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New Topics for Master Theses are advertised!

Human Geography Unit

Human Geography Unit
Department of Geography
University of Zurich - Irchel
Winterthurerstr. 190
CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland

tel: +41-44-635 51 71
fax: +41-44-635 68 44



Open Positions

Human Geography

Research at the 'Human Geography' unit of the Department of Geography at the University of Zürich focuses on processes of ‚development’ and change from local to global level, applying a range of contemporary theoretical approaches from social and new cultural geography. Ongoing research projects take place in South, Southeast and Central Asia, East Africa and Switzerland, and are engaged with

  • challenges to rural livelihoods and the politics of development,
  • migration, asylum seeking, multi-locality and development,
  • spatial appropriation, nature conservation, and
  • geographies of youth and education.

Regarding teaching, the unit is engaged at the Bachelor (B.Sc.), Master (M.Sc.), and doctoral (Ph.D.) levels.

The Unit coordinates the department’s Development Study Group Zurich (DSGZ) and is participating in the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South.

Mathieu, J., Backhaus, N., Hürlimann, K. & Bürgi, M. (Hrsg.) (2016). Geschichte der Landschaft in der Schweiz, Zürich: Orell Füssli. Publisher's Page

and therein

Backhaus, N., Hammer, T. & Siegrist, D. (2016). Wissenschaft, Politik, Planung. In: Mathieu, J., Backhaus, N., Hürlimann, K. & Bürgi, M. (Hrsg.) Geschichte der Landschaft in der Schweiz. Zürich: Orell Füssli, pp. 240–253.

Müller-Böker, U. (2016): Hami Nepali? Belonging in Nepal and the Nepali diaspora. In: Subba, Tanka B. and A.C. Sinha (Eds.): Nepali diaspora in a globalised era. Routledge, New Delhi, pp. 40-54.


Wenner, M. (2016): Diasporic imaginations of Darjeeling: Gorkhaland as an imaginative geography. In: Subba, Tanka B. and A.C. Sinha (Eds.): Nepali diaspora in a globalised era. Routledge, New Delhi, pp. 108-130.

Backhaus, N., Hartmann, S., Müller-Böker, U., & Studierende des Geographischen Instituts der Universität Zürich (2016). Biosfera Val Müstair: Einheimische und Gäste. Zürich: Geographisches Institut der Universität Zürich.

Download PDF (PDF, 10.6 Mb)

Hollenbach, P., Jaggi, A., Müller-Böker, U., Seithel, S., Lohani, J.R., Bhetwal, B., Upadhyay, U.P. & Upreti, K. (2015). Employment Fund Nepal. Qualitative Impact Evaluation Report. Zurich (Switzerland) & Kathmandu (Nepal).

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Hatcher, C. (2015). Globalising homeownership: housing privatisation schemes and the private rental sector in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In: International Development Planning Review, 37(4), 467 - 486. DOI

Backhaus, N. & Rupf, R. (2015). «…ne pas quitter les sentiers…» Un parc pour l'homme? In: Baur, B. & Scheurer, T. (Eds.) Au coeur de la nature: Cent ans de recherches au Parc national suisse. Bern: Haupt. Publisher's Page

Backhaus, N., Cherix, D., Scheurer, T. & Wallner, A. (Eds.) (2015). Jusqu'où doit-on protéger la nature? / Wie viel Schutz(gebiete) braucht die Natur?. Bern: Haupt. Publisher's Page

Babel, A., Thieme, S. & Grabska, K. (2015). Negotiating one position: Switzerland at the Global Forum on Migration and Development. In: Development in Practice, 25(6), 856-866. DOI

Kern, A. & Müller-Böker, U. (2015). The middle space of migration: A case study on brokerage and recruitment agencies in Nepal. In: Geoforum, Vol. 65, p. 158-169. DOI

Michel, A. H., Buchecker, M. & Backhaus, N. (2015). Renewable Energy, Authenticity, and Tourism: Social Acceptance of Photovoltaic Installations in a Swiss Alpine Region. In: Mountain Research and Development, 35(2), 161-170. DOI

Hatcher, C. & Thieme, S. (2015). Institutional transition: Internal migration, the propiska, and post-socialist urban change in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Urban Studies, Online First

Bauer, I. (2015). Approaching geographies of education differANTly. Children’s Geographies, 13(5), 1-8. DOI

Hatcher, C. (2015). Illegal geographies of the state: the legalisation of a “squatter” settlement in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, 7(1), 39 - 54. DOI