Professor Peter Adey

Personal profile

My work lies at the intersection between space, security and mobility, and Cultural and Political Geography. I am former Chair of the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group, one of the largest research groups of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). In 2011 I was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for my contributions to Human Geography.



Much of my research has revolved around the putative ‘new mobilities paradigm’, mobility futures and infrastructures– especially in the context of airports and aeromobilities. I published my first books Mobility ( 2009; 2017 2nd edition), Aerial Life: spaces, mobilities, affects (2010) and Air (2014) on the topics. I am a co-editor of the journal Mobilities, one of the leading journals for research on mobility, migration and transport, as well as a co-editor of the Handbook of Mobilities (2014), The Handbook of Displacement (2020), From Above: war, violence and verticality (2013), and with Monika Büscher (Lancaster) I am co-editor of the Changing Mobilities book series. With Tim Cresswell, Jane Jeonjae Lee, Andre Novoa, Anna Nikolaeva and Cristina Temenos, our book Moving Towards Transition: commoning mobility for a low carbon future will be out with Zed Books later in 2021. Our mobility transitions research builds on a 3 year research programme which was led by Tim Cresswell and funded by the Mobile Lives Forum. I am currently finishing my long-term book project The Way We Evacuate with Duke University Press.

In development is an Encyclopedia of Mobilities co-edited with Kaya Barry and Weiqiang Lin and contracted with Edward Elgar. I am also the co-I of the Music, Migration and Mobility project led by the Royal College of Music (


My other research interests orbit around several intertwined empirical and conceptual sites of enquiry:

Vertical and Volumetric Geographies

Emergencies and Evacuation

The Matter of Air


I am also on the steering group and am co-investigator of the EPSRC funded Royal Holloway Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security and the Everyday.


Key books include:

  • Adey, P. (forthcoming) The Way We Evacuate: emergency politics and the aesthetics of mobility, Duke University Press, Durham, NC.
  • Adey, P. (2017) Mobility (2nd edition),Routledge, London. Recently translated into Korean by the Academy of Mobility Humanities.
  • Adey, P. (2017) Levitation: the science, myth and magic of levity, Reaktion, London; Chicago University Press, Chicago
  • Adey, P., Godfrey, B. and Cox, D. (2016) Crime, Regulation and Control during the Blitz, Bloomsbury, London.
  • Adey, P. (2014) Air. Reaktion, London; Chicago University Press, Chicago.
  • Adey, P. (2010) Aerial Life: spaces, mobilities, affects. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Adey, P. (2009) Mobility. Routledge, London.

Edited volumes

  • Adey, P., Bowstead, J., Brickell, K., Dalton, M., Desai, V., Pinkerton, A., Siddiqi, A., (2020) The Handbook of Displacement, Palgrave, Basingstoke.
  • Adey, P., Whitehead, M. and Williams, A. (2013) From Above: war, violence and verticality. Hurst; Oxford University Press: London.
  • Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (2013) Handbook of Mobilities, Routledge, London.

Teaching and Supervision

I love teaching mobilities (!) and I have co-taught or taught undergraduate courses on the topic since 2006. I am lead for the Geopolitics and Security strand of the MSc in Global Futures.


I have supervised a range of extraordinary PhD students. Their work ranges from airports and artistic practice to the geopolitics of video games, from the politics of the search algorithm to the mobilities of run-commuting. I would be interested to hear from prospective students interested in projects that relate to:

-       Verticality and the volumetric; airpower; aerial and subterranean spatialities

-       Mobilities governance; borders; biopolitics of security; airports and port security

-       Affect and materiality; intimacy, sensation and touch, atmospheres

-       Futures, emergencies and crisis management; civil contingencies; evacuation mobilities; disaster and development; autonomy


ID: 4396503