I am a Professor of Urban Geography and the Academic Director of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam.
As a Professor of Urban Geography, I study how we create urban environments and those environments shape us. I draw upon different perspectives, ranging from human ecology and historical sociology to various strands of critical theory. One of the hallmarks of my work has been to bring opposing epistemologies into conversation. My lines of research include:
- Reflexive computational social science. This line of research engages critically and constructively with computational social science—a newly emerging field at the intersection of the natural and social sciences where long-standing questions of the relation between critical and positivist approaches acquire new relevance.
- Cities and social movements. How do social movements and urban environments shape one another? This line of research uses ethnography, archival research, and the computational analysis of social media data to examine the origins and development of social movements.
- Urban policy and spatial inequality. The question how governments are implicated in urban inequalities has been central to my work. I want to understand why governments pursue or abandon policies to restructure neighborhoods and to explore who benefits or loses out.
The conversation between disciplines and epistemologies is also central to my work as Academic Director of the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research. The AISSR brings together around 350 researchers from different social science disciplines, including anthropology, political science, sociology, geography, planning, and international development.