Political geography is the study of the co-production of space and power. Our research unit is particularly interested in this dynamics at the margins of a globalizing world. We study the spatial production of political order, uneven development and governance through specific discursive practices and places in Africa, South East Asia and Europe.
The political geography unit offers courses, supervises theses at both Bachelor and Master levels, and organizes field trips. For an overview over the lectures, seminars and tutorials offered, please consult Department of Geography / Studying and the electronic university calendar.
Introducing Shona Loong: the journey so far, the path ahead
The Political Geography Group (PGG) welcomes Dr Shona Loong, who joined as a Senior Scientist in January 2022. Her research focuses on conflict transformation, peacebuilding, and the politics of international development. Read more about her work and ethos towards research here.
Urban Development and the Making of Frontiers in/from Addis Ababa/Finfinne, Ethiopia
In an article, “Urban Development and the Making of Frontiers in/from Addis Ababa/Finfinne, Ethiopia”, Asebe Ragassa from the Political Geography Group (PGG) and his colleague Dr. Teshome Emana Soboka publishes research historicizing frontier-making in Ethiopia linking it to the formation of the modern Ethiopian state in the late-19th century through wars of conquest. Read more about this research here.
Reflections and reflexively between Ethiopia and Switzerland
PGG’s Visiting PhD. scholar Tefera Goshu reflects on his lived geographies between life as a visiting scholar in Zurich and as a citizen and researcher of agrarian change and politics of Ethiopia.
Scientific images that ask questions
The SNSF Scientific Image Competition 2022 casts an unconventional light on research conducted in Switzerland. One of the winning images is by Stephan Hochleitner, a postdoc in Political Geography.
Remaking and Living with Resource Frontiers in Myanmar
Jasnea Sarma from the Political Geography Group (PGG) along with her colleagues Hilary Faxon (University of California, Berkeley) and K.B. Roberts (York University) guest edits and introduces a new special issue, “Remaking and Living with Resource Frontiers in Myanmar.” Their introduction critically examines pre- and post- 2021 Feb military coup, extractive economies and political geographies in Myanmar and its Asian neighbourhood. Read more about the issue here.
A mega-road meets a remote-borderland: Research on the India Myanmar borderlands
Jasnea Sarma from the Political Geography Group publishes ethnographic research that highlights the social, ecological, bureaucratic and ethnic life of a borderland that has become the site for an Indian infrastructural mega-project called the Kaladan Multimodal Road. She highlights the voices of engineers, labourers, local officials, refugees, ethnic minorities and ‘undocumented’ indigenous communities to explore the aspirations, erasures and effects of spectacle-making by large-scale ...
Zu gut, um wahr zu sein
Die State-Building-Missionen des Westens sind gut gemeint, aber sie scheitern regelmässig an ihrem moralisch überhöhten Anspruch, schreiben Benedikt Korf und Christine Schenk in einem Feuilleton-Artikel in der NZZ.
Frontiers of Extraction and Contestation in Ethiopia
Asebe Regassa from the Political Geography Group (PGG) publishes research on extractive mining, dispossession and resistance around the MIDROC Laga-Dambi Gold Mine in southern Ethiopia.
Migrant labour exploitation in agriculture
In collaboration with colleagues Ilaria Ippolito and Mimmo Perrotta, Timothy Raeymaekers launches the edited volume (in Italian) 'Braccia rubate dall’agricoltura: Pratiche di sfruttamento del lavoro migrante'.
New Book out: The Black Mediterranean
In collaboration with Black History Month at NYU, Florence, Timothy Raeymaekers and a collective of scholars launched the edited volume “The Black Mediterranean”.