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The Political Geography unit in the media

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published an article on our unit's work: The text discusses Benedikt Korf's and Timothy Raeymaeker's research on Sri Lanka and DR Congo in relation to spaces of violence. Download the article here (PDF, 366 Kb).

Recent Publications

Goodhand, J, B. Klem, and S. Sørbø (2014) ‘Battlefields of method: Evaluating Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka,’ in B. Bull, M. Kennedy-Chouane and O. Winckler (eds) Evaluation Methodologies for Aid in Conflict, pp. 61-84. London: Routledge.

Vogel, C. (2014): Islands of Stability or Swamps of Insecurity? (PDF, 338 Kb)Africa Policy Brief, 9: 1-10.

Klem, B. (2013), BOOK REVIEW (PDF, 63 Kb) of 'Everyday Ethnicity in Sri Lanka: Up-Country Tamil Identity Politics' by Daniel Bass (2013). Pacific Affairs, 86(4): 939-940.

Korf, B. & Raeymaekers, T. (eds.) (2013) Violence on the Margins. States, Conflict, and Borderlands. Palgrave Macmillan.


Political Geography

Department of Geography
University of Zurich (Irchel)
Winterthurerstr. 190
CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland

E-Mail: perscheng.assef@no.spam.geo.uzh.no.spam.ch

Political Geography

Political geography is the study of the spaces of politics and the politics of space. Our research unit is particularly interested in the political geographies at the margins of a globalizing world. We study the spatial politics of violent conflict, uneven development and state building in Africa and South Asia. SOTOMO is an associated research unit studying Swiss social and political geography.

About us

We study the intricate relations between violence, politics, and space. Drawing on the interdisciplinary field of geography, anthropology, political ecology and international relations, we conduct qualitative extended case studies in different parts of the world, principally in South and Southeast Asia (Nepal, Sri Lanka, Borneo), Africa (Ethiopia, DR Congo) and Europe, as well as in the transnational contexts of migration and humanitarian aid. Methodologically, our research is grounded in qualitative fieldwork. For more detail about our unit and our research please click here

Recent Announcements

April 2014

For his upcoming monograph about the social transformations in the DRC through a century of violent conflicts, Timothy Raeymaekers held a lecture at the Centre of African Studies at the University of Copenhagen. For more information, download the flyer here (PDF, 342 Kb).

Bart Klem contributed to the book launch of the edited volume “Evaluation methodologies for aid in conflict” which took place at Swisspeace (Berne).

Timothy Raeymaekers has been appointed scientific advisor of City Ghettos of Today, a multidisciplinary project that explores cultural diversity and ghettoization in seven European cities. For more information, click here.

March 2014

Tobias Hagman (University of Roskilde) joined the polit seminar with a presentation titled “Hybrid governance, the pure politics of Africa go crazy”.

February 2014

Bart Klem delivered a lecture at the Institute of Anthropology at the University of Berne titled: “The politics of order and disturbance: Public authority and violent contestation in Sri Lanka”.

In a special session of the polit seminar, Benedikt Korf and Rajesh Venugopal (LSE) presented on their research on Sri Lanka under the respective titles: "Order in (and out) of disorder: Violence, sovereignty and the production of life in Sri Lanka", and "Cosmopolitan capitalism and sectarian socialism: Conflict, development and the liberal peace in Sri Lanka".

Christoph Vogel recently published two new articles about his work in DR Congo: one in the Journal of Humanitarian Assistance and the other (PDF, 338 Kb) in Africa Policy Brief.

January 2014

Al Jazeera published an article by Christoph Vogel, titled "DR Congo risks violence despite rebel defeat".

Timothy Raeymaekers wrote about his current work in DR Congo, where he researches the plight of internally displaced people.

Bart Klem's article "The political geography of war's end: Territorialisation, circulation, and moral anxiety in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka" was published in Political Geography

December 2013

Under the title "Beyond Obama's Law" the Political Geography unit organised a roundtable on so-called conflict minerals in eastern Congo. Download the program here (PDF, 248 Kb). For more information contact Timothy Raeymaekers.

Bart Klem wrote a review (PDF, 63 Kb)of the book "Everyday Ethnicity in Sri Lanka: Up-Country Tamil Identity Politics" which was published in Pacific Affairs.

November 2013

The "Friday's Food for Thought's" final event with ten short talks on multiple aspects of geography took place in the Impact Hub Zurich. Download the flyer here (PDF, 5.1 Mb). For more information contact Bart Klem.

October 2013

Guest lecture by Stuart Elden (Univ. Warwick, UK): "Earth: Regrounding Geopolitics". Download the flyer here (PDF, 74 Kb).

Seminar, Reading & Debating with Werner Zips (Univ. Vienna, A): "The Rights-based Approach - Nature Conservation & Indigeneity as a Legal Concept." Download the program here (PDF, 99 Kb).

"Traveling Norms and the Politics of Contention": International Conference by the University Research Priority Program (URPP) Asia and Europe. Download program here (PDF, 0.9 Mb). For more information contact Benedikt Korf.

September 2013

Anarchy day: As an initiative to encourage a more explicit engagement with radical geography in the department, Jennifer Bartmess, Stephan Hochleithner and Timothy Raeymaekers were hosting a session for discussing radical geography within and beyond academic pursuits in Waldhütte, Zürichberg. 

 August 2013

The new book Violence on the Margins – States, Conflict, and Borderlands, edited by PGG's Benedikt Korf and Timothy Raeymaekers, is now available from Palgrave/MacMillan.

“This boldly multidisciplinary volume surveys African and Asian conflicts through individuals' lived experiences of territorial borders, as well as the ways these experiences affect political configurations“. Get more information here and join the conversation here.

July 2013

Sarah Byrne recently organised two workshops entitled "Lost in Transition? Negotiating Local Governance in Nepal". The aim of the workshops, held in Surkhet and Kathmandu, was to share the initial findings of the research project "Living with Violence: Rural Livelihoods in Mid-Western Nepal". The workshops were attended by a diverse group of local politicians who had participated in the research, policy makers, development practitioners and researchers. The workshop report, capturing the presentations and lively debate, will be available soon. For more information please contact Sarah Byrne; download the programme (PDF, 273 Kb).

The Political Geography Group, in cooperation with Eva Ambos, South Asia Institute Heidelberg, Anthropology Department, organised a Sri Lanka seminar on "Sri Lanka im Kontext von Globalisierung". The seminar took place in Heidelberg on June  28./29. and July 12./13. Please contact Pia Hollenbach for more information; Download program (PDF, 110 Kb) here.

June 2013

The Political Geography unit organised a small workshop on current affairs in Sri Lanka. Jennifer Hyndman (York University, Canada) was with us as a special guest. The event took place on 20 June 2013. Please contact Bart Klem for more information.

April 2013

The Political Geography Unit was well-represented at the annual conference of the British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) in Leeds this year (3-5 April 2013). Pia Hollenbach, Deborah Johnson and Bart Klem organised two panels on Sri Lanka, titled "What doesn't bend breaks: Revisiting Sri Lanka" and "Post war Sri Lanka in flux: Contested sovereignty, economic turbulence and moral anxiety" respectively. Please use these links to listen to the presentation-podcast or view the according paper: Bart Klem, Deborah Johnson, Pia Hollenbach (PDF, 309 Kb).

Deborah Johnson, Bart Klem and Benedikt Korf participated in the Sri Lanka Round Table at London School of Economics (LSE) on 25 and 26 April 2013. The roundtable is a rotating European initiative that was initiated by the Political Geography unit in Zurich along with partner institutions.

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