I am an independent scholar based currently and also originally from the UK who has held academic positions at the University of Groningen and Utrecht University in The Netherlands, as well as Kings College London in the UK. At BA level I studied Human Geography at the Department of Geography, University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) and at Master level European Urban and Regional Studies at the Department of Geography, Durham University (also UK).
As a human geographer with experience of working at the nexus of geography and planning, I am interested in the intersection of urban-social, political and philosophical realms of analysis, within the broader context of critiques of secularization and the rise of the postsecular age. I defy neat categorization into conceptual labels. My latest book-length publication will be The Routledge Handbook of Postsecularity, and edited volume including over 50 chapters that will appear 2018.
My PhD thesis was completed at the Department of Geography, Durham University (2000) and since then have published in international journals and contributed to special issues of journal and edited volumes on questions of urban governance and politics, reconfiguring questions of social justice and most recently faith-based organizations in struggles against urban injustices within postsecular urban realms.
The academic inspiration behind the EU-7th Framework Programme FACIT project (2008-10) investigating faith-based organizations and exclusion in European cities, I have pioneered the application of the concept of the postsecular in the analysis of urban areas. I am currently the principal investigator of the Dutch partner of the JPI-NWO SELFCITY project (2015-18) which explores creative governance and self-organization in the face of climate change in the UK, Germany and The Netherlands. In February 2016 I submitted an EU-H2020 proposal entitled Enlightened city: progressive regeneration for 21st Europe as scientific coordinator of a partnership representing 10 countries, with eight universities and two carefully selected non-profit organizations across Europe and one from Canada. A revised version of this proposal and still centred on the notion of the enlightened city will be resubmitted in 2017. I am also developing an application to the National Geographic Global Exploration Fund Northern Europe for exploratory and media friendly research on the postsecular in Georgia in the Caucasus.
I am co-editor of five edited volumes (see publication list below). The latest is Working Faith: faith-based organizations and urban social exclusion (Cloke, Beaumont and Williams eds 2013) at Paternoster Press and resulting from the FACIT project. Others include Faith-Based Organizations and Exclusion in European Cities at The Policy Press (Beaumont and Cloke, eds. 2012) also from FACIT and Spaces of Contention: spatialities of social movements (Nicholls, Miller and Beaumont eds 2013) at Ashagte, Postsecular Cities: space, theory and practice (Beaumont and Baker eds 2011) at Continuum and Exploring the Postseular: the religious, the political and the urban (Molendijk, Beaumont and Jedan eds 2010).
Between 2006-14 I was a board member and book reviews editor at Tijdschrift voor Economische en Socinale Geografie (TESG), the leading international human geography journal in The Netherlands. My editorial experience also involves a book series co-editor at LIT-Verlag on Theorizing the Postsecular (since 2011), European editor at Local Economy (2004-5), as well as board member (2001-4) and advisor (2005-to now) at AGORA, a popular science magazine that deals with current social-spatial issues in The Netherlands and Belgium. Since 2015 I sit on the editorial board of Journal of Urban Affairs and Urbanites.
My interests focus on urban governance and politics in relation to social and spatial justice in cities as a committed European in times of post-Brexit and EU crises. In particular I like to engage with questions of European urbanism with a glance at the US and the global South in the frame of holistic and postsecular analyses of the urban; and (2) internationally comparative research at the interface between political economy, humanist and culturally sensitive theoretical positions.
I’ve always been driven by intriguing and unconventional relations between ideas and can foresee research trends and forge innovative ways to address these developments in a multidisciplinary fashion.
I would say that I:
-Am committed to a progressive social (and spatial) justice agenda, focusing on equality and fairness for everyone and based on the view that people get what they deserve when can enjoy access to resources and the freedom to make choices
-Have an expansive and enquiring mind, using foresight and always searching for authentic connections, meanings and “big ideas” for society and politics
-Operate well in a close, supportive and enthusiastic environment where efforts are acknowledged and progress is seen as a “team effort” as opposed to individual self-aggrandisement
-Am sympathetic, empathetic and interested in “pastoral” care of students and colleagues together.
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