Thesis: Spatial Contestation, Identity and the Right to the City: A Critical Interrogation of Discourse and Practice in Addis Ababa (Finfinne), Ethiopia
Key Topics: Critical Urban Theory, Spatial Justice, Power Relations, Hegemony, Representation, Marginality
Michael is an urban economist and consultant with over a decade of experience cutting across management consulting, business and political journalism, rights advocacy, policy analysis and academic research. He started his professional career as a researcher and editor in his hometown of Addis Ababa before moving to Denmark for a postgraduate study at the University of Copenhagen, where he was awarded a full MSc scholarship.
Upon completion, Michael was offered a role as a consultant at a Danish consulting firm, COWI, where he worked on a broad range of urban projects and gained valuable consulting and research experience in the Nordic city of Copenhagen. Over the course of the next seven years, Michael worked in the private sector, academia and advocacy in Denmark and the UK with research interests in the area of sustainable urban planning, land rights, social justice, power relations and public policy.
Michael, a recipient of a UCL Doctoral scholarship at the DPU, is currently reading towards a PhD in development planning. His research explores the intersectionality of economic class, identity, ideological contestation and asymmetric power relations in the generation and perpetuation of socio-spatial exclusion, inequity and polarization in the urban space. He approaches the topic with the city of Addis Ababa as the paradigmatic centre of research enquiry while drawing on the framework of critical urban theory to interrogate entrenched hegemonic structures leaving deprived communities in positions of further disadvantage.
Primary Supervisor: Professor Michael Walls
Secondary Supervisor: Dr. Rita Lambert
Languages: Afaan Oromo (native-bilingual proficiency), Amharic (native-bilingual proficiency), English (fluent), Danish (basic)
African Arguments: https://bit.ly/3m8EfPR
New Africa Magazine: https://bit.ly/3npT7sE
Previous Research Output: https://bit.ly/3m6GL9o
BA, Economics - Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
MSc, International & Development Economics - University of Copenhagen, Denmark