University of Neuchâtel, Institute of Sociology
Chair of Territorial Economy
1st April 2021
Master’s degree in social sciences (Sociology, Geography, Political Science, etc.) or in economy.
Development of a PhD research related to the topic of the Swiss national foundation project “The changing role of real estate in Swiss urban development: evidence and theoretical reframing’’, led by Thierry Theurillat and Olivier Crevoisier (see below)
Teaching support in courses of Territorial Economy.
Some knowledge and practical experience with qualitative research and quantitative methods is a plus. Interest in regional and urban development issue is necessary. Interest for working in an interdisciplinary approach.
Knowledge about the Swiss institutional context is recommended.
Motivation to work in a small research group (4 people) and to accomplish an individual research within the frame of the SNF project.
French and English are required (spoken and written). German is welcome.
TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT
Salary based on the SNF scheme: http://www2.unine.ch/srh/page-37385.html
WHAT IS WE OFFER
Good research conditions within a small team in territorial economy at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Neuchâtel and at the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland in Neuchâtel.
Collaboration in an international research network (Brazil, China, France and USA).
Applicants have to provide a curriculum vitae, including publications and copies of education certificates, as well as a short research proposal (1 page maximum) in relation to the SNF research project (see lay summary below). Applications have to be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 January 2021.
Call for applications in the University of Neuchâtel are equally open to women and men
SNF Research summary: The changing role of real estate in Swiss urban development:
Evidence and theoretical reframing
In traditional urban and regional development theories, real estate (RE) is stimulated by the export sector, which then generates local demand. RE has however been booming worldwide for the last twenty years, as evidenced in the considerable monetary creation on global and national levels. The present-day Swiss situation provides this research with its two main aims: one, to identify the main economic foundations that appear to increase local revenues and that drive urban and regional development in Switzerland for that period; two, to reframe urban development theories via the integration of changes occurring in RE investment circuits.
According to the key literature on the financialization of real estate, the RE boom is primarily due to the money created or pooled by various mechanisms related to the global financial system (Aalbers, 2019; Halbert & Attuyer, 2016; Weber, 2015). However, the traditional literature on regional and urban development (Hoyt, 1954; Moulaert & Sekia, 2003; Porter, 1998; Scott, 2017) still regards RE as a by-product of regional economic competitiveness and/or attractiveness. Our central research question asks: How and to what extent has real estate played a driving role in contemporary urban and regional economic development in Switzerland since early 2000 up to now? Naturally, patterns of growth differ greatly between industrial regions, alpine tourist resorts, multicultural cities and rural spaces. RE development is also dependent on connections to national and global financial circuits, as well as the local capacity to develop large RE projects, aspects this project will consider in two ways.
Firstly, regarding the economic foundations, this research will identify the combination between productive and consumption/presential-based activities of Swiss regions. Based on the notion of a ‘presential economy’ (Guex, 2014; Vollet et al., 2014), it has been argued that the role of presential activities (consumption, leisure, culture and residency) have grown and specifically materialized in large RE development projects. Secondly, current investments in RE arise from a combination of two main financial circuits. Switzerland has still a decentralized banking system fueling RE in the form of mortgages and credits to households and the local real estate industry. Simultaneously, over the last twenty years, financial players have funded major RE projects in large as well as lower-tier cities. These combinations tend to be territorially distinct and dependent on ‘urban milieus’; dependent on the local and extra-local players who have coordinated and negotiated the conditions of urban development over the last twenty years. Based on the Swiss context, this research aims to reframe regional and urban development theories via improved integration of the RE sector and its linkage to global finance.
Methodologically, this research combines various public and private datasets. First of all, it aims to situate RE data in its urban, regional and national context over the last twenty years, and secondly it seeks to articulate RE investment with the types of drivers of urban revenue. An initial typology of urban and regional markets’ dynamics articulating RE investments and basic economic activities will be thus elaborated at the national scale. Then, out of this first typology, city case studies of five cities will be undertaken in order to capture the role of the coordination of urban milieus towards RE investment and economic development in these cities. The findings of this research will contribute to a better understanding of RE development over the last twenty years, specifically in relation to the increasing role of external demand for consumption and residency on the one hand, and the importance of financial circuits relationship to both bank and financialized capital on the other.Continue reading
|Title||PhD Student Full-time Position|
|Employer||University of Neuchâtel|
|Job location||Avenue du 1er-Mars 26, 2000 Neuchâtel|
|Published||December 17, 2020|
|Application deadline||January 31, 2021|
|Job types||PhD  |
|Fields||Geography,   Economic Sociology,   Urban Studies,   Human Geography,   Economic Geography,   Real Estate Economics  |