Ongoing Lead Project

The lead project aims to understand the political construction and governance of critical infrastructures in relation to their spatiality. Infrastructures are increasingly viewed in terms of their vulnerability to disruption and the resulting security risks. Political resources are devoted to adequately securing "critical infrastructures" such as water supply and energy networks. <br/>But which infrastructures are considered critical and why? The perception and governance of infrastructures are particularly relevant for cities due to their high concentration of people, infrastructure, economic and cultural assets. Accordingly, urban climate adaptation, which seeks to prepare for disruptions such as extreme weather events, and the digitalisation of urban infrastructures, as a potential improvement tool but also as a possible new source of uncertainty for infrastructure networks, serve as fields of investigation.<br/> more

Ongoing Third-party Funded Projects

The ESRa project examines factors that characterize regions with a predominantly positive attitude towards energy system transformation from regions with a negative attitude. The project aims at explaining how these factors can be influenced with regard to the realization of a successful energy transition. The project relates this question to the phenomenon of increasing regional disparities and the drifting apart of regions concerning those that draw advantage from globalization processes and those that do not. The success of an energy system transformation will depend considerably on helping less favorably equipped regions to develop and use such resources and skills.<br/> more

ExTrass seeks to better prepare medium-sized and large cities in Germany for heavy rainfall and heat. To this end, restraining and enabling factors of urban climate adaptation are analysed and successfull measures are identified. A large part of the project work is undertaken in three case study cities: Potsdam, Remscheid and Würzburg. Here, among other things, the project team tests greening measures, works towards climate-sensitive urban planning, contributes data on city climate, educates the population on risks and improves contingency plans. In addition, opportunities for exchange are created so that cities can better learn from each other. more

Ongoing Qualification Projects

The dissertation project uses interpretive discourse analysis (Hajer 1995, 2005, 2008) to examine the political construction of critical infrastructures. The project analyses definitions, sectors and related discourses around ‘critical infrastructure’, using Sweden and Germany as case studies. The research focuses on the local level, particularly on urban areas that see themselves as ‘smart cities’. The discourses on critical infrastructures and smart cities have developed largely independently of each other. This project will link them together to address the question of criticality on a local level. more

The challenges of the socio-ecological crisis require far-reaching transformation processes, which, in scalar terms, presuppose a change in modes of living both at the micro level (of subjects and practices) and at the macro level (of social structures). This assumption is the starting point for the project that is part of the habilitation process (post-doctoral thesis for senior researchers). The analytical focus is on (de-)politicization processes (especially of the growth paradigm) and conflicts (especially over exnovations). The term exnovation refers to the intended elimination (or dismantling) of practices, products, technologies, and infrastructures. more

This project is part of the so-called German habilitation qualification (post-doctoral thesis for senior researchers). It is about energy spaces, energy transitions and new geographies of energy. more

Completed Third-party Funded Projects