The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU’s Haim Yacobi and Azadeh Mashayekhi receive UCL funding for new research project

12 December 2022

Congratulations to the DPU's Prof. Haim Yacobi and Dr. Azadeh Mashayekhi, for receiving UCL’s Global Engagement Cities Partnership Programme in collaboration with Prof. Eric Verdeil and Dr. Helene Thiollet from SciencesPo Paris


This research project and seminar series will offer critical and interdisciplinary debate on how religious actors and institutions are shaping the urban and spatial politics of cities in the Middle East.

In the workshops to be conducted at UCL and SciencesPo we will invite academics and scholars to discuss:

1.    How have religious institutions harnessed urban development activities to acquire economic, political and territorial power, therefore expanding their influence in the cities in the region (within and beyond the state)? 

2.    How are the activities of religious actors historicised and contextualised within wider political-economic processes and state, civil society, and market interfaces?

3.    What are the spatial tactics deployed by religious actors and groups to reconfigure certain inner or outer city areas along their ideological and political lines?

By bringing together a multidisciplinary group of scholars and academics, these workshops at UCL and SciencesPo aim to expand our disciplinary horizon and unpack the role of religious groups and actors that are systematically active and involved in shaping the social and spatial transformation of Middle Eastern cities. The workshops will provide a richly detailed account of various cases of involvement of religious actors and institutions in shaping the politics of urban development in different parts of the region, and revisit the entanglement of state, market, religion, and Middle Eastern urbanism.