Postdoc in geography at Neuchâtel University, Switzerland

Post-doc position at Neuchâtel University (Switzerland) in “Surveillance Studies” and “Urban Policy Mobilities Studies”

Institute of Geography, Neuchâtel University, Espace Louis-Agassiz 1, CH-2000 Neuchâtel

We are seeking a postdoctoral-level scholar for an 18-months research project on “Smarter Cities: New Urban Policy Model in the Making”

Project description

The term ‘Smarter Cities’ stands for the range of current efforts, aiming at the creation of the ‘future city’ as an interconnected, digitized and ‘technologically empowered’ system of connections, processes and flows. At their core, smarter cities initiatives thus imply a world of perfect ordering and regulation-at-a-distance that relies, fundamentally, on the coding of social life into software. Yet such processes of ordering and software sorting are never neutral, whether the collection, classification and analysis of data aim at greater efficiency, speed, convenience or security.

The project aims to highlight a number of critical issues – and to assess their potential implications for individuals and social groups – arising from the organizational settings and situated coalitions of authority underpinning current efforts towards smarter cities. It does so through the empirical investigation of two initiatives devoted to the elaboration of novel best practices and technologies for smarter cities: Future Cities Laboratory, a research platform in Singapore developed by the ETH Zurich and two partner universities (1) and Ittigen, one of the most coveted test municipalities in Switzerland for the development of new smart city solutions (2).

Project investigators

Francisco Klauser & Ola Söderström, Institute of Geography, Neuchâtel UniversityJob Description
18 months contract
Project start: January 2012
Annual salary: 69’000 Swiss Francs

The successful candidate will be based at the Institute of Geography at Neuchâtel University. He/she will be expected to do fieldwork in Berne (Switzerland) and Singapore. We also encourage PhD students who are completing or have recently completed their degree work to apply.

Required skills
Language: English, and, preferably, either French or German (both written and oral)
Interest in “surveillance studies” literature and research, and/or knowledge of “urban policy mobilities studies”

Closing Date & procedures
10 September 2011

Applicants should submit a CV, a letter describing suitability for the fellowship, one writing sample, and the contact information for two references to: Francisco Klauser, Assistant Professor, Institute of Geography, Neuchâtel University,
Enquiries or expressions of interest should be directed to or

Ola Söderström
Institut de Géographie
Université de Neuchâtel
Espace Louis Agassiz 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tél.: +41 32 718 17 97