Martin Müller

Martin Müller, Prof. Dr.


Space and Organization

Tel.: 044 63 55247

Room number: Y25 L 42


The world we live in is made up of the entanglement of social and material stuff. Separate one from the other and much of what our daily life is made up of comes apart at the seams.

I pursue my interest in the social and the material through an engagement with actor-network theory (ANT) and assemblage thinking. Noting a lack of dialogue between the two approaches, I have explored the overlaps and silences.

Most of my empirical work centres on two phenomena:

What links mega-events and natural disturbances is that they are both "events" in the sense that they cause unexpected ruptures in the socio-material fabric.

I study what I call the Global East, the globalised and globalising former socialist states, suspended between multiple transformations from socialism to neoliberalism to neopatrimonialism. Recovering the Global East, written out of both the Global North and Global South, is a key concern of my research.

I am an omnivore in terms of methods, using both multivariate statistics and qualitative methods. That said, I have developed a particular taste for the varied flavours of ethnography.


2008 Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main: PhD Human Geography


2005 University of Cambridge: MPhil Development Studies


2004 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München: BA (equiv.) Economic Geography



2017 - Université de Lausanne: Swiss National Science Foundation Professor

2013 - 2017 Universität Zürich: Swiss National Science Foundation Professor

2009 - 2013 Universität St. Gallen: Assistant Professor for Cultures, Institutions and Markets

2007 - 2009 Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main: Lecturer | Department of Human Geography


2013 - 2017        Institute for Advanced Studies (IMERA) and Centre Norbert Elias  | Marseille | France


2013 - 2017         University of Birmingham | Birmingham | UK


2015             Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) | Brussels | Belgium


2013             University of Oxford | Oxford | UK


2012             University of North Carolina | Chapel Hill | USA


2010 - 2014  Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main | Frankfurt | Germany


2010              University of British Columbia (UBC) | Vancouver | Canada



My research has been covered in the New York Times, Financial Times, Newsweek, International Business Times, ABC, Inside Climate News, Toronto Star, Svenska Dagbladet, TV Rain (Russia), El Mercurio (Chile), Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), NZZ, Tribune de Genève and other outlets.

I am a contributor of commentaries to DIE ZEIT, Süddeutsche Zeitung, NZZ and Tages-Anzeiger. 

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