RC21 Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies International Journal of Urban and Regional Research


Home » Abstracts & Syllabus » Programme » Scholars » Application Form » Accommodation information » Getting around in Berlin


Matthias Bernt (MA Political Sciences and PhD Social Sciences) works as a Senior Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning in Erkner (near Berlin). He has worked at the Helmholtz centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany, as a Visiting Scholar at the Columbia University of New York City and as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Free University Berlin, the University of Leipzig, the Viadrina University Fraknfurt (o.) and the Humboldt University Berlin. Bernt is corresponding editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

Talja Blokland (MA sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam and PhD social sciences University of Amsterdam) is professor of Urban and Regional Sociology at Humboldt University at Berlin. Before she moved to the US as a visiting scholar at Yale University with a Niels Stensen Stipend after her PhD, then to Manchester University, UK. She returned to Holland as a Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of the Arts and Sciences. She was then Gradus Hendriks Professor in Community Development at Erasmus University and senior researcher and program director at the OTB Institute for Urban, Housing and Mobility Studies at the Technical University Delft. Blokland is book reviews editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and served on the international editorial board of Sociology.

Neil Brenner is Professor of Urban Theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the coordinator of the Urban Theory Lab GSD. Brenner’s writing and teaching focus on the theoretical, conceptual and methodological dimensions of urban questions. His work builds upon, and seeks to extend, the fields of critical urban and regional studies, comparative geopolitical economy and radical sociospatial theory. Major research foci include processes of urban and regional restructuring and uneven spatial development; the generalization of capitalist urbanization; and processes of state spatial restructuring, with particular reference to the remaking of urban, metropolitan and regional governance configurations under contemporary neoliberalizing capitalism. Brenner is the author of New State Spaces: Urban Governance and the Rescaling of Statehood (Oxford University Press, 2004), among other volumes, and is current writing a book with Christian Schmid (ETH-Zurich) titled Planetary Urbanization. He has served on the editorial boards of several urban studies and geography journals, including International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

Tim Butler is Professor of Geography at King's College London and previously the Vincent Wright Visiting Professor at Sciences Po in Paris. He is a board member of RC21 and a trustee and treasurer of the Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies (FURS). He is the author or co-author of several books including (with Chris Hamnett) Ethnicity, Class and Aspiration: Understanding London's New East End (2011), (with Paul Watt) Understanding Social Inequality (2007) and (with Garry Robson) London Calling: the middle classes and the remaking of inner London (2003). He has edited a number of books including (with Gary Bridge and Loretta Lees) Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth (2011) and (with Mike Savage) The Middle Classes and Social Change (1995). He also edited two books on the regeneration of East London . He has undertaken a number of large research projects on gentrification in London and, more recently, a comparative study on the middle classes and social mix in London and Paris. His current project ('The Alpha Territory') is on the super-rich and their habitats in and around London. Much of his recent writing has been concerned with the geography of education and how school choice is helping to create a yet more unequal landscape in London. He has recently argued in a paper (with Chris Hamnett) that educational displacement now sits alongside other forms of displacement as one of the consequences of gentrification in London's East End. 

Claire Colomb is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Urban Sociology and European Spatial Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (UCL), UK. She holds a first degree in Politics and Sociology from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po) and a PhD in Town Planning from UCL. She is the Secretary of RC21 for 2010-2014. Her research interests include urban governance, planning and urban policies in European cities (with a particular focus on the UK, France, Germany and Spain); place marketing, culture and urban regeneration; European spatial planning; trans-boundary cooperation between cities and regions in Europe and the Mediterranean. Over the past 15 years she has studied, lived, taught and researched in France, the UK, Germany and Spain. Her book Staging the New Berlin: Place Marketing and the Politics of Urban Reinvention was published in 2011 by Routledge. She is also co-author of European Spatial Planning and Territorial Cooperation (Routledge, 2010).

Kanishka Goonewardena was trained as an architect in Sri Lanka and now teaches urban design and critical theory at the University of Toronto, where has been Director, Programme in Planning, Department of Geography. He is co-editor of Space, Difference, Everyday Life: Reading Henri Lefebvre and has written in both popular and academic publications on such topics as architecture, urbanism, colonialism, nationalism and Marxism, especially theories of space, ideology and everyday life.

Suzanne Hall is a lecturer in sociology and researcher at LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science. Suzanne Hall is an urban ethnographer, and has practised as an architect in South Africa. From 1997 to 2003 she established a practice that focused on the role of design in rapidly urbanising, poor and racially segregated areas in Cape Town and her work has been published and exhibited internationally. She leads the 'Ordinary Streets' project, an ethnography of the cultures and economies of super-diverse streets. She is author of 'City Street and Citizen: The measure of the ordinary' (Routledge 2012).

Christine Hentschel is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Urban Sociology at Humboldt University and currently coordinates the activities of the Einstein group, a Berlin-wide interdisciplinary group of young urban scholars. Her research interests are urban sociology, political and urban anthropology, as well as postcolonial theory and governmentality studies. Her work on cities revolves around urban change and the interplay between material, social and affective infrastructures. After completing her PhD thesis (The spatial life of security: Durban, South Africa – University of Leipzig, 2010), Christine has taken her interest in cities from downtown Durban to her own neighborhood of Berlin Neukölln with postdoctoral fellowships from the ICI Berlin and the Forum Transregional Studies of the Wissenschaftsskolleg zu Berlin. Her most recent article is “City ghosts: The haunted struggles for downtown Durban and Berlin Neukölln” (Routledge Studies in Human Geography, 2013).

Andrej Holm is a Senior Researcher and Lecturer of Urban Sociology at the Humboldt University Berlin. His research interests include gentrification, international and comparative housing policy and European urban policy. He has published widely on urban renewal, gentrification and social urban movements. In one of his current research projects he is working on a web-based tool for the geo-visualisation of gentrification dynamics in Berlin.

Ares Kalandides is a researcher and practitioner in the field of spatial planning. He is the managing director of the company Inpolis - urbanism and a member of the Georg Simmel Centre for Metropolitan Studies and the Humboldt University in Berlin. He was born in Greece where he got a degree in literature and later one in urban and regional studies. He is based in Berlin, but his work has taken him to South America, South Africa and Australia. He has writen extensively on place branding, creative industries and public space and is currently teaching urban economics at the TU Berlin. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Place Management and Development and a passionate blogger.

Yuri Kazepov, is professor of Urban Sociology and Compared Welfare Systems at the University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”. He has been Jean Monet Fellow at the European University Institute (Fiesole, I) and held visiting professorships at the University of Bremen (DE) University of Lund and Växjö (SE) and Leuven (BE). He is the President of RC21 of the International Sociological Association. Among his publications we have (2005) Cities of Europe. Changing contexts, local arrangements and the challenge to social cohesion, Blackwell, Oxford (ed.), (2010) “Rescaling social policies towards multilevel governance in Europe”, Ashgate, Farnham (ed.). He is currently involved as head of the Urbino team in three FP7 projects (Improve, on poverty and local social innovation; Inspires, on labour market resilience; Divercities, on the governance of social mix and community diversity in European cities).

Henrik Lebuhn is an Assistant Professor in the Urban and Regional Sociology Program at Humboldt University Berlin, and a co-editor for PROKLA. Before coming to HU Berlin, he taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Freie Universität Berlin. His research interests include migration, borders, urban citizenship, urban social movements, and public space. His recent publications include Local Border Practices and Urban Citizenship in Europe: Exploring Urban Borderlands (in: CITY, 2012) and Community Gardening and Grassroots Politics in the Neoliberal City (in: Franceschini/Milicevic: Beneath the Pavement. A Garden, 2011).

Eduardo Marques is Professor Livre-docente at the Departament of Political Science of the University of São Paulo and Researcher at the Centre for Metropolitan Studies (CEM). Has a PhD in social sciences (IFCH/UNICAMP) and Master of Science in urban and regional planning (IPPUR/UFRJ). At the moment is the coordinator of the National Institute of Science and Technology within CEM, vice president of the RC 21 of the International Sociological Association and Coordinator of the IPSA Summer School on Concepts and Methods in Political Science and International Relations in São Paulo. Most recent publications include ‘Opportunities and deprivation in the Global South: Poverty, segregation and social networks in São Paulo’ published by Ashgate Pub in the Uk and the articles: “Poverty and sociability in Brazilian metropolises: comparing poor people´s personal networks in São Paulo and Salvador” Connections, Vol. 32 (1);  “Do social networks help overcoming urban poverty, in spite of segregation? International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol. 36 (5) and “Residential segregation and social structure in São Paulo: continuity and change since the 1990s”. In: Maloutas, T. & Fujita, K. (ed.) Residential Segregation Around the World: Why Context Matters. London: Ashgate Pub., 2012,  all published in 2012.

Mike Raco is Professor of Urban Governance and Development in the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. He has published widely on the topics of urban governance, regeneration, sustainability, and the politics of urban economic development. Recent books include Building Sustainable Communities: Spatial Policy and Labour Mobility in Post-war Britain (Policy Press, Bristol), Regenerating London: Governance, Sustainability and Community in a Global City (with Rob Imrie and Loretta Lees, Routledge, London) and The Future of Sustainable Cities: Critical Reflections (with John Flint, Policy Press, Bristol). Much of his research is UK focused but he has also written extensively on the politics of urban regeneration in the EU and East Asia. Recent projects have examined post-recession planning in London, Hong Kong, and Taipei, the rise of aspirational citizenship in urban policy discourses in the UK, and the impacts of privatisation and PFI contracts on the Coalition’s Open Source Planning reforms. He is also heading a UCL team working on a new 6.5million Euro EUFramework7 research consortium on the governance of social mix and community diversity in European cities.

Karen Rodríguez is a Cultural Studies scholar. From a psychoanalytical perspective, her research asks how the self encounters others and makes ongoing sense of difference. She is particularly interested in cities and the intersections between language, space and subjectivity. Her key area of focus is Mexico, and her publications include an academic book Small City on a Big Couch: A Psychoanalysis of a Provincial Mexican City, a poetry book Dentro y Fuera: an erotics of place, as well as numerous articles. Most recently, she taught at the Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico in both the Visual Arts Department and in the interdisciplinary Postgraduate Program in the Arts, where she continues to advise theses. She joined SIT (The School for International Training), in Vermont, US, as the Academic Dean for Latin America in January, 2013.

Jeremy Seekings is Professor of Political Studies and Sociology at the University of Cape Town (in South Africa), and is a regular Visiting Professor at Yale University (in the USA). He was co-editor of IJURR from 2005-11, and is a Vice-President of RC21. His books include Class, Race and Inequality in South Africa (2005) and Growing Up In The New South Africa: Childhood and Adolescence in Post-Apartheid Cape Town (2010) (both co-authored). He has written widely on the politics and sociology of South African cities, including on governance and protest, violence, inequalities, welfare and kinship, identities, and the construction of community.

AbdouMaliq Simone is an urbanist with particular interest in emerging forms of social and economic intersection across diverse trajectories of change for cities in the Global South. Simone is presently Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London and Visiting Professor of Urban Studies at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town. His work attempts to generate new theoretical understandings based on a wide range of urban practices generated by cities in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, as well as efforts to integrate these understandings in concrete policy and governance frameworks. Key publications include, In Whose Image: Political Islam and Urban Practices in Sudan, University of Chicago Press, 1994, and For the City Yet to Come: Urban Change in Four African Cities, Duke University Press, 2004, and City Life from Jakarta to Dakar: Movements at the Crossroads, Routledge, 2009.

Birgit zur Nieden is postdoctoral research assistant at the department of Sociology at Humboldt University Berlin. Her work is focussed on migration history, politics and social movements of migration as well in and to Europe as well as in Latin America, Furthermore she focuses on discrimination, racism, inequality, and applies feminist and postcolonial theory in her research. She recently published (co-author with Stefanie Kron) (2013): “Thinking Beyond the Categories: On the Diasporisation of Gender Studies”, in: Querelles. Jahrbuch für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung, Bd. 16, http://www.querelles.de/index.php/qjb/article/view/1; (forthcoming): Migration, Reziprozität und Europäizität. Spanisch-Argentinische Aushandlungen, Berlin: edition travía

PhD Students presenting their projects on Berlin

Christine Barwick (MA social sciences, Humboldt University Berlin) is PhD candidate at Humboldt University in Berlin and the ILS – Research Institute for Urban and Regional Development. She did her BA and MA in social sciences at Humboldt University. During her BA and MA she spent 9 months each in New York City, at the New School for Social Research and the Graduate Center of the City University New York, respectively. While there, she did research on gentrification processes and community resistance in Harlem.
Her MA thesis was on the selection processes and discrimination in social housing associations in Berlin. For her PhD she focuses on residential choice of the German-Turkish middle classes in Berlin.

Nihad El-Kayed is a PhD-candidate in sociology at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and an associated member at the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS). Her research interests include citizenship and migration, urban citizenship, social and political inequality and local context effects. In her PhD research she uses a mixed methods design to examine neighborhood effects on political participation of immigrants in Berlin. She receives a scholarship from the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation

Julia Nast  is a PhD candidate at the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences at the Humboldt University Berlin. She has studied sociology and political sciences at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, U.S. Her research interests include relational sociology, network analysis, neighborhood change and urban inequalities. Her current research project examines institutional neighborhood inequalities by focusing on the interplay of organizational structures, symbolic meanings and boundary work in schools and youth clubs in middle-class and disadvantaged neighborhoods in Berlin and London.

Henrik Schultze (Diplom, Social Sciences, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin) is research assistant, lecturer and PhD. candidate at the Department of Urban and Regional Sociology, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. Between 2010 and 2012 he works as freelancer at the department. From 2009-2010 he was research assistant at the Institute for Sport Science/Sport Sociology, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. His research interests are mechanisms of social inequality.

Lisa Vollmer (MA Historical Urban Studies, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University Berlin) is a DFG-fellow and phd-student at the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Technical University Berlin and the Department of Urban and Regional Sociology of Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. Her research interests are urban history, urban activism and political theory. Her current research project examines the process of politicization in the current tenant protest groups in Berlin and New York.