Elina Kränzle

MSc Urban Studies, BSc Urban Planning

Doctoral Candidate

In her research, Elina Kränzle investigates processes of urban development in a context of social and political transformations. She holds a degree in Urbanistik from Bauhaus Universität Weimar and has completed an interdisciplinary Erasmus Mundus Master in Urban Studies with study periods in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen and Madrid. Between 2015-2018 she worked as university assistant at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space and as assistant to the head of Stadtteilarbeit (district work) at Caritas Vienna, developing projects for inclusive neighborhoods. Since 2018, she has been a Fellow of the German Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, where she is completing her doctoral thesis that explores different phenomena of space production by the nation-state and links discourses on nationalism and urbanization as constitutive forces of contemporary societies.

Doctoral Thesis

Zones of Insecurity – Nation, Nationalism and the Politics of Public Space (working title)

European cities are undergoing accelerated change in the context of deindustrialization, European integration and global migration, economic globalization and climate change and their inhabitants are increasingly confronted with difference. This has been taken up by many scholars in the field of urban studies who have developed an ethics of multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism in cities based on the multiple contact points urban life offers with its various cultures, religions, ethnicities or lifestyles.

This Everyday Cosmopolitanism faces the reality of belonging and participation in the democratic nation-state, which is still legitimized through nationality and an often essentialized national identity. The recurring idea that identity is bound up with a fixed cultural and spatial position is reflected on many political levels: there is still no agreement on a joint rescue and integration strategy of refugees whose lives remain threatened in overcrowded border camps, campaigns against immigration have dominated populist politics across Europe, and anti-immigration-parties have won influence, just to name a few symptoms of a new nationalism.

The spatial sciences have contributed to an understanding of how urban space is made a central arena of such anti- and ethnopluralist, xenophobic and nationalist agendas and exposed the city as a contested space of political appropriations. Recent German-speaking architecture, urbanism and urban studies publications presented critical research on the conservative to extreme-right aesthetics, conceptualization and appropriation of space. What most recent research in urban studies has still fallen short of are analyses of how nationalism is inscribed into everyday praxis, life and relations in cities, and how urban development is relevant in nation-building and cultural unification. Shifting the perspective on nationalism from an understanding as extraordinary to an understanding as an ideological habit of established nation states, Michael Billig’s work on Banal Nationalism (1995) points to how the nation-state is reproduced daily. Departing from such an understanding of nationalism, the aim of this work is to link discourses on nationalism and urbanization as constitutive forces of contemporary societies looking at different phenomena of space production by the nation-state.

Applying Corrigan and Sayer’s (1985) concept of “state’s statements” to understand how the state through namings, statistics, definitions, or mappings articulates problematizations of space in policy, the aim of my research is to analyze how through these statements space is produced and which conceptions of space and society underlie. The qualitative research builds primarily on close-up, detailed observations of multiple-cases of national urban space policy affecting public spaces in Vienna, such as the propagation of different prohibitive zones (Sicherheitszonen, Waffenverbotszonen), and covers 1) specific reports, regulations and policies of the federal state which affect urban spaces directly or indirectly; 2) urban policy responses from the urban government level to these interventions; 3) the ways in which these statements are translated into “policing” of urban spaces. Instead of a comparative approach, this multiple-case study design covers different policies of public space regulation in Vienna to draw a single set of conclusions across these multiple cases looking at contemporary transformations of the state in Austria through the lens of space.

since 12|2018

Doctoral Fellow of the “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes“ (German Academic Foundation).

since 03|2017

Doctoral Candidate at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, TU Wien. Thesis: “Zones of Insecurity – Nation, Nationalism and the Politics of Public Space” (working title).

09|2013 - 09|2015

Master of Science Cum Laude in Urban Studies, Erasmus Mundus 4CITIESat universities in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen and Madrid. Thesis: “Re-appropriating the city of crisis – activism and participation in the governance of public space in Madrid and Berlin”Erasmus Mundus Scholarship awarded by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission.

10|2008 - 10|2012

Bachelor of Science in UrbanistikBauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany.
Thesis: “Flüchtlinge in der Stadt. Eine explorative Studie über Standortbedingungen und Lebensverhältnisse an drei Flüchtlingswohnheimen in Thüringen“Awarded “Best Thesis in Urbanistik of the year 2012” by Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

08|2010 - 05|2011

Study abroad at Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, USADAAD Primus Scholarship.

09|2000 - 06|2008

Gymnasium bei Maria Ward, Augsburg, Germany Abitur.

01|2018 - 11|2018

Assistant for “Innovation and Quality Management” at Caritas Wien Stadtteilarbeit (Neighborhood Work), Austria. Field of Work: Co-ordination and conception of project and research grant applications, support of various community work projects, social business and organisational development, PR.

09|2015 - 02|2018

University Assistant at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, TU Wien, Austria. Field of work: Research activities (co-ordination of research grant applications, communication and coordination of international co-operations, co-editing of final reports), teaching in the master programs of the faculty, PR and communication, planning and editing of the centre’s publications, conception and organisation of the international conference “UNSETTLED”.

11|2015 - 07|2016

Project Assistant for the Vienna Summer School in Urban Studies 2016, Austrian Academy of Sciences OEAW and Universität Wien, Austria. Field of Work: Conceptualisation and organisation of the international masters and PhD summer school, co-ordination, communication and PR.

10|2012 - 03|2013

Intern at GIZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, in the project “Environmentally and Climate-friendly Urban Development in Da Nang”, Da Nang, Vietnam. Field of work: Management of the housing case study “Community-Based Adaptation for Storm-Resilience”, graphic design and PR, research tasks, creation of maps.

06|2012 - 07|2012

Scientific assistant at the DAAD University cooperation project “Urban Minorities“ at the Department of Urban Sociology,  Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany. Field of work: Support of the organization of an international workshop, communication, design of PR-materials, support of international workshop participants in Germany.

02|2012 - 03|2012

Intern at the state parliamentary group “Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen“ in the state parliament of Thuringia, Germany. Field of work: Conceptual design and organization of an expert discussion on strategic regional planning, research tasks, public relations and support of parliamentary processes.

10|2009 - 01|2012

Scientific assistant at the Department of Spatial Planning, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany.