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Gavin Kitching (B.Sc., D.Phil) is a British author and professor of social sciences and international relations (formerly head of School Politics and International Relations) at the University of New South Wales, where he has taught since 1991. In 2007 Kitching became a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.


Academic and fiction work

Gavin Kitching is an expert on the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and has made important contributions to the philosophy behind Marxism. In his latest work, Kitching has argued that postmodernism is a hollow form of philosophy, setting "an athletic Enlightenment cat among the plump postmodernist pigeons."[1] He argues not only that postmodernism is either boring or wrong, but that it can be a distorting influence in education.[2]

Prior to that Kitching made leading contributions to development studies, with the early best selling course text Development and Underdevelopment (1989). His first research and published work focussed on development in Africa, particularly Tanzania and Kenya, for which he won the Herskovitz Prize. Since the early 1990s he moved to analysing post-soviet Russia during the process of de-collectivisation of land. Subsequently he wrote about the effects of globalisation on social justice in the twenty first century economy, and is familiar to UNSW international studies students for teaching the introductory globalisation course.

Kitching is also a publishing novelist and playwright. The main characters play out their roles in the the North-East of England, and the novels are intriguing whodunnit crime stories.

List of publications

Academic titles
  • The trouble with theory: the educational costs of postmodernism (2008) Allen & Unwin, ISBN 978-1-74175-522-0
  • Wittgenstein and Society: Essays in Conceptual Puzzlement (2003) Ashgate, ISBN 0-7546-3342-X
  • Seeking Social Justice through Globalisation: Escaping a Nationalist Perspective (2001) Penn State Press, ISBN 0271021624
  • Marxism and Science: Analysis of an Obsession[3] (1994) Penn State Press, ISBN 0271010266
  • Rethinking Socialism (1983) Meuthen, ISBN 0416358403
  • Development and Underdevelopment in Historical Perspective (1989) 2nd Ed. Routledge, ISBN 0415034493
  • Class and economic change in Kenya (1980) Yale University Press, ISBN 0300023855
Academic articles
Fiction work
  • The Death of a Politician (2007) online
  • The Truth of the Matter (2007) online
  • Sons and Smugglers (2007) online
  • An Impossible Honesty: Scenes from the life of Ludwig Wittgenstein (2003) online, freely downloadable
  • Karl Marx in Hell (2002) online, freely downloadable
  • A Dream of Gazza (2001) online, freely downloadable

See also


  1. ^ Richard King, 'Pomo demolished by a blow from left field' (26.7.2008) The Australian
  2. ^ See, Justine Ferrari, 'Postmodern path to student failure' (4.8.2008) The Australian
  3. ^ Link to website

External links



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