Soviet urban planning and post-Soviet urban and social welfare transformation; infrastructure and politics; neoliberalism and governmental rationality; emergency government in the United States; urban vulnerability and resilience; insurance and climate change.
Trained as an anthropologist, Stephen Collier held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University before teaching for fifteen years in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School in New York City. He joined the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley in 2018.
Collier’s work examines city and regional planning from the broad perspective of the forms of political rationality in modern societies—the way government is taken up as a problem of expert reflection and is constituted as a field of intervention. He has studied the planning of cities, and planning in cities, in relationship to problems such as national development, military mobilization, social welfare, vulnerability, and resilience. Much of his research has focused on infrastructure system, as these have been planned, built, programmed, and reformed to address such problems. His work lies at the intersection of geography, anthropology, sociology, and science and technology studies, and touches on themes that have been central to these fields in recent years, including neoliberalism, risk society, splintering urbanisms, and the political category of emergency.
Collier is co-founder and co-editor of Limn (www.limn.it), a scholarly magazine addressing contemporary issues at the intersection of expertise and politics.