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Kevin Ward

Professor of Human Geography, Director of External Relations, School of Environment, Education and Development, and Director of the Manchester Urban Institute

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  • 1998 PhD in Geography, Governing the city: A regime approach (University of Manchester) (Awarded ESRC Studentship, 1994-1997)
  • 1995 Master of Arts in Social Research Methods (University of Manchester)
  • 1992 Master of Arts in Transport Economics (University of Leeds) (Awarded Rees Jeffreys Full Fellowship, 1991-1992)
  • 1991 BA (Hons) Economics and Geography (Middlesex University)

Research interests 

I am a geographical political economist with interests in urban politics and policy on the one hand, and work and employment on the other. My current work explores urban policies to see where they come from, how they travel, where they end up and what these journeys mean for the cities the policies pass through. Theoretically, this involves rethinking what is meant by ‘the urban’ in urban politics, as elements of different places are assembled and reassembled to constitute particular ‘urban’ political realms. Methodologically, this involves doing fieldwork in a range of sites inside and outside of the cities that are the objects of study, literally seeking to reveal the circuits, networks and webs in and through which policies are moved.

My co-edited book (with Eugene McCann) Mobile Urbanism: Cities and Policymaking in the Global Age (Minnesota University Press) was published in 2011. I am currently exploring the constitution of financial 'models' that have emerged in different areas of the world and that have been circulating as a means of funding infrastructure in the current economic condition.

Supervision topics

  • Governance, struggle, and negotiation as differing modes of politics;
  • Benchmarking, comparison and learning between cities;
  • Struggles and negotiations around urban sustainability and resilience;
  • Collective consumption and social reproduction in the twenty first century;
  • Exchanges, visits and learning between cities;
  • Im/mobile urban policies and their mutations;
  • Informality and the everyday in cities;
  • Infrastructure and its provision and financing in the current economic crisis;
  • Urban, suburban and post-suburban political forms.

Current supervision topics

  • Housing biographies and the construction of 'liveable' places;
  • Chinese labour migration to the UK.

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