Remembering Hartmut Häussermann

Remembering Hartmut Häussermann –


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

After three years of illness, Hartmut Haeussermann died on Friday October 31st. He was president of RC21 from 2002 to 2006, during which time I served as RC21’s secretary. Together, we launched important changes in the management of the Research Committee (yearly conferences, a new website, a new mailing list, a new online payment system, etc.) which helped to consolidate RC21 as one of the most successful scholarly networks in urban studies.

I met Hartmut for the first time in 1990 when he was still teaching in Bremen and I was entering my PhD studies. He became my co-supervisor and I benefitted greatly from his concrete and practical advice. My research compared poverty in two rich cities (Milan and Stuttgart) and he drew my attention to the importance of identifying the mechanisms behind social inequalities and poverty, reproducing and consolidating them in real life. This led me to become interested in how institutions work and shape social processes.

Like the rest of us, Hartmut had his quirks, but they did not prevent him from being a generous person, engaged in the public debate, committed to the ideal of social justice. When we last met – less than one year ago – we had breakfast in a nice French Cafè in Prenzlauerberg and discussed how to put this into practice by being “critically involved” in “changing the world”.

The following collection of short texts – written by friends and colleagues who worked with him on various research activities – provides a tribute to him as a person and as a scholar, not only from the scientific point of view, but appreciating him as a person.

— Yuri Kazepov