Dr Mustafa Dikec

Personal profile

I am Reader in Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. I was also a Visiting Professor at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne during the 2008-2009 academic year, and at Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne during 2012-2013.

I studied urban planning and urban design at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey (undergraduate) and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (postgraduate). I obtained my PhD in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2003. Before coming to Royal Holloway in 2006, I was a postdoctoral research fellow in human geography at the Open University.

I am on the editorial boards of:

  • Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
  • Justice spatiale/Spatial Justice (a bilingual open access journal online, http://www.jssj.org).


Research interests

My research is focused around three themes: politics of space, politics of alterity, and politics of time. On the first two, I have published Badlands of the Republic: Space, Politics and Urban Policy (2007, Blackwell) and Extending Hospitality: Giving Space, Taking Time (co-edited with Nigel Clark and Clive Barnett, 2009, Edinburg University Press). On politics of time, I am embarking on a new project called ‘Pumping time: geographies of temporal infrastructure in fin-de-siècle Paris’, funded by AHRC’s Early Career scheme.


GG2053 Cities: Economies and Ecologies (Undergraduate Year 2):
I teach the first part of this course on ‘the political economy of urbanisation’ during the Autumn term. We explore questions as the following: What is a city? Can we talk about a specific urban way of life? How are cities and economic processes related? What impact does global processes have on cities? Are we living in a world of cities or planet of slums? What are the key elements of the economic, social and political structure of contemporary cities? What are the dynamics behind urban unrest? What are the prospects for urban futures?

GG3079 Cultures of Time and Space (Undergraduate Year 3):
This course is a survey of changing conceptualisations and experience of time and space as basic categories of social life. It is structured around a series of episodes that have been influential in shifting the ways in which time and space are conceived and experienced. This course is quite fun but also a bit challenging as it is counter-intuitive: it goes against (or at least questions) taken-for-granted, seemingly ‘natural’ ideas about time and space. It is very difficult, for example, to convince students that it simply is not ‘natural’ to want to know the precise time as expressed in hours, minutes and seconds; that time was not always seen as linear and irreversible; that the 7-day week is not a natural cycle; that the land was not always thought of as something that could be rented or sold; that it took seven years of earth-measuring to come up with the length of the meter, which they already knew in the first place, and so on.

Space, Politics and the Political (MA):
This is the MA-level module I teach, which consists of three seminar sessions. Through engagement with the works of selected geographers and political philosophers, we explore different ways of thinking space politically and politics spatially.

Aesthetics, Art, and Politics (MA):

This is a new MA module I am teaching this year. We explore the relationship between aesthetics and politics through a detailed engagement, in particular, with the political thought of Hannah Arendt and Jacques Ranciere.

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