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Raffael Beier

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Research Fellow + PhD Student

Address:
Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitaetsstr. 105, Room 2.16
44789 Bochum
Germany

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-24857

Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

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Research Interest

  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Public Transport Infrastructure
  • Protest and Urban Policy
  • Urban Social Movements
  • North Africa and the Middle East

PhD Project

From the City to the Desert: Analysing Shantytown Resettlement in Casablanca, Morocco, from Residents’ Perspective

Since the mid-1990s, the majority of the Moroccan population is living in cities – many of them in informal, self-built shantytowns, called bidonvilles. After the suicide bombings in the city centre of Casablanca, conducted by bidonville dwellers in 2003, the Moroccan government has re-enhanced its efforts to tackle the ‘problem’ of shantytowns by announcing the ambitious programme Villes Sans Bidonvilles (VSB, cities without shantytowns). The VSB programme aims at eradicating all Moroccan shantytowns by relocating the dwellers to mostly peripheral, but serviced plots for auto-construction. Following the dominant modus operandi two households from the bidonville receive together one plot in the new town. In more than 90 % of the cases, they are unable to build the house themselves and transfer this duty to a private third party. The third-party investor builds a four-storey house on the plot and receives in return the two lower floors, while the two resettled households move respectively into one of the upper flats. This allows even poor residents to become homeowners of a new flat.

This PhD project looks at both process and outcome of resettlement from the perspective of affected people, analysing the specific resettlement project of the 90-year-old bidonville Karyan Central in Casablanca. Regarding the process, it asked how social dynamics, local actor constellations and power structures shape the resettlement implementation. Concerning the outcome, it analysed in how far the welfare of people affected by the VSB programme change because of the resettlement. Methodologically, the PhD thesis compares in an analytical way current living situations in a nonaffected bidonville and in a resettlement town. The empirical analysis is based on both quantitative and qualitative methods, largely building on a household survey (n > 800) as well as on informal conversations, participant observations, and interviews with different relevant stakeholder. The household survey includes former inhabitants of Karyan Central that were resettled mostly five to six years ago to the new town Nouvelle Lahraouiyine and residents of the bidonville Er-Rhamna, which has a similar size, structure, and functions compared to the demolished Karyan Central.

The results show that satisfaction with the new housing situation depends on various factors beyond housing comfort and is largely shaped by individual needs and former housing pathways. Thus, some residents stressed they were pushed from the city to the desert, referring to the loss of social networks, urbanity, and centrality. Other residents were appreciating the move into new houses, hoping that the government will further invest in the development of the new town, which is already marked by multiple forms of neglect. The thesis emphasises that the VSB programme, although formally part of anti-poverty and urban inclusion policies, puts primary focus on the clearance of the bidonville. Following a rather narrow interpretation of the right to adequate housing, the VSB programme overemphasises physical housing standards, while ignoring aspects of socio-spatial integration. Moreover, various injustices, corruption, and opaque implementation practices have led to homelessness and psychological distress for a considerable number of people – even though affordability was not an issue.

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Matthias Kiese (RUB) and Prof. Irene van Staveren (EUR, ISS)


Publications


  • Beier, Raffael (2018): Zwischen Rebellion und Global City: Stadtentwicklung in Marokko, in: Welt-Sichten Dossier 9-2018, pp. 16-17.
  • Beier, Raffael & Jasmin Fritzsche-El Shewy (2018): UN-Habitat, the New Urban Agenda and Urban Refugees – A State of the Art. In: Z’Flucht – The German Journal for Refugee Studies 2(1), 128-142.
  • Beier, Raffael (2018): Towards a New Perspective on the Role of the City in Social Movements. Urban Policy after the 'Arab Spring'. In: City 22(2): 220-235.
  • Beier, Raffael (2018): Social Movements as Drivers of Urban Policy: The Case of the Arab Uprisings in North Africa. In: Schoch, Aline and Reto Bürgin (eds.), Urbane Widerstände – Urban Resistance. Peter Lang: Bern, pp. 63-78. (more info)
  • Beier, Raffael & Fritzsche, Jasmin (2017): Refugees and the City: UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda. In: Forced Migration Review 55, pp. 29-30. (full text)
  • Beier, Raffael (2017): Tunis und Casablanca - Stadtentwicklungspolitiken zwischen "Worlding" und Sozialverträglichkeit. In: inamo, Informationsprojekt Naher und Mittlerer Osten 23(89), S. 24-28. (full text)
  • Beier, Raffael (2016): Workshop Report. First Workshop of the Working Group Stadt / Raum of the Institute for Social Movement Studies: What is the "Urban" in Urban Social Movements? In: Moving the Social 56, pp. 149-154.
  • Beier, Raffael (2016): "Shifting Urban Policies in North Africa after the "Arab Spring" - Urgent Reaction or Real Changes?" (Diskussionspapiere Volkswirtschaft des Vorderen Orients, 113) Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag.
  • Beier, Raffael & Vilmondes Alves, Mariana A. (2015) Die Dominanz des Quantitativen - Das Dilemma des Rechts auf angemessenen Wohnraum in Brasilien, Marokko und Südafrika. In: RaumPlanung 182/6-2015, S. 40-45.
  • Beier, R. (2012): Wohnimmobilien im Fokus von Investoren und Stadtplanern - Auswirkungen der Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise auf den Düsseldorfer Wohnimmobilienmarkt. Hamburg.

Seminars and Conferences


  • '"They Pushed Us Out of the City!" – Rethinking Resettlement and Slum Upgrading', Workshop der DGVN AG Junge UN-Forschung und des Lehrstuhls für Internationale Politik der Universität Potsdam, 'Localizing the Sustainable Development Agenda: Städte als Schlüssel für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung?', Potsdam, 7-8 September 2018
  • 'Pictures of Contrast – Casablanca’s Tramway between Urban Exclusion and Inclusion', III. Midterm Conference of ESA RN37 ‘Inequality and Uncertainty’, Madrid, 27-29 June 2018
  • 'De la ville vers le désert – Recasement des bidonvilles à Casablanca', Workshop du projet GELULE (Géopolitique de la lutte contre l’étalement urbain) de l’Agence Nationale de Recherche, Saint-Etienne, 31 January – 2 February.
  • 'Pictures of Contrast – Casablanca’s Tramway between Urban World-Class and the Right to the City', Workshop "Infrastructure and the Making of Urban Space: Critical Approaches", Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin, 21-22 September 2017
  • 'Consequences of Branding 'Slum-Free' - Experience from Casablanca', 33. Deutscher Orientalistentag (DOT), Jena, 18-22 September 2017
  • 'Starting from Zero: Social Reconfigurations and Resettlement at the Fringes of Casablanca, Morocco', RC21 Conference 'Rethinking Global Urban Justice', Leeds, 11-13 September 2017
  • 'From the City to the Sahara – Shantytown Resettlement and the Right to the City in Casablanca', 13th European Sociological Association (ESA) Conference, Athens, 29 August - 1 September 2017
  • '"The house is nice, but ..." - Shantytown Resettlement through Small-Scale Private Construction in Casablanca, Morocco', 7th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS), Basel, 29 June - 1 July 2017
  • 'Moroccan Cities without Slums? The Need to Think Beyond Housing', Guest Lecture at Netherlands Institute in Morocco (NIMAR), Rabat, 7 February 2017
  • 'Towards a New Perspective on the Role of the City in Social Movements - Urban Policy after the Arab Spring’, Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society 2016, London, 30 August - 2 September 2016
  • 'Shifting Urban Policies after the Arab Spring - Urgent Reactions or Real Changes', RC21 Annual Meeting 2016, Mexico City, 21-23 July 2016
  • Der Euro-Mediterrane „Dialog“ zu Migration, Mobilität und Sicherheit: Von ‚neuen‘ Diskursen und ‚altbekannten’ Instrumenten', Geographisches Kolloquium der RWTH Aachen, Aachen, 3. Februar 2016 (zusammen mit Anja Zorob)
  • 'Urban Mobility, Resistance, and the State - The Urbanism of Urgency in North Africa', International Graduate Conference 'Move on! Mobility meets (little) resistances', Vienna, November 26-28, 2015
  • 'Die Bedeutung raumbezogener Politiken im Arabischen Frühling', Deutscher Kongress für Geographie, 'Stadt Land Schaf(f)t – Land Schaf(f)t Stadt', Berlin, 1.-6. Oktober 2015
  • 'Shifting Spatial Policies after the Arab Spring - Urgent Reactions or Real Changes?', 22nd International Conference of the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO)& 1st Section Conference of the Islamic Studies Section of the German Oriental Society (DMG), 'The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences', Bochum, 24-26 September 2015
  • 'European Migration Policy after the Arab Spring: Sticking to "Securitization" or Rising to the Challenges in the Mediterranean?', 22nd International Conference of the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO)& 1st Section Conference of the Islamic Studies Section of the German Oriental Society (DMG), 'The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences', Bochum, 24-26 September 2015 (together with Anja Zorob)
  • Participation in the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), Nairobi, 14-16 April 2015
  • 'Zwischen Prestigeprojekten und Elendsvierteln - Auswirkungen dualistischer Stadtpolitik in Marokko', 5. Bochumer Nachwuchsworkshop der Mittelmeerstudien, Zentrum für Mittelmeerstudien (ZMS), Bochum, 26.-27. Februar 2015
  • 'The European Migration Policy in the Mediterranean after the Arab Spring – Old Concepts in New Design?', 4th EUMEF Alumni Reunion Conference, 'The MENA Region in Turmoil - Causes and Ways out of the Crises', German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Berlin, 13-15 November 2014
  • 'Slum Clearance in Morocco - Welfare Gains for Whom?', 12th Development Dialogue, 'Rethinking Democracy', ISS, The Hague, 16-17 October 2014.
  • 'Between the Global War on Terror and Local Precariousness – The U.S. Promotion of Affordable Housing Finance in Morocco', 18th International Summer School of the EU - Middle East Forum (EUMEF) of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), 'Constructive versus Destructive Engagement – Drivers and Implications of External Actors’ Policies for North Africa', Berlin, 11 - 22 August 2014
  • ‘Impact of the Eurozone Crisis on Local Housing Market and Urban Development – The Example of Düsseldorf, Germany’, RC43 Conference ‘At Home on the Housing Market’, Amsterdam, 10-12 July 2013

Teaching


  • Seminar 'Urbanisation and Development' (MADM, Summer Term 2017)
  • Seminar 'Qualitative Methods' (MADM, Summer Term 2017)
  • Seminar 'Current Topics of Development Policy' (M.Sc. WiWi, Winter Term 16/17, Summer Term 2017)
  • Lecture 'Grundlagen der Wirtschaftswissenschaften' (B.Sc. Geographie, 14/15 - 15/16)

Mentoring (Master in Development Management)


  • Keneilwe, Manganya (2016): Examining Lived Experiences: Narrative Stories of Backyard Shack Dwellers in the Mohlakeng Township
  • Maqubela, Anele N. (2016): Informal Settlement Upgrading and Housing Use Values in the Republic of South Africa: Evidence from Duncan Village and Reeston
  • Siemonsen, Svenja (2015): Community Participation in Informal Settlement Improvement Projects: Exploring Stakeholder Perceptions and Factors Stimulating Community Participation in the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project

How to contact us

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr University Bochum

Room 2.04
Universitaetsstr. 105
D-44789 Bochum

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:   +49-(0)234 / 32-22418
or   32-22243
Fax:   +49-(0)234 / 32-14-294

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Latest Publications

Eva Gerharz: The Interface Approach (IEE Working Paper No. 212)

Raffael Beier: Zwischen Rebellion und Global City: Stadtentwicklung in Marokko, in: Welt-Sichten Dossier 9-2018, pp. 16-17

Raffael Beier and Jasmin Fritzsche-El Shewy: UN-Habitat, the New Urban Agenda and Urban Refugees – A State of the Art. In Z’Flucht – The German Journal for Refugee Studies 2(1), 128-142.

More information: "Publications / New Publications"

IEE on Tour

September 18 - 19:
Dr. Elkhan R. Sadik-Zada
at the University of Gent, Belgium, for Tropentag 2018, presenting the poster "Devco Nutrition Commitments and its Dicontents"

September 19:
Raffael Beier
at the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague/The Netherlands, for a seminar as part of the joint-PhD of ISS and IEE

IEE on Field Research

Om Ki has a research stay in Myanmar from September to mid-November 2018.