MSc Theses

MSc Theses


Baumann, Heidi First Nations people in Montreal: The creation of an indigenous space (Supervision: Benedikt Korf)
Kaiser, Julian

Expulsion of Fulani pastoralists from Central Ghana: Struggling actors in a legally pluralistic setting (Supervision: Muriel Côte, Frank Agyei/Uni Kwame N'Krumah)

Lama, Phulba Doma Kritische Geographie an der Universität Zürich ca. 1970-85 (Supervision: Benedikt Korf)
Müller, Manuel (In-)security in the margins of the state: Vigilantes and legitimacy in Mexico (Supervision: Timothy Raeymaekers)
Schärer, Rahel Die Rolle von lokalem Wissen in Bezug auf Umweltschutz und Nachhaltigkeit in der Schweizer Agrarpolitik aus der Sicht von Landwirten und Landwirtinnen im Kanton Zürich (Supervision: Benedikt Korf)


MSc Theses completed


Gilli, Mengina "Taking place?": Formalization through community-based resource management and shea nut certification in Ghana (Supervision: Muriel Côte, Gretchen Walters/IUCN)
Frösch, Matthias Representations of terror attacks in Swiss media (Supervision: Rory Rowan)
Stamm, Jessica Chinese and Taiwanese entrepreneurs in Windhoek, Namibia: The shop owners of Chinatown and Fujian City (Supervision: Timothy Raeymaekers)
Zanetti, Jessica Mining farmers' livelihood strategies: A mixed method study at artisanal small-scale gold mines in Burkina Faso (Supervision: Muriel Côte, Fritz Brugger/ETH)


Wolf, Nadine Fencing in, keeping out: Seasonality and enclosure in the Okakarara area, Namibia (Supervision: Benedikt Korf, Rony Emmenegger & Olivier Graefe)
Kaufmann, Christoph The construction of territorialities through campesinos in the process of land restitution in Montes de Maria, Colombia (Supervision: Muriel Côte)
Locher, Hannah Supranational management of migration flows: understanding the structures and mechanisms of the European hotspot approach in Sicily, Italy (Supervision: Timothy Raeymaekers)

Borner, Chiara

Conflict, Peace and Nuns - Geography of Religious Spaces in Northern Sri Lanka (Supervision: Benedikt Korf)
Wennubst Francesco Opening and incremental closure of the Balkan Route. Understanding scales of migration management and the Serbian "open borders" stance (Supervision: Timothy Rayemeakers)



Herter, Marc Development as Spectacle: Understanding post-war urban development in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Supervision: Pia Hollenbach)


Gastberger, Eva The Implementation of a National Protection Programme for Asylum Seekers and Recognised Refugees in Italy (Supervision: Timothy Raeymaekers)
Frébutte, Marc-Antoine Exploitation et illégalité dans l'agro-industrie italienne: le cas de Venosa dans la province de Potenza (Supervision: Timothy Raeymaekers)
Girod, Céline Die strukturelle Rolle von NGOs am Beispiel der Regierungspolitik des Schweizer Rohstoffsektors (Supervision: Timothy Raeymaekers)
Hunziker, Jonas Planning (versus) the Unplannable: Urban Planning and the Production of Illegal Geographies in Kampala, Uganda (Supervision: Rony Emmenegger)
Neff, Oliver Remittance 2.0? Transnational Entrepreneurship by Second Generation Kosovars from Switzerland (Supervision: Sarah Byrne)
Schwarz, Ramon Konfliktmineralieninitiativen und der Einfluss des OECD Due Diligence Frameworks. Eine Untersuchung von Policy-Verbreitung (Supervision: Timothy Raeymaekers)
Steiner, Jennifer «Kein attraktiver Standortfaktor»: Asylunterkünfte als Hindernis im lokalen Entwicklungsplan. Eine diskursanalytische Betrachtung der Opposition gegen Asylunterkünfte in der Schweiz.
(Supervision: Benedikt Korf and Ephraim Pörtner)



Celentano, Simon

Die somalische Gemeinschaft in Addis Abeba: Somalische Identität, Diskurse und ethnischer Föderalismus in Äthiopien (Supervision: Rony Emmenegger)
Heinzle, Sabine Return to the Past? The Struggle for Belonging among Northern Muslims living in long-term Displacement in Puttalam, Sri Lanka (Supervision: Bart Klem)
Mäder, Tanja The Meaning of a Visit - Sinhalese Tourists, Temples, and the End of War in Eastern Sri Lanka (Supervision: Bart Klem


Buss, Patricia Living in Galagodawatta - A Post-Tsunami Resettlement Scheme in Sri Lanka (Supervision: Pia Hollenbach)
Cima, Ottavia The Journey of Accountability: Translating, Negotiating and Performing Development in Rural Nepal (Supervision: Benedikt Korf)
Frischknecht, Karin Development in mid-Western Nepal: Decision-Making in and Politicization of a Local Development Project in the Context of Political Transition (Supervision: Sarah Byrne)
Haltiner, Pascal Getting off the Hook? Deep sea Fishery Livelihoods and Changes in the War to Peace Transition in Valaichchenai, eastern Sri Lanka (Supervision: Bart Klem)
Kern, Alice Violence of Marginality: Living through Political Conflict and Transition in Rural Nepal (Supvervision Sarah Byrne, Benedikt Korf)
Vögeli, Urs Staatstheoretische Kritik am Konzept Staatszerfall (Supervision: Francis Cheneval, Timothy Raeymaekers)


Gantenbein, Basil Deman-Side Quality Regulation for Carbon Offsetting. A Way to Overcome Integrity Issues in the Compliance Market? (Supervison: Joëll de Sépibus, Universität Bern)
Hess, Monika Forging Diasporic Politcal Identities in the Post-LTTE Era. Young Tamil Secon-Generation Adults in Switzerland (Supervision: Benedikt Korf and Pia Hollenbach)
Hobi, Martin Existenzsichernde Löhne in der Bekleidungsindustrie – Die Herausforderungen der Implementierung aus Sicht von Schweizer Bekleidungsunternehmen und indischen Produzenten (Supervision: Mark Starmanns)
Imoberdorf, Ilona Deutungskämpfe im Oberwallis: Interessenverbände in der Debatte um den Wolf (Supervision: W. Zimmermann (ETHZ), Benedikt Korf)
Suter, Pirimin Nationale Identität in einer polarisierten Politlandschaft. Eine diskursanalytische Untersuchung von 1. August-Reden eidgenössischer Parlamentarierinnen und Parlamentariern aus dem Jahren 2007-2010 (Supervision: Michael Hermann)


Graf, Samuel Small-scale gold mining in Ghana: Legalised - but legal? The organisation and legitimation of small-scale gold mining and trade operations
Moser, Michael State failure and reconstruction of security - A critical discours analysis of the OECD's influence on the debate
Weilenmann, Barbara A Critical Analysis of Discourse: A Case Study on DFID's Persception and Representation of State Failure (Supervision: Tobias Hagmann)


Emmenegger, Rony Decentralization to the household in Oromia, Ethiopia (Supervision: Tobias Hagmann/ Sibilo Keno)
Ganz, Patric The transnational social space of post-tsunami aid - A case study of the Catholic Diaspora in Switzerland (Supervision: Mark Starmans)
Haile Selassie, Yared The ballot or the bullet? Role and radicalization of Ethiopian Diaspora political groups after the 2005 elections (Subpervision: Albert A. Stahel/ Tobias Hagmann)
Heiz, Marina The relationship between systemic risk in yield losses and physical-geographic characteristics: A regression analysis with Swiss case regions (Supervision: Prof. Dr.Bernhard Lehmann und Raushan Bokusheva/ ETHZ)
Ruf, Christian Orte im funktionalen und räumlichen Kontext: Zwei Masse für die Eigen- und Frendzentralität der Schweizer Gemeinden (Supervison: Christoph Craviolini)
Waldburger, Doris Motivation für ein ethisches Konsumverhalten: Eine Studie zum Moraldiskurs ethischer Konsumenten (Supervision: Pia Hollenbach)


Corradi, Corinne Access to health care among nomadic pastoralist in Chad -Using the livelihood approach (Supervision: Tobias Hagmann, Ulrike Müller-Böcker)
Kallenberger, Pascal Howrah the other Kolkata . The planning and making of poverty in a contemporary Indian city - a critical analysis (Supervision: Christian Schmid)
Meier, Matthias Corporate Social Responsibility in globalen Lieferketten - Strategien von Schweizer Bekleidungsunternehmen, zur Übernahme von Verantwortung (Supervision: Mark Starmanns)
Wittek, Janine The transnational social space of post-tsunami aid: A case study of the Catholic Tamil disapora in Switzerland (Supervison: Benedikt Korf)


Ehrler, Sabine Interfaces of a local NGO in Global Health Governance (Supervision: Benedikt Korf)
Kramer, Michael Entwicklungspolitischer Diskurs in österreichischen und deutsch-schweizer Printmedien (Supervision: Benedikt Korf)
Schürmann, Veronika Wof washa - cave of birds: Dynamics of a forest at the eastern escarpment of the Ethiopian Highlands (Diplomarbeit) (Supervision: Benedikt Korf)


Master Theses announced

Staff members of the unit are interested in supervising MSc topics concerned with the relationship between conflict, politics, and space broadly defined. This includes, but is not limited to, topics on borders, religion, resources, democracy and the politics of development.


Students interested in undertaking an MSc course within the political geography unit may choose one of the two following approaches:

  • We strongly advise students to make up their own topics. Students are encouraged to consult the political geography unit staff webpages and get in touch with the member of the unit whose research interests seem to best fit her/his topic.
  • Unit members also propose a variety of topics. These are fieldwork-based and their scope is to be found below. Students can read the PDF handout for these topics and get in touch with the corresponding contact person. The scope of these topics is also open to discussion with students.


MSc papers may be written in German or English.

Please also read the most recent version of our guidelines for master students (PDF, 75 KB).


Topic Contact

Unruly mountains and the rockslide in Bondo, Alpine Switzerland

Read more (PDF, 81 KB)


Rony Emmenegger

Kritische Geographie in Zürich, 1970-1985

Read more (PDF, 85 KB)


Benedikt Korf

Mega-events in (semi)authoritarian states

Read more (PDF, 76 KB)


Daniel Wolfe

Refining regulation: Transparency challenges in the gold commodity chain

Read more (PDF, 90 KB)


Muriel Côte

A market for conflict(-free) minerals

Read more (PDF, 111 KB)


Christoph Vogel

The political geography of (social) media and conflict in Eastern Congo

Read more (PDF, 139 KB)


Christoph Vogel

Governing agroforestry at the timber, cocoa and mining frontier in Ghana

Read more (PDF, 371 KB)


Muriel Côte

Contested Semantics of Landscape and Land Cover Categories in Switzerland

Read more (PDF, 102 KB)


Muriel Côte

Beyond the emergency: asylum and migrant rights

Read more (PDF, 80 KB)

Timothy Raeymaekers

Ephraim Poertner

Refugee crisis?

Read more (PDF, 107 KB)


Timothy Raeymaekers

Critical approaches to the philosophies, policies and practices of international development and humanitarian aid

Read more (PDF, 118 KB)


Benedikt Korf