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Robert John


E-Mail: robert.john[at]geographie.uni-freiburg.de
Telefon: ++49(0)761 203-3570
Raum: 02021
Sprechstunde: im Semester n.V.,
in der vorlesungsfreien Zeit n.V.
Auswahl aktueller Informationen | detaillierte Informationen
Forschungsthemen und Projekte – Research topics and projects
  • Political Ecology
  • Resource geographies
  • Geographies of Marketization
  • Sand mining (Details zum Projekt)
  • Regional focus: Southeast - and South Asia
Schwerpunkte der Lehre – Lecturing and teaching activities
  • Seminar: Development Cooperation: A critical Reflection of Theories and Practices
Vita – CV
  • since 11/2018 Research associate and lecturer at the Institute for Environmental Social Sciences and Geography at the University of Freiburg
  • since 4/2016 Doctoral Candidate at the Institute for Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, with the topic "Marketization of sand in Cambodia: global networks, conflicts and materialities"
  • 03/2015 – 05/2015 research stay at the IIT Madras, Chennai, India
  • 11/2014 – 12/2015 research assistant in the international project "Smart Eco Cities: A comparative analysis of European and Chinese cases"
  • 2013 – 2015 M.Sc.in "Environmental Governance" at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg
  • 2010 – 2011 co-initiation, conception and organization of two study excursions to Kenya (Socioeconomic, Environmental Change and Development in Kenya) and China (Business Ethics Issues in a Transitional Economy: China`s Particular Path)
  • 2009 – 2013 B.A. in "Philosophy and Economics" at the University of Bayreuth
Mitarbeit in Projekten (Auswahl)
  • Die Vermarktlichung von Sanden in Kambodscha: globale Vernetzungen, Konflikte und Materialitäten (DFG, 2018-2021) (Details zum Projekt)
  • Title: Marketization of sand in Cambodia: global networks, conflicts and materialities
  • Sand is not a resource that many people associate with conflicts. Accordingly, the increasing exploitation of sand due to processes of globalization is rarely the object of scientific and public debates. But despite the common perception that sand is neither rare nor precious, it has evolved into the most important building material and a scarce resource in many regions of the world, especially those characterized by rapid population increase and urbanization. The commodification of sand can be interpreted as part of larger processes of “neoliberalizing nature” (Bakker 2010). Those processes and mechanisms of marketization play out differently in different contexts and produce heterogeneous and ambivalent effects. This project analyzes conflicts over the marketization of sand in Cambodia as a manifestation of capitalist market processes and their interactions with the materialities involved. Drawing on the Global Ethnography approach by Michael Burawoy (2000) and Anna Tsing (2005) and on ideas developed within the debate on New Materialism (Bakker 2010; Mattissek und Wiertz 2014), the project applies a set of qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze three main research questions: (1) Which global and regional factors influence the constitution and transformation of the Southeast Asian sand market, its respective structural conditions, trading routes and relations? (2) What role do actors play that are involved in the establishment of sand markets or protest against it and how are their respective strategies and practices affected by multi-scale influences and networks? (3) How do geological, biophysical (non-human) and social processes and entities of the sand-market interact and how do they shape the marketization of sand? This researcher will hence follow the logic and mobility of the market actors, -objects and conflicts and not limit Him or herself to one geographical research area, in order to understand the intra and inter-scale linkages which are newly formed or disrupted due to the constitution and transformation of a sand-market in Southeast Asia.
  • Title: Smart Eco Cities: A comparative analysis of European and Chinese cases" (DFG, 2014-2015) (Project Details)
Publikationen (Auswahl)
  • Spaeth P, Hawxwell T, John R, Li S, Löffler E, Riener V, Utkarsh S: Smart-Eco Cities in Germany: Trends and City Profiles Exeter: University of Exeter, 2017
  • John R: Mineralische Ressourcen: Sande – das selten beachtete Fundament der physischen Wirtschaft. In: Gebhardt H; Glaser R; Radtke U; Reuber P (Hrsg): Geographie: Physische Geographie und Humangeographie. still to be published Spektrum, 2018
  • John R: The global resource frontier of constriction sand: A new research issue for political ecology. 2018 (Research Workshop, Augsburg, Germany)
  • John R: Sand-mining in Southeast Asia: A new economic frontier. 2018 (RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Cardiff, England)
  • John R: Vermarktlichungsprozesse von Natur: Sand als kapitalistischer Frontier. 2018 (Neue Kulturgeographie Tagungsreihe, Freiburg, Germany)
  • Mattissek A, John R: The role of materiality in resource extraction, marketization and conflicts. The example of sand mining. 2018 (AAG, New Orleans, USA)
  • John R: Globale Neoliberalisierung von/in der Natur: Globale Ethnographien und kritische Materialitäten der Aneignung natürlicher Ressourcen. 2017 (Deutscher Kongress für Geographie, Tübingen, Germany)
  • Adelina C, Hill C, John R, Kuttler T, Rajan S.C., Roul A, Woiwode C: Peri-urban Dynamics and Sustainability in Chennai: The Case of Sriperumbudur. 2015 (N-AERUS XVI, Dortmund)
  • Member of the “Sandscapes Collective” (since 10.2018)
Scholarships and awards
  • Research-scholarship, granted by the German Academic Exchange Service (04.2018 – 10.2018)
  • PhD-scholarship, granted by the Landesgraduiertenförderung Baden-Württemberg (10.2017 – 10.2018)

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