Posted on: 30 November, 2018
Application deadline: January 3, 2019

Postdoctoral or early career researcher in urban political economy – specialisation in Hong Kong / Pearl River Delta, LATTS, France

Postdoctoral or early career researcher in urban political economy – specialisation in Hong Kong / Pearl River Delta

We are seeking a researcher to join the ERC funded “Urban revolution and the Political” (urban-rev politics) research program at LATTS (Research Centre on Technologies, Territories and Societies). We are open to researchers to be hired on a post-doctoral contract, as well as already employed academics interested in a fully-funded research collaboration. The candidate should have a background in Urban or Economic Geography, Urban Sociology, Urban Anthropology, Urban Planning, Real Estate Studies, Political Science, or a related discipline.

LATTS ( is a multi-disciplinary research lab, and a major centre of urban research in France. It is situated in Cité Descartes, a large cluster of research centres and institutes of higher education in the eastern Parisian region. LATTS is affiliated with three institutions: École des Ponts ParisTech, UPEM (University of Paris-East Marne-la-Vallée), and CNRS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research).

‘Urban-rev politics’ is on the political implications of speculation-driven urbanisation. Adopting an urban political economy approach we examine the global dimensions of accumulation practices based on rent extraction and the extent to which our ‘urban age’ corresponds to a new kind of ‘urban politics’. The project is organised around three interrelated themes: 1. uneven globalisation of real estate markets, 2. exploitation of urban space through rent extraction, 3. the ways in which these are negotiated and contested at different scales. Through a multi-sited ethnography approach the work is based on case studies in Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, and São Paulo. These cities feature broadly similar processes of property-led (re)developments, and a variety of activist and advocacy networks that challenge these. Additionally all four cities have experienced largely spontaneous mobilisations and/or popular occupations in the recent past.


  • As a part of the Urban-rev politics research team (currently composed of five researchers) you will be responsible for the case study in Hong Kong, especially in relation to the larger urban context of the Pearl River Delta and mainland China.
  • Existing research experience in or familiarity with the region, and good command of Cantonese and/or Mandarin are highly desirable.
  • Your main object of study will be speculative urban transformations (such as ‘megaprojects,’ large-scale redevelopments, new business districts, mixed use developments, gentrification).
  • For this you will be expected to develop an understanding of the key players, and decision makers shaping the regional real estate market.
  • Through case studies you will investigate the various ways in which urban land rent is produced and extracted and the extent to which this extraction is globalised and financialised.
  • You will also examine how speculative urban processes are negotiated and contested.
  • Finally you will study recent mass mobilisations in Hong Kong in terms of their possible links with contradictions stemming from particular urban policies.

There is no nationality constraint for applicants.

Start & end dates: The position is available immediately, but later starting dates will be considered. The end date is November 2021.

Remuneration: If you are hired as a postdoctoral researcher the base salary is 48.800€ (net = 25.421€), which is subject to upward adjustment depending on experience. You will receive an allowance for fieldwork and conference attendance.

To apply: Please send by e-mail (including ‘urban-rev politics’ in the subject line): a cover letter explaining your past research experience, and how you think you can contribute to the project, a CV, and contact information of two scientific referees to Dr. Ozan Karaman ( by 03 January 2019. All inquiries about the position should be directed to the same e-mail address.