The Chinese road: cities in the transition to capitalism. New Left Review, 46: 39-66. (with Daniel Buck)

85) Allan Pred: scholar, teacher & rebel, Progress in Human Geography, 31(6): 813-815. (with Michael Watts)

84) The sands of San Francisco. AAG Newsletter, Oct. 2006, p 1, 4

83) Allan Pred: Friend & Rebel, for Antipode, 39(2): 388-92. (with Michael Watts)

82) My days at the helm of the good ship Antipode. Antipode website, (recollections of former editors).


81) Teaching (political) economic geography: some personal reflections. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 30/3: 427-37.

80) The education of an economic geographer. IN: Helen Lawton-Smith and Sharmistha Bagchi-Chen, eds. The Past, Present and Future of Economic Geography. London: Routledge. 103-11.

79) The boom and the bombshell: the New Economy bubble and the San Francisco Bay Area, in Giovanna Vertova, ed., The Changing Economic Geography of Globalization. London: Routledge. 121-47.


78a) The power of place and space. Race, Poverty & The Environment. 11/1:7-8.

78) Industry builds out the city: Industrial decentralization in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1850-1950. In Robert Lewis, ed. Manufacturing Suburbs: Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (revised version of 2001 article) (as pdf)

77) The spectre of Marxism: The return of The Limits to Capital. Antipode (June) 36:3.

76) Crimes of the Continental Op: On reading Joe Nevins’ Operation Gatekeeper. Antipode (January) 36/1: 156-62.


75) A hidden geography. IN: Richard Misrach, The Golden Gate. Santa Fe: Arena Editions. 145-58.

74) Growing surpluses, dwindling politics: Bluestone and Harrison’s Growing Prosperity. Antipode. 33/1: 90-100.

73) Bennett Harrison: A life worth living. Antipode. 33/1: 34-38.

72) California’s golden road to riches: natural resources and regional capitalism, 1848-1940. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 91(1): 167-99.

71) Industry builds the city: industrial decentralization in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1850-1940. Journal of Historical Geography. 27/1: 36-57. (for a revised version see #78 above)

70) Beyond the crabgrass frontier: industry and the spread of North American cities, 1850-1950 (with Robert Lewis) Journal of Historical Geography, 27/1: 3-19. Reprinted in Robert Lewis, Ed. Manufacturing Suburbs: Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.


69) The geography of production. In: Eric Sheppard and Trevor Barnes, eds. Companion to Economic Geography. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 113-32.

68) Capitalism’s recurrent self-criticism: an evaluation of Bob Brenner’s Origins of Global Turbulence. Historical Materialism. 5: 179-210.


67) Putting capital in its place: globalization and the prospects for labor. Geoforum. 30/3: 263-84.

66) Capital’s global turbulence. Against the Current, 78, January-February: 29-35.


65) Foreward to Andrew Herod, ed. Organizing the Landscape: Geographical Perspectives on Labor Unionism. University of Minnesota Press, pp. xi-xvii.

64) An appetite for the city. In: James Brook, Chris Carlsson and Nancy Peters, eds. Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture. San Francisco: City Lights Books. pp. 1-20.


63) Unseen and disbelieved: A political economist among cultural geographers. IN: P. Groth and T. Bressi, eds., Understanding Ordinary Landscapes. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 162-173.

62) California rages: regional capitalism and the politics of renewal. IN: Roger Lee and Jane Wills, eds., Geographies of Economies. London: Edward Arnold, pp. 345-356.

61) Field of dreams, or the best game in town. In: Michael Watts and David Goodman, eds. Globalising Food: Agrarian Questions and Global Restructuring. London: Routledge, pp. 273-284.

60) For Better or Worcester: Reflections on Gender, Work and Space. For Symposium on Susan Hanson and Geraldine Pratt, Gender, Work and Space, Antipode, 29/1, pp. 329-337.


59) California’s collision of race and class, Representations, No. 55, 163-183, Summer.

58) Reprinted in: Robert Post and Michael Rogin (eds.), Race and Representation: Affirmative Action. New York: Zone Books, 1998, pp. 281-308.

57) Another round of globalization in San Francisco, Urban Geography, 17(1): 60-94.


56) Regulation and flexible specialization as theories of capitalist development. Challengers to Marx and Schumpeter? IN: Helen Liggett and David Perry, eds. Spatial Practices: Critical Explorations in Social/Spatial Theory. London: Sage, pp. 167-208.

55) California rages against the dying of the light. New Left Review, 209: 42-74.

54) Landscape and city life: four ecologies of residence in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ecumene (now Cultural Geography) 2(1): 33-64.


53) Nature’s Metropolis: The ghost dance of Christaller and Von Thünen. Antipode, 26(2): 152-62. (with Brian Page)

52) The hidden dimension of industrialization: an expanding division of labor. Futures 25(6):273-93.


51) From settlement to Fordism: The agro-industrial revolution in the American Midwest. Economic Geography, 67:4, 281-315. (with Brian Page)


50) The playground of US capitalism? The political economy of the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s. IN: Davis, M., Hiatt, S., Kennedy, M., Ruddick, S. and Sprinker, M. eds. Fire in the Hearth: The Radical Politics of Place in America (The Year Left 4). 3-82.


49) A requiem for corporate geography: new directions in industrial organization, the production of place and uneven development. Geografisker Annaler. 71B(1): 43-68.

48) Geography from the left: a survey of recent developments. IN: G. Gaile & C. Willmott, Eds. Geography in America (New York: Merrill). 619-50.

47) In defense of realism and dialectical materialism: a friendly critique of Wright and Burawoy’s philosophical marxism. Berkeley Journal of Sociology. 34: 111-35.

46) What’s left to do? Theses on a flyer back. Antipode, 21(2): 133-65.

45) Machinery, labour and location. IN: S. Wood, Ed. The Degradation of Work? (London: Unwin Hyman), pp. 59-90.


44) The dynamics of value, price and profit. Capital and Class. 35, pp. 146-181.

43) The geographical organization of production systems. Society and Space 6(3), 377-408.

42) Partly reproduced as: The organization of production systems. IN: C. Hadjimichalis and N. Komninos, Eds. Changing Labour Processes and New Forms of Urbanization (Samos ‘87). Thessaloniki. (1988) 130-145.


40) Class, division of labour and employment in space. IN: D. Gregory and J. Urry, Eds. Social Relations and Spatial Structures. London: Macmillan. 164-89.

39) Technological determination and determinism: industrial growth and location. IN: M. Castells, Ed., High Technology, Society and Space. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications. 226-64.

38) Translated and abridged as: Determination tecnologique et determinisme dans la localisation et la croissance des industries. IN: Cahiers du Centre de Recherches et d’Etudes sur Paris et Ile-de-France (CREPIF), #9, December 1984, pp 274-76.

37) Is there a service economy? the changing capitalist division of labor. Science and Society, 49:1, Spring, 42-83.

36) Translated and abridged into Japanese by M. Aneha, Kokugakuin Keizai Kenkyu (National Univ. Institute for Economic Research). Paper #19 (1988).


35) The Price of Water: Surplus and Subsidy in the California State Water Project. Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley, monograph. (With M. Storper)

34) The spatial division of labor: labor and the location of industry. IN W. Tabb and L. Sawers, Eds. Sunbelt/Snowbelt. New York: Oxford University Press. 19-47. (With M. Storper)

33) Reprinted as: La division espacial del trabajo. Cuadernos Politicos, 38 (Mexico) Octubre-Diciembre


32) The theory of labor and the theory of location. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 7:1, 1-44. (With M. Storper)

31) Reprinted as: The theory of labor and the theory of location, Institute of Industrial Relations, UCLA, Monograph #354.


30) The illusion of effluent charges, or regulatory dilution is no solution to pollution. Antipode, 14:2, 12-20.

29) A guide for the Ley reader of Marxist criticism. Antipode, 14:1, 38-43. (With D. Greenberg)

28) Post-industrialism and political reform in the city: a critique. Antipode, 14:1, 17-32. (With D. Greenberg)

27) Water from power: water supply and regional growth in the Santa Clara Valley. Economic Geography, 58:2, 95-119. (With M. Williams)

26) Industry. IN E. Engelbert and A. Scheuring, Eds., Competition for California’s Water: Alternative Resolutions. Davis: Water Resources Center, 59-75. (With M. Teitz)

25) The expanding California water system. IN W.J. Kockelman, T.J. Conomos & A.E. Leviton, Eds., Use and Protection of the San Francisco Bay System. San Francisco: Pacific Division, AAAS. 171-90. (With M. Storper)


24) Industrial location policy: false premises, false conclusions. Built Environment, 6:2, 105-113.

23) Performance regulation and industrial location: a case study. Environment and Planning A, 13, 321-38. (With M. Storper and E. Widess)

22) Capital and industrial location. Progress in Human Geography, 5:4, 473-509. (With M. Storper)

21) Translated as: “Capital y localizacion industrial,” Documents d’Analisi Geografica, 8-9, 203-44 (Dept. de Geografia, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) by D. Sauri (1986)

20) Quiet revolution for whom? Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 71, 67-83. (With M. Heiman)

19) Left-wing libertarianism, an academic disorder. Professional Geographer, 33:1, 5-10.

18) A theory of suburbanization: capitalism and the construction of urban space in the United States. IN M. Dear and A. Scott, Eds., Urbanization and Urban Planning under Advanced Capitalist Societies. New York: Methuen, 1981, 383-430.


17) Crisis and change in U.S. agriculture: an overview. IN R. Burbach and P. Flynn, Agribusiness in the Americas. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1980, 20-40. (with C. MacLennan)


16) The California water system: another round of expansion? Public Affairs Report, 20:2, 1-11. (With M. Storper)

15) Editor’s introduction, Special Issue on Natural Resources and Environment. Antipode, 11:2, 1-16.

14) The limits of environmental control: the saga of Dow in the Delta. Antipode, 11:2, 1-16. (With M. Storper and E. Widess)


13) Two sources of uneven development under advanced capitalism: spatial differentiation and capital mobility. Review of Radical Political Economy, 10:3, 28-39.

12) Erosion of the Clean Air Act of 1970: a study in the failure of government regulation and planning. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, 7:2, 189-258. (With M. Storper)

11) The transformation of urban structure in the 19th century United States and the beginnings of suburbanization. IN K. Cox, Ed. Urbanization and Conflict in Market Societies. Chicago: Maaroufa Press, 165-213.


10) The economics of energy extravagance. Ecology Law Quarterly, 4:4, 963-65. (With D. Large.)

9) Contentious issues in Marxian value and rent theory: a second and longer look. Antipode, 7:1, 31-54.


8) Benefit-cost reconsidered: an evaluation of the mid-states project. Water Resources Research, 10:5, 898-908. (With S. H. Hanke.)

7) Reprinted in: R. Zeckhauser et al., Benefit-cost and policy analysis, 1974: An Aldine Manual. New York: Aldine Publishers, 392-416 and in R. Haveman and J. Margolis, Eds. Public Expenditures and Policy Analysis. Chicago: Rand, McNally. 2d edition, 1977, 329-354; 3d edition, 1983, 324-350.

6) Urban ground rent: building a new conceptual framework. Antipode, 6:1, 51-58.

5) Reprinted as: Die Stadtische Grundrente, Ein Untersuchung zu ihrem Verstaendnis. In J. Barnbrock, Ed. Materialiem zur Oekonomie der Stadplanung. Dusseldorf: Bertelsmann-Verlag, 1975, 241-257. (Revised and translated)

4) Wetlands preservation and management: a rejoinder – economics, science and beyond. Coastal Zone Management Journal, 1:2, 227-233.[This item is included with the pdf of article #3]


3) Wetlands preservation and management on Chesapeake Bay: the role of science in natural resources policy. Coastal Zone Management Journal, 1:1, 75-100.

Special Journal Issues Edited:

Research Policy, vol 20/5 “Networks of Innovators” (w/ C. DeBresson)
Antipode, vol 21/2, “What’s Left to Do?”
Antipode, vol 11/2, “Natural Resources and Environment”

2) “North America: 500 Years of Social Tectonics” – Working Paper, 2003

1) “No Way Out: Immigrants and the New California” pamphlet on Proposition 187, June 22, 1995 (with Jeff Lustig). For Campus Coalition for Human Rights and Social Justice.


Book Reviews

M. Klingle, Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle. Yale University Press. IN: Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 98(3): 750-52.

Richard Walker, “Suburbia Reconsidered (Book Review Essay). IN: Urban Geography, 28/8: 809-15.

David Beesley, Crow’s Range: An Environmental History of the Sierra Nevada. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2004. IN: Pacific Historical Review, August 2006.

Robert Pollin, Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity. London/New York: Verso, 2003. IN: Progress in Human Geography, 30(2): 280-282.

David Meyer, The Roots of American Industrialization. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. IN: Geographyical Review, 94/4, 555-58.

Don Mitchell, Lie of the Land. IN: Geographical Review, October.

Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust. IN: The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review.

Michael Gerlach, Alliance Capitalism. IN: Society and Space.

Martin Kenney and Richard Florida, 1993. Beyond Mass Production. IN: Economic Geography, 70(1): 76-79, January.

Roger Lotchin, Fortress California, 1910-1961: From Warfare to Welfare. IN: Economic Geography 69(2): 224-26.

Frank Fischer, Technology and the Politics of Expertise. IN: Science and Society, 57(2): 246-249, 1993.

A.H. Molina, The Social Basis of the Microelectronics Revolution. IN: Science and Society, 56(2):220-22.

N. Thrift and Williams, P. eds. (1987) Class and Space: the Making of Urban Society. (London: Routledge). IN: Economic Geography, 65(3):251-55.

D. Massey (1987) Nicaragua: Some Urban and Regional Issues in a Society in Transition. (London: Open University Press) IN: Environment and Planning A.

M. Smith and J. Feagin, Eds. (1987) The Capitalist City (New York: Basil Blackwell) IN: Geographical Review .

E. Relph (1987) The Modern Urban Landscape (London: Croom-Helm) IN: The Canadian Geographer.

Edel M., Sclar E. and Luria D. (1984) Shakey Palaces: Homeownership and Social Mobility in Boston’s Suburbanization. IN: Society and Space, v. 5(3) 347-51

M. Christine Boyer, Dreaming the Rational City: The Myth of American City Planning. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1983. IN: The Annals of the AAG, 75:1, pp. 140-43.

J. Bryce, Editor, Cities and Firms. Lexington: DC Heath, 1981. C.L. Leven, Editor. The Mature Metropolis. Lexington: DC Heath, 1978. IN: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 7:2, 278-81.

F. Sandback, Environment, Ideology and Policy. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980. IN: Progress in Human Geography, 6:2, 292-93.

R. Peet, Editor, Radical Geography: Alternative Viewpoints on Contemporary Social Issues. Chicago: Maaroufa Press, 1977. IN: Professional Geographer, 32:2, 253-54.

J. Dunkerly, Editor, International Comparisons of Energy Consumption. Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future, 1978. IN:  Professional Geographer, 32:2, 244-45.

D. Gregory, Ideology, Social Science and Human Geography. London: Hutchinson, 1978. IN: Annals of the AAG, 69:3, 518-520.

M. Castells, The Urban Question. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1977. IN: The Professional Geographer, 31:1, 116-117.

I. Burton, R. Kates and G.F. White, The Environment as Hazard. New York: Oxford, 1978. IN: Geographical Review, 69:1, 113-224.


 Listen to Richard Walker’s interview on The Country in the City on KQED’s Forum (downloads as mp3 file)
 Listen to Richard Walker’s interview with KPFA’s Against the Grain (downloads as mp3 file)