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Dr Christopher Harker
  • Lecturer
  • UCL Institute for Global Prosperity
  • Faculty of the Built Environment

2009-2017. Lecturer, Department of Geography, Durham University, UK. 

2004-2009. PhD in Geography, University of British Columbia, Canada.

2002-2004. MA in Geography, University of British Columbia, Canada.

1999-2002. BSc (Hons) 1st class in Geography, University of Bristol, UK.

Research Summary

My current research examines spatial practices of debt and finance in Palestine, Lebanon and the UK. This builds on longer-standing interests in everyday geographies of politics and agency, spanning home, family and mobility. I am taking this research forward at IGP by thinking about how we can pay for the societies we want and how we can create more inclusive forms of value. How do we move from failing forms of finance and growth economics that creates inequality and ecosystem destruction towards more inclusive and sustainable forms of prosperity?  

My published work has developed a spatial conceptualisation of debt. I have also argued for more geographically diverse theorisations of debt by engaging feminist economic and postcolonial literatures. Empirically I draw on a decade long ethnographic engagement with the Palestinian city of Ramallah. My recent project, Families and Cities: An Everyday Geography of Ramallah funded by a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship examined the role debt plays amidst a broader range of socio-cultural and economic practices to create new modes of living in the face of ongoing colonial occupation. My extensive ethnographic fieldwork offers a rich understanding of the varied debt relations within and beyond Ramallah, and forms of agency I characterise as endurance. This work has important broader implications, given the ways in which unprecedented levels of debt are contributing to the vulnerability of populations globally, and thus calling future social and economic prosperity into question. I explore these ideas most extensively in my forthcoming monograph, Spacing Debt: Obligations, Endurance and Impasse in Ramallah, Palestine. My research also contributes to postcolonial scholarship concerned with making theory more inclusive, particularly in relation to how we understand urban economies in the global South.

Teaching Summary

  • Debt, Finance and Prosperity 
  • Methods 2: Problem Solving for Global Prosperity

I am Director of the PhD Programme in Global Prosperity

08-JAN-2018 Lecturer in Global Prosperity Institute for Global Prosperity UCL, United Kingdom
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