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Professor Ash Amin, PhD

Professor Ash Amin, PhD

Head of Department, 1931 Professor of Geography and Fellow of Christ's College.


Professor Amin is known for his work on the geographies of modern living: cities and regions as relationally constituted; globalisation as everyday process; the economy as cultural entity; race and multiculture as a hybrid of biopolitics and vernacular practices. He has held Fellowships and Visiting Professorships at a number of European Universities. He has been founding co-editor of the Review of International Political Economy, and is currently associate editor of City, and on the advisory board of a number of international journals. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of Academy of Social Sciences, and Foreign Member of the Italian Academia Nazionale Dei Lincei. He holds an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University and is Foreign Secretary of the British Academy. He was awarded a CBE in 2014 for his contributions to social science.


  • 1982-2005 Newcastle University: Research Fellow and Research Associate, Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies; Lecturer and Professor, Department of Geography
  • 2005-2011 Durham University, Professor of Geography; Founding Executive Director of Institute of Advanced Study (from 2006)


  • 1979 BA Italian Studies Reading University
  • 1986 PhD Geography, Reading University


Professor Amin's current research is on European Union and Disunion (supported by the British Academy), slum ecologies, urban infrastructures, and the mental health of migrants in Shanghai (ESRC-Newton funded). He continues to work on cultures of risk.


Professor Amin has (co) authored or (co) edited 21 books and (co) written over 110 journal articles and book chapters.

Most recent books

  • Amin, A and N Thrift (2002) Cities: Re-imagining the Urban, Polity Press
  • Amin A and P Cohendet (2004) Architectures of Knowledge, Oxford University Press
  • Amin A and N Thrift (eds.) (2005) The Blackwell Cultural Economy Reader, Blackwell
  • Amin A and J Roberts (eds.) Community, Economic Creativity and Organization, Oxford University Press
  • Amin A (ed.) (2009) The Social Economy, Zed Books
  • Amin A and M O'Neill (eds.) (2009) Thinking About Almost Everything, Profile Books
  • Amin A (2012) Land of Strangers, Polity Press. [Podcast]
  • Amin A and N Thrift (2013) Arts of the Political, Duke University Press
  • Amin A and P Howell (2016) ​Releasing the Commons, Routledge
  • Amin A and N Thrift (2016) Seeing like a City, Polity Press
  • Amin A and P Lewis (eds.) European Union and Disunion, British Academy

Selected recent journal articles

  • Amin A (2006) 'The Good City', Urban Studies, 43, 5/6: 1009-1023
  • Amin A with N Thrift (2007) 'Cultural Economy and cities', Progress in Human Geography, 31, 2: 143-161.
  • Amin A (2007) 'Rethinking the urban social', City, 11, 1: 100-114.
  • Amin A and N Thrift (2007) 'On being political', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 32: 112-115.
  • Amin A (2008) 'Collective culture and urban public space', City, 2, 1: 5-24
  • Amin A and J Roberts (2008) 'Knowing in action: beyond communities of practice', Research Policy, 37: 353-369.
  • Amin A (2009) 'Extraordinarily ordinary: working in the social economy', Social Enterprise Journal, 5, 1: 30-49.
  • Amin A (2010) 'Remainders of race', Theory, Culture and Society, 27, 1, 1-23
  • Amin A (2013) 'Surviving the future', Society and Space: 31: 140-156
  • Amin A (2013) 'The scopic regimes of urban neglect', interview with Matthew Gandy, Cityscapes, 3, Summer: 86-99
  • Amin A (2013) 'Telescopic urbanism', City, 17, 4: 476-492
  • Amin A (2013) 'The urban condition: A challenge to social science', Public Culture, 25, 2: 201-208
  • Amin A (2014) 'Lively infrastructures', Theory, Culture and Society, 31, 7/8: 137-16
  • Amin A (2014) 'Epilogue: the machinery of urban resilience', Soc. Sci.: 3, 3: 308-31
  • Amin A (2015) 'Animated Space', Public Culture, 23, 7: 239-258
  • Amin A (2016) 'On urban failure', Social Research International Quarterly, 83, 3: 777-79
  • Amin A and L R Cirolia (2017) Politics/Matter: Governing Cape Town's Informal Settlements, Urban Studies, in press


  • Part II (final year) course Changing Cultures of Risk

Potential PhD Applications

I would welcome applications relating to race, racism and multiculturalism; European identity and belonging; affective and egalitarian politics; urban futures; and cultures of risk and risk mitigation. I am particularly interested in students keen on engaging with social theory in addressing these topics.

External activities

  • Foreign Secretary and Vice-President, British Academy
  • Chair, Smuts Memorial Fund, Cambridge University
  • Member, Advisory Board, COMPAS, Oxford University