Research Group

Urban Politics

The Research Group focuses on how political processes, negotiations and inequalities manifest in the planning of cities. Comprehending cities as political arenas, our research revolves around global themes such the financialisation of urban development, socio-spatial disparities and international migration. Taking an actor-centred perspective on urban politics, the group’s current interests are in the changing nature of urban governance arrangements. Across the world, we witness urban conflicts that call into question established assumptions about cooperation and network-based partnerships in the governing of cities. Thus, the group’s research is concerned with the ways in which these challenges require new approaches to the study of planning and decision-making processes in cities.

Ongoing Projects

The PhD project investigates the negotiations of far-right contestations in urban planning and governance processes. It is supervised by Matthias Bernt (Lehrstuhl für Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie, Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin) and Laura Calbet i Elias (Fachgebiet Theorien und Methoden der Stadtplanung, Städtebau-Institut, Universität Stuttgart). more

The joint project examines potentials and problems of former urban redevelopment neighbourhoods ("Stadtumbauquartiere") in transition to arrival neighbourhoods for immigrants. The joint project is divided into five sub-projects. Sub-project 1 "Governance" is being worked on at the IRS. It examines planning principles and actor constellations in the cities of Cottbus, Schwerin and Halle (Saale) to enable better governance of change by municipal actors. more

This project, secured in cooperation with the University of Łódź, thematises various paths in the development of a number of neighbourhoods in both cities following the change of system over 25 years ago. The scientists strive to provide both new findings about the interplay of institutional contexts and socio-spatial differentiation processes, as well as about post-socialist urban development in Middle and Eastern Europe. more