Sadia Amin
Research Associate | Department for Historical Research

Sadia Amin has been working as a Research Associate at the IRS since January 2021 for the "Freigeist" project "Conquering (with) Concrete: German Construction Companies as Global Players in Local Contexts",  funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. Her research focuses on the global construction industry and the materialization of large-scale infrastructure, with a regional focus on South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Prior to joining the IRS, Sadia taught at the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture in Karachi, and also worked as a research analyst and media producer for Soch Media, a multilingual news community based in Pakistan. She has also worked with the Karachi Urban Lab as an associate on various projects pertaining to urban planning  issues in Karachi.

Sadia has a Masters degree in Urban Studies from University of Sheffield and a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences and Liberal Arts from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi.


Ongoing Third-party Funded Projects

Global construction companies impact our futures. Beyond the edifices and infrastructures they construct, they also fundamentally influence governmental development aid policies, or dislocate people to build a new dam, for example. Yet the role of these major global players and their persistent presence in different world regions has barely been reflected upon. Our project investigates how major German construction companies conquered markets and spaces, thereby cementing their presence in different regions of the Global South, and it will trace the footprints left behind, long after the dust of the construction sites settled. It draws on the observation that it is impossible to fully understand the complexity of the built environment in these regions without acknowledging and analysing the role of construction companies such as HOCHTIEF AG or Bilfinger Berger as actors, stakeholders, transnational legal entities and major driving forces in the processes of globalised construction business. However, in previous bodies of research this perspective has been overlooked, except for rare exemptions. more info

Interview with the IRS Junior Research Group Leaders Jana Kleibert and Monika Motylinska

The IRS currently hosts two junior research groups funded by prestigious programmes. Urban and economic geographer Jana Kleibert has been researching how higher education is marketed in international "branch campuses" with her Leibniz Junior Research Group "Constructing Transnational Spaces of Higher Education" (TRANSEDU) since 2018. Architectural historian Monika Motylinska and her junior research group "Conquering (with) Concrete", funded by the Volkswagen Foundation's Freigeist Programme, have been investigating what German construction companies contributed to the globalisation of architecture in the 20th century since the beginning of 2020. In the interview, the two researchers reflect on the current state of their research groups' work and explain how they are dealing with the challenges of the Corona pandemic. more info