Christian Berndt
Christian Berndt, Prof. Dr.

Economic Geography

Tel.: 044 635 51 80

Room number: Y25 L 48



I took up my position as Professor of Economic Geography at the Department in March 2010. Before coming to Zurich, I held a professorship in economic geography at the University of Frankfurt. Earlier stages of my academic career were the University of Cambridge (UK), where I received my PhD, the place of my habilitation, the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, and for a short period as a Visiting Scholar the University of California, Los Angeles.



Geographies of marketization

This is an ongoing project in collaboration with Marc Boeckler (University of Frankfurt). In its broadest understanding "geographies of marketization" open up new perspectives towards the emergence of market orders and their continuous spatial and social expansion (and their contribution to the construction of society). Markets are conceived of as sociotechnical assemblages: arrangements of people, things, and sociotechnical devices that format products, prices, competition, places of exchange, and mechanisms of control. This takes seriously the constellations of distributed agency that make processes of marketization possible.


Geographies of global commodity chains and transnational markets

I have a longstanding interest in the production, distribution and consumption of global commodities and their spatially and socially uneven geographies. My emphasis is on agricultural commodities (e.g. soy, horticulture) and industrial production systems (e.g. «maquiladora industry»).


Uneven geographies of pesticide production, trade and use

I am part of an international network of researchers exploring changes in the geography of global pesticide production, trade and use, and what these changes mean for ecologies and human health. A confluence of economic, social and ecological factors has led to the accelerated adoption of pesticides in diverse agrarian contexts. We combine insights from economic geography, feminist science studies, and political ecology to understand interactions between these agrarian changes and transformations in agrochemical industries. We are currently focused on three areas of research: (1) new methods to estimate pesticide use under conditions of decline in official statistics; (2) mapping generic herbicide production networks; and (3) analyzing multi-scale regulatory actions targeting glyphosate, the world’s most widely used pesticide.

Pesticide Trade Lab