This editorial provides a theoretical and contextual framework for the themed issue Raum. Gesetze. Daten.. The article calls for a broader historiographic analysis of the quantitative-theoretical turn in German-speaking geography. We propose a research agenda that aims at writing a history of science beyond monumental history and classical intellectual history, that focuses on the messiness of history and takes the historicity of systems of thought into account. The endeavour is part of a growing
The spatial economy approach (Raumwirtschaftlicher Ansatz) in the German economic geography is usually characterized as neoclassical, chorological and neo-positivist. Based on a literature review and a contextualization from the perspective of the sociology of knowledge, the article shows that this approach was pluralistic and informed spatial planning processes, and that in the late 1970s, it became a distinct branch of economic geography in the literature of the German-speaking regions.