Research Affiliates

Tatjana Boczy, MA

Tatjana Boczy is a research assistant and PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at the University of Vienna. Her research interests include comparative urban and regional research, social change and institutional transformations, political and environmental sociology as well as mixed-methods research. Tatjana explores these issues in the Horizon2020 project COHSMO on territorial cohesion and the analysis of the multiscale European Social Model in seven partner countries. In her PhD-thesis, she investigates the urban as well as regional intricacies of welfare under recent social, economic and environmental challenges such as climate change policies. Her contributions to urban futures will be in applications of mixed-method research as well as empirical and theoretical detail of territorial social and climate justice from a sociological perspective. Previously, (2013-2014) she was an undergraduate research assistant at the Department of Sociology of the University of Innsbruck in research on Smart Cities and participation practices. She completed a master’s degree in Sociology at the University of Innsbruck in 2017 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Innsbruck in 2014. Her MA thesis - Smart city – 21st Century Panopticon? Rationality and high modernist ideology in sustainable urban planning - received the prize for outstanding theses (2017-2018) from the Austrian Sociology Association in 2019.

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Cansu Civelek, PhD

Cansu Civelek graduated from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. She obtained her master’s degree at the Social and Cultural Anthropology Department at the University of Vienna with a thesis titled 'Regeneration on Site' or Rent-Driven Urban Renewal? An Ethnographic Inquiry into the Karapınar Valley Urban Regeneration Project in Eskisehir, Turkey”. In 2015, she completed her first self-funded documentary movie called “Warning Karapınar! Voices from an Urban Regeneration” developed from her master’s thesis. In 2020, she received her doctoral degree from the Social and Cultural Anthropology Department in Vienna with a dissertation titled “Non-spectacular policy-making: Urban governance, silence, and dissent in an abortive renewal project in Eskişehir, Turkey”. The dissertation inquired urban policy-making and urban governance practices of a municipal government and their entanglement with populations while tackling the questions of silence and (de)politicization.


Ana Cukovic, MA

Ana Ćuković’s research focuses on urban restructuring and migration in Detroit. Her work intersects policy and bureaucracy and looks at political, economic, and social institutions and actors as shaping pathways and narratives of migrant emplacement and settlement in the city. Her analysis looks at the roles of foundations, non-government organizations, municipal offices, religious groups, and communities as integral to driving urban change at this particular historical moment of revitalization. Ćuković’s research builds on her previous work on entrepreneurship in Detroit, which she conducted as an MA student at the Department of Nationalism Studies at the Central European University in Budapest. Her previous studies also included an MA in International Relations, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development at the American University of Paris and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne where she engaged Yugonostalgia and post-Yugoslav space. During her tenure as a Nationalism Student at CEU, she also did media and archival work at the Donald & Vera Blinken Open Society Archives in Budapest. She is currently the project coordinator for Europe-Asia Forced Migration Research Platform at University of Vienna.

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Stefanie Döringer, MA

Stefanie Döringer studied sociology, spatial research and spatial planning at the University of Vienna, Austria and the University of Oslo, Norway. During her studies, she was employed at the Institute for Urban and Regional Research (ÖAW) and at the Institute for Geography and Spatial Research at the University of Vienna. After her studies she gained practical experience in spatial planning in working in a variety of spatial planning offices. Since 2016 she is a pre-doc in the research group Innovation and Urban Economy at the Institute of Urban and Regional Research. Her research is particularly focused on governance, peripheralization and spatial planning. 

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Dr. Yvonne Franz

Yvonne Franz is University Assistant (post-doc) at the Department of Geography and Regional Research . She is the Scientific Co-Director of the Postgraduate Programme “Cooperative Urban and Regional Development” at the Postgraduate Center at University of Vienna and the Local Coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master in Urban Studies (4CITIES). Yvonne explores multi-scalar and multi-actor constellations of urban transformation with a specific focus on the role of urban neighbourhoods. As an urban geographer, she contributes theoretical and empirical knowledge on urban revitalisation, gentrification, super-diversity and social innovation. For critical reflections on future urban challenges, she will draw on these theoretical concepts to develop further a more differentiated understanding of exclusionary mechanisms but also enabling structures. Yvonne will contribute her experience in mixed-methods research and her implementation knowledge on urban living labs to support the design of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research collaborations.

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Joshua Grigsby, MSc

Joshua Grigsby is a PhD candidate at the Department of Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna. His doctoral research compares discursive frames of sustainability in public policy strategies with those found in sustainability science and considers the drivers and implications of identified divergences as well as requirements for alignment; in essence, how strategic policy narratives problematize sustainability, and the ways in which these problematizations reflect or ignore scientific findings and recommendations. More broadly, he is interested in longterm socio-ecological relations, their spatial forms and practices, the cultural narratives that support them, and what it truly means for the human project to become and remain sustainable.

Josh graduated from the 4CITIES Erasmus Mundus Master in Urban Studies in 2012 and has worked as assistant program coordinator for 4CITIES since 2015 and as University Assistant (prae-doc) at the Department of Geography and Regional Research since 2018. Additionally, he has conducted research for Smarter Than Car, an NGO focused on future urban mobility and sustainability transformations, since 2014.

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Jiannis Kaucic, MA

Jiannis Kaucic holds a master’s degree in Theoretical and Applied Geography from the University of Vienna (2012), specialising in regional development, spatial research and ur-ban geography. From 2009-2017 he worked for the Austrian Institute of Spatial planning (ÖIR), where he managed and conducted projects for public and private clients at national and European level. In his work he specialized in the domains of European Cohesion Policy, issues of regional development and spatial planning, evaluation and Territorial Impact Assessment. Since November 2017, Jiannis is university assistant and PhD candidate at the Department of Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna. His research in the working group of Applied Geography, Spatial Research and Spatial Planning focuses on theory and practice of strategic spatial planning and governance in the context of European Cross-Border Cooperation.

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Mag. Katrin Kremmel, BA

Katrin Kremmel is a PhD candidate at the Social and Cultural Anthropology department of the University of Vienna. Since 2019 she is spokesperson of the "Working Group Migration” of the German Association of Social and Cultural Anthropologists. Prior to her PhD studies, she worked as a researcher at the Institute of Law and Sociology (IRKS) in Vienna, where she pursued her research interests in migration and legal sociology. Katrin completed her MA at the University of Vienna and also studied at the Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona and the Universidade de São Paulo.

Katrin's research engages with unwaged labor in the refugee care sector to explore negotiations of asylum practices, citizenship and territorial governance in the context of neoliberal globalization through the perspective of a rural region. With this agenda, she operates outside of rural-urban dichotomies. She thus does not conceive of rural areas as essentially different from cities, but as parts of global processes that transform state territoriality, which are to be taken seriously.

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Catherine Raya Polishchuk Clivaz, MA

Catherine Polishchuk completed her BA at the University of Zurich, and her MA at the Graduate Institute Geneva in anthropology and sociology of development. In her MA-thesis, she analyzes how values that are mobilized in public discourse are reappropriated by individuals in their own ethical stance on (im-)migration. Her current work too scrutinizes the fault lines of inclusion and exclusion, as they are produced and reproduced in everyday and seemingly ordinary instances. She has obtained the Vienna Science and Research stipend and is an ÖAW Doc fellow (received April 2020).

Her PhD-project traces the semantics of participation in urban renewal processes in the city of Vienna. There is a lack of transparency of legal and other normative structures underpinning these processes that induces repeated extralegal negotiations among the involved sets of actors. Her work questions the proclaimed inclusiveness of these policies and asks the larger question of whom these policies serve in what ways. Who actually joins participatory events during which the future built environment is at times heatedly debated and how is the data gathered at such events then politically mobilized?

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Martina Schorn, MA

Martina Schorn is a PhD candidate at the Department of Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna. There, she served as a uni:docs fellow from October 2017 until September 2020. She holds a master’s degree of Sociology as well as Spatial Research and Spatial Planning from the University of Vienna. Prior to her PhD studies, she worked as a researcher and consultant in youth research. In her PhD project, Martina focuses on strategies to attract young return migrants in rural regions affected by youth outmigration. Her research interests include youth migration, strategic spatial planning, communicative planning and Regional Governance.

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Ayşe Seda Yüksel-Pecen, PhD

Ayşe Seda Yüksel-Pecen received her PhD from Central European University, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology in 2014. Her areas of interests include economic and political anthropology; political geography, with a particular interest in rescaling of statehood, new regionalism and urban development in the neoliberal era; political theory with a focus on theories of state sovereignty, class and ethnic minorities in Turkey. Her PhD dissertation, “The Localization of Neoliberalism: State Rescaling, War and Culture in Southeast Turkey,” explores the processes of neoliberal restructuring in the southeastern region of Turkey through the lens of a fieldwork conducted in two cities in the region. Her work focuses on how different conceptualizations of the Turkish state, the low-intensity war, Kurdishness and Turkishness have been circulated in the narratives of business people and the urban markets. Between 2015-2017, Yüksel-Pecen worked as a post-doctoral field researcher for Vienna University and as a field research associate for the Center for the Study of International Relations of the Middle East and Central Africa (CIRMENA) at Cambridge University. Between 2013-2015, she conducted fieldwork in various cities in central Anatolia regarding local development strategies developed by local actors. Yüksel-Pecen’s research has been supported by Foundation of Urban and Regional Studies (FURS), Migration Research Center at Koç University (MIREKOC), and The Scientific and Technological Research Council in Turkey (TUBITAK). She is the recipient of the ‘Best Dissertation Award’ in 2015 at Central European University. Before joining University of Vienna, Yüksel-Pecen was a research fellow at Kadir Has University where she worked on her own ethnographic research comparing various forms of urban entrepreneurial regimes in two regions in Turkey.

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