As part of the Southeast Asia Forum, SEAC hosted a roundtable discussion on Comparative Urbanism for Southeast Asia. The event, held in collaboration with the Urban Salon, featured emerging scholars whose work engages with urbanising sites across Southeast Asia and beyond.
The renewed and sustained interest of urban theorists in comparative methodologies has generated a wealth of comparative urban research over the past two decades. However, this scholarship remains dominated by research on African and European cities, with Southeast Asia cities not especially well represented. Bringing together scholars whose work engages with sites across Southeast Asia and beyond, this roundtable discussion was convened to reflect on the present state and future of comparative urban research, and the potential of comparative urbanism to enrich understandings of Southeast Asia. Two sets of questions guided the discussion: (1) What kind of theory-building or testing does comparative research make possible? How do comparative methodologies generate insights into the particular and the general, the local and the global? (2) How do the panelists choose and conceptualize their research sites? Are some sites incommensurable? What kinds of connections or relationalities does comparative research elucidate?
A video recording of this event is available here.
Speaker and Chair biographies
Dr Emma Colven is Assistant Professor of Global Environment at the University of Oklahoma and SEAC visiting Fellow. Her research explores themes of socio-ecological change, environmental expertise, and environmental politics in cities of the global South.
Dr Junjia Ye is is Assistant Professor in Human Geography at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and SEAC visiting Fellow. Her research interests lie at the intersections of cultural diversity, critical cosmopolitanism, class, gender studies and the political-economic development of urban Southeast Asia.
Dr Shaun Sheng Kiat Teo is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore. He is interested in the development of comparative tactics for analytical and conceptual innovation in urban studies. Thematically, his work focuses on experimental urban projects and their underpinning state-society relations. His work seeks to contribute to furthering tactical innovation in comparative urbanism and to theorizing the state’s relevance for progressive urban transformation..
Dr Jérémie Molho is a Marie Curie Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.
Prof. Hyun Bang Shin (@urbancommune) is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science and directs the LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre. His research centres on the critical analysis of the political economy of speculative urbanisation, gentrification and displacement, urban spectacles, and urbanism with particular attention to Asian cities. His books include Planetary Gentrification (Polity, 2016), Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Exporting Urban Korea? Reconsidering the Korean Urban Development Experience (Routledge, 2021), and The Political Economy of Mega Projects in Asia: Globalization and Urban Transformation (Routledge, forthcoming). He is Editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and is also a trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation.