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Dr Sam Halvorsen BSc MSc PhD

Dr Sam Halvorsen BSc MSc PhD

Leverhulme/Newton Trust Early Career Research Fellow

Sam Halvorsen's research explores the geographies of social change: the ways in which different spatialities are mobilised in the pursuit of political strategies. This falls into three sub-themes: (i) the role of territory and territoriality in grassroots urban politics; (ii) social movements and the geographies of power; (iii) the ethics and politics of academic knowledge production, with particular references to activism and the global south. Empirically, his previous research explored the Occupy London (2011) movement and he is currently examining neighbourhood political organising in the context of urban decentralisation in Buenos Aires. His research has been funded the ESRC, British Academy and Leverhulme Trust.



  • 2016-present: Leverhulme/Newton Trust Early Career Research Fellow University of Cambridge, Department of Geography
  • 2015-2016: Teaching Associate University of Sheffield, Department of Geography
  • 2011-2015: Academic Tutor and Teaching Assistant (part time) University College London, Department of Geography


  • 2011-2015: PhD, University College London (UCL), Department of Geography
  • 2010-2011: Masters (MSc) in Globalisation, University College London (UCL), Department of Geography, Distinction
  • 2002-2006: Degree (BSc) in Geography with a year in Continental Europe, University of Bristol and Autonomous University of Barcelona. First class honours


Leverhulme Trust Logo

I am currently undertaking postdoctoral research funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Isaac Newton Trust under the title "Rethinking Territory from Below: Learning from Theory and Practice in Argentina". This builds on pilot research conducted in the summer of 2016 funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant. The research falls into two broad parts: (i) a conceptual analysis of territory that seeks to interrogate and open up Anglophone understandings - predominantly tied to the state and associated forms of domination and control - through a close reading of Argentine literature and social movement archives over the last two decades; (ii) an empirical investigation of Buenos Aires' new system of neighborhood comunas since their juntas (local councils) were first formed in 2011. I am evaluating the opportunities and challenges for local political activism and participation and examine the relationship between grassroots and institutional territorial organising. For more information see my research blogpage.


Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Halvorsen, S., 2017. 'Spatial Dialectics and the Geography of Social Movements: The case of Occupy London', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, online:
  • Halvorsen, S., 2015. 'Encountering Occupy London: Boundary Making and the Territoriality of Urban Activism' Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 33(2): 314-330.
  • Halvorsen, S., 2015. 'Taking Space: Moments of Rupture and Everyday Life in Occupy London', Antipode, 47(2): 401-417.
  • Halvorsen, S., 2015 'Creating Space for Militant Research within-against-and-beyond the University: Reflections from Occupy London', Area 47(4): 466-472.
  • Halvorsen, S., 2012 'Beyond the Network? Occupy London and the Global Movement' Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest, 11(3-4): 427-433.

Book chapters

  • Halvorsen, S., 2017. 'Losing Space in Occupy London: Fetishising the Protest Camp' in Brown, G., Feigenbaum, A., Frenzel, F. and McCurdy, P. (eds), 2017. Protest Camps in International Context: Spaces, Infrastructures and Media of Resistance. Bristol: Policy Press, 163-178.
  • Halvorsen, S. and Thorpe, S., 2015, 'Occupying Power: Strategies for Change in Occupy London', in Konak, N. and Dönmez, R. (eds), 2015. Waves of Social Movement Mobilizations in the Twenty-First Century: Challenges to the Neo-Liberal World Order and Democracy. Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield, 101-114.
  • Halvorsen, S., 2015 'Beyond the Network? Occupy London and the Global Movement', in Pickerill, J., Krinsky, J., Hayes, G., Gillan, K. and Doherty, D., (eds), 2015. Occupy! A Global Movement. London: Routledge.
  • Halvorsen, S., 2012 'Occupying Everywhere: A Global Movement?', in Lang, A.S. and Lang/Levitsky, D., 2012. Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement. Oxford: New Internationalist Publications.

Book reviews

  • Halvorsen, S., 2016. Review of 'Metropolitan preoccupations: the spatial politics of squatting in Berlin', by Alex Vasudevan. Journal of Historical Geography, available online:
  • Halvorsen, S., 2013. Review of 'Spaces of Contention: Spatialities and Social Movements' edited by Walter Nicholls, Byron Miller and Justin Beaumont (2013, Farnham: Ashgate). Antipode,
  • Halvorsen, S., 2013. Review of 'Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space' edited by Ron Shiffman, Rick Bell, Lance Jay Brown, and Lynne Elizabeth (2013. Oakland: New Village Press). Area, 45(4): 509-510.
  • Halvorsen, S., 2013. Review of 'The Democracy Project', by David Graeber (2013. London: Allen Lane). Stir 2: Summer 2013: 46-47.

Online articles (selected)


Sam Halvorsen has taught widely across human geography at undergraduate and graduate level. He welcomes contact from students at all levels interested in similar research areas to his.


  • Participatory Geographies Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society, Secretary (2014-2017)
  • Royal Geographical Society, Fellow
  • Latin American Studies Association, member
  • Association of American Geographers, member
  • Regional Studies Association, member
  • Protest Camps Research Network, member
  • Argentina Research Network, member
  • Occupy Research Collective, co-founder