Dr Martin Müller

Dr Martin Müller

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Martin Müller is interested in how the social and the material hold together and fall apart. His empirical work focuses on the planning and impacts of mega-events as well as on the disruptive effects of natural disturbance such as insect pests. He is a Swiss National Science Foundation Professor at the University of Zurich and is associated with the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences as a Senior Research Fellow.

See Martin's website: www.martin-muller.net


PhD (2008): Human Geography (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)
MPhil (2005): Development Studies (University of Cambridge)
BA (equiv.) (2004): Economic Geography (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)


Martin has been associated with the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences as a Senior Research Fellow since 2013.

Martin studied Economic Geography in Munich from 2001 to 2004, before reading for a Master’s degree at Downing College, University of Cambridge.

He returned to Germany for his PhD in Human Geography, which included nine months of fieldwork in Russia. 

From 2009 to 2013 he was an Assistant Professor at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, before joining the University of Zurich as a Swiss National Science Foundation Professor.


Researcher ID: F-7045-2011
Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.ch/citations?user=wfq0s9UAAAAJ

Research interests

Political Geography | Urban and Regional Studies | Economic Geography | Political Ecology | Political Economy

Actor-Networks | Discourse | Knowledge| Identification and Lack | Governance

Mega-Events and Mega-Projects | Parks and People | Sustainability | Organizations

Ethnography | Inferential Statistics

Russia | Eastern Europe | Germany | Switzerland


Representative Publications

Müller, Martin. 2015a. “Assemblages and Actor-Networks: Rethinking Socio-Material Power, Politics and Space.” Geography Compass 9 (1): 27–41. doi:10.1111/gec3.12192.

Müller, Martin. 2015b. “(Im-)Mobile Policies: Why Sustainability Went Wrong in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.” European Urban and Regional Studies 22 (2): 191–209. doi:10.1177/0969776414523801.

Müller, Martin. 2015c. “A Half-Hearted Romance? A Diagnosis and Agenda for the Relationship between Economic Geography and Actor-Network Theory (ANT).” Progress in Human Geography 39 (1): 65–86. doi:10.1177/0309132513518833.

Müller, Martin. 2015d. “The Mega-Event Syndrome: Why so Much Goes Wrong in Mega-Event Planning and What to Do about It.”Journal of the American Planning Association 81 (1): 6–17. doi:10.1080/01944363.2015.1038292.
View the associated policy brief (PDF 2MB)

Müller, Martin, and Carolin Schurr. 2016. “Assemblage Thinking and Actor-Network Theory: Conjunctions, Disjunctions, Cross-Fertilisations.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41 (3): 217–29. doi:10.1111/tran.12117.

Müller, M. 2012. Opening the black box of the organization: socio-material practices of geopolitical ordering. Political Geography 31:379–388.

Müller, M. 2011. State dirigisme in megaprojects: governing the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Environment and Planning A 43:2091–2108.

Müller, M. 2011. How natural disturbance triggers political conflict: bark beetles and the meaning of landscape in the Bavarian Forest. Global Environmental Change 21:935–946.

Müller, M. 2009. Making great power identities in Russia: an ethnographic discourse analysis of education at a Russian elite university. Zürich: LIT.

Müller, M. 2008. Reconsidering the concept of discourse in the field of critical geopolitics: towards discourse as language and practice. Political Geography 27:322–338.

Müller, M. 2007. What’s in a word? Problematising translation between languages. Area 39:206–213.

For a full list see http://scholar.google.ch/citations?user=wfq0s9UAAAAJ