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Michael Rafferty

Michael Rafferty

Doctoral researcher

Faculty or Centre Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Department Department of Geography and Spatial Planning
Postal Address Université du Luxembourg
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette
Campus Office MSH, E02 15-010
Telephone (+352) 46 66 44 9295
Fax (+352) 46 66 44 39295

Research Interests

  • Relational urbanisation and relational cities
  • Political economy of the city
  • Social theory
  • Housing
  • Infrastructure
  • Labour
  • Postcolonial geographies

Last updated on: Tuesday, 31 March 2020


  • 2010: BA Economics and Law, University of Leicester, UK.
  • 2016: MA Human Geography: Society, Space and Culture, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK.
  • 2018 - present: PhD-assistant to Prof. Markus Hesse, Dept. of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Luxembourg.

Last updated on: 30 Mar 2020

Maintaining unsustainability: A relational-comparative assessment of rapid urban transformation in Dublin and Beirut

The nascent category of ‘relational cities’ or, better, relational urbanisation, has highlighted the specific features, qualities and problems of ‘small-but-global’ urban configurations experiencing rapid transformation towards positionality within a capitalist economic framework of material, human and capital flows. This project seeks to extend research on the ‘relational city’ beyond a subset of micro-states, city-states and regional financial hubs to take account of the problems in housing, infrastructure and labour in the major cities of 'small states’ which arise from rapid re-orientation of the city (and state’s) economy in an economic context of globalisation, financialisation and an industrial shift towards advanced services. A relational-comparative study using primarily qualitative methodologies considers the case studies of Dublin (Ireland) and Beirut (Lebanon). The study engages with institutional, civil society, economic and political actors to explore the complex governance paradigm and political geographies which underpin the particular form of ‘uneven development’ relevant to an increasing number of smaller, but internationalising, cities and produce the magnified problems in housing, transport, logistics, infrastructure and labour they encounter, and how these are contested, mitigated and maintained.

Last updated on: 30 Mar 2020