Rex Honey Memorial

rex honeyThe Department of Geography mourns the loss of Professor Rex Honey (1945-2010).

CLAS memorial statement

Dr. Honey was a political geographer with an abiding interest in how people (and peoples) struggle to gain control over their lives and the ways they use space and place in those struggles. His research took him to five continents, allowing him to study how different polities resolve particular kinds of issues.

About his research, he wrote,

I am keenly interested in the ways people divide themselves into different groups, including the spatial elements that are part of their struggles and the product of those struggles. Hence much of my research has examined jurisdictional organization in various societies, particularly the struggle for jurisdictional change and the consequences of jurisdictional structure. My research involves a commitment to justice and equity, not just in jurisdictional issues but more broadly.

Dr. Honey was Chair of the Human Rights Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers and Secretary of the International Geographical Union's Commission on Geography and Public Administration.

Graduate Advisees

  • Suleiman Abu Kharmeh. Regional Development in Jordan. Ph.D. 1990.
  • Jeremy Brigham. The Geography of Human Rights. Ph.D. 1998.
  • Douglas D. Jones. American Electoral Geography
  • Jim Wilson. Tribarchy: The Political Geography of the Bedouin.
  • John Aluge. Local Government Finance and Development in Nigeria.

Major Courses

  • Geography of Justice
  • Development Planning and Policy
  • Social Consequences of Global Change
  • Seminar in Political Geography
  • Seminar in Social Change

Selected Grants

  • 1994-1996: Rex Honey and Vicki Hesli. "Social Consequences of Economic and Political Transformation." United States Department of Education, Title VI, $12,000.
  • 1994: Rex Honey. "Summer Institute for Minority and Disadvantaged Students." Association of American Geographers through the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education; and the University of Iowa, $33,000.
  • 1993-97: Rex Honey. Participation and Decentralization Sub-contract through USAID's University Development Linkage Program, University of Iowa Program in Development, $140,000.
  • 1991-92: Rex Honey. Senior Fulbright Scholar, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
  • 1987: Rex Honey. Senior Fulbright Scholar, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
  • 1984-85: Rex Honey. "Establishing a Regional Planning Program in Jordan." Contract through SARSA for the USAID, $98,000.

Highlighted Publication

hometown associationsHometown Associations: Indigenous knowledge and development in Nigeria
Rex Honey and Stanley Okafor

Hometown associations (HTAs) are indigenous organizations through which many Nigerians and other West Africans meet their collective and individual needs when the state is unable to meet its social and political obligations.

HTAs are based on ties of kinship and ancestry, but are products of migrations and urbanization and are therefore of contemporary vintage. Though they vary in many respects, HTAs have a few common properties, a crucial one being that they have significance both 'home' and 'abroad'. At home, the focus is on improvement, though the specifics of what is to be improved and who decides is the subject of struggle. Abroad, the focus is dual - maintaining connections with home but also providing a supportive environment for people in a place where they are regarded as strangers.

These studies illuminate the vitality of a fast-developing society. They include case studies of hometown associations operating across the country, as well as integrative studies comparing the HTAs across such important dimensions as gender relations, connections to formal government, and as agents of change.

Selected Publications

  • Rex Honey, et al., Editors, Hometown Associations As Political Players: Grassroots Political Organizations in Nigeria (Kegan Paul: Amsterdam, forthcoming in 1996).
  • Douglas Deane Jones and Rex Honey, "Second Pass through the Non-Partisan Option: Electoral Districting in Iowa," in Fred Shelley, et al., Editors, Electoral Districting in the Nineties (Syracuse University Press, forthcoming in 1996).
  • Rex Honey and Jim Wilson, "Planning in Jordan: Coping with Uncertainty," Geographical Forum, 1995, pp. 133-137.
  • Rex Honey, "Lessons for Nigeria from Two Centuries of American Federalism," Journal of the American Studies Association of Nigeria, Vol. 3, forthcoming in 1996.
  • Rex Honey and Michael McNulty, "Nigeria's Approach to Decentralized Development," in R.J. Bennett, editor, Local Government and Market Decentralization (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 1994), pp. 150-160.
  • Rex Honey, "Federalism and Change," in R.J. Bennett, editor, Local Government in the New Europe in the 1990s (London: Belhaven press, 1993), pp. 167-190.
  • Rex Honey, et al., "Stages in the Adoption of a Spatial Decision Support System for Reorganizing Service Delivery Systems," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 1992, pp. 51-63.
  • Rex Honey, "Cross-Cultural Consistencies in Jurisdictional Change," in Herman Van Der Wusten, editor, The Urban Area As a Political Arena (London: Croom Helm, 1992)
  • Rex Honey and J. Ross Barnett, "Volatile Stabilaity: New Zealand's 1987 General Election," in R.J. Johnston, et al., editors, Developments in Electoral Geography, (London: Routledge, 1990), pp. 86-99.