Urban politics and diversity
We are interested in urban politics and the negotiation of difference in communities. These themes include a focus on the development of critical and political urban theory, multi-culturalism, migration, urban practice, creative economies, and governance.
This work enrols actors from civil society organizations, NGOs, and governmental agencies to question inequalities at different scales – from the individual, to the family, community, city, region, nation state and world.
Who we are
Mercè Cortina-Oriol (Group: CPERG)
Mercè’s research seeks for a better understanding of the different systems and limits of governance in urban regeneration processes. She examines how different scalar strategies and governance practices are shaped along different neighbourhoods and explores how local factors interact with broader urban logics.
Jonathan Darling (Groups: CPERG, CSRG)
Jonathan’s research focuses on the politics and ethics of forced migration. He has published work on urban sanctuary movements, asylum activism, and the ethical challenges of working alongside asylum seekers and refugees. He is considering how new assemblages of urban authority and contestation emerge in the privatisation of housing for asylum seekers in British cities, and is developing a monograph exploring the political and ethical relationship between forced migration and the city.
William Kutz (Group: CPERG)
William’s research interests examines the political geographies of urban-economic development; comparative metropolitan finance, governance, and planning; and cultural and critical theories of urban space.
Lucas Oesch (Groups: CPERG, SERG)
Lucas’ work is centred on forced migration in urban contexts, with a focus on the Middle East. His research and publications investigate the transformation of urban space in relation to forced migration, the governance of urban refugee camps and informal settlements, as well as the integration and exclusion of forced migrants in urban space.
Erik Swyngedouw (Group: SERG)
Erik’s work focuses on the urban as a space of politicisation. The ambition is to contribute to a critical urban political theory in the context of processes of de-politicization on the one hand and the proliferation of urban political insurgencies on the other.
Mark Usher (Group: SERG)
Mark is interested in the analytical connections between urban governance, infrastructural systems and biopolitics. Focusing on drainage engineering and catchment management, Mark has demonstrated how urban politics is mediated by the material and ecological fabric of the city, from waterfronts and concrete culverts, to trapezoidal canals, distribution meters and crib walls.
Kevin Ward (Group: CPERG)
Kevin is an urban and regional political economist with interests in the future financing and governance of cities. This includes some of the way cities are experimenting with new ways of financing their futures and what this means for who gets to participate in urban politics and the production of the city.
Saskia Warren (Groups: SCRG, CPERG)
Saskia’s work explores urban difference with focus on governance, culture and education. She has worked with policy-makers, intermediaries, artists, and ethnic and religious minority migrants - to better understand experiences of social and spatial exclusion in the urban cultural and creative economy. Recent work includes interests in alternative spaces of education for belonging and integration, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Programmes and supplementary education.
Helen Wilson (Group: SCRG, CPERG)
Helen’s research focuses on social and cultural theories of difference. This ranges from an interest in the geographies of multiculturalism, race, religion and ethnicity through to animal geographies and the more-than-human. In particular, her work has focused on spaces of encounter and their political and pedagogic value, with an emphasis on urban spaces of mobility and public transport, education, and conflict management.