Dr. Christine Ludl | Assoziierte Forscherin

Mobilität, Migration und räumliche Neuordnung
Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191, D-10117 Berlin
E-Mail: chludel  ( at )  zedat.fu-berlin.de Tel: +49(0) 30 / 20 93 70700 or 70707

Fachbereich : Politikwissenschaft |


Christine Ludl earned a PhD in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin and Sciences Po Paris. Her PhD thesis dealt with representations of mobility and related notions of personal ambition and social prestige of migrants from the Senegal River region traveling between France and their countries of origin. She held postdoctoral positions at the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand (jointly with the French Institute of South Africa) in Johannesburg, South Africa and with the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Her research focuses on West African migrations (Senegal, Mali, Mauritania) to France and South Africa, on migration and urban transformation (South Africa), on the history and epistemology of the concept of (social) representation(s), and on the methodology and epistemology of the social and cultural sciences.

Lebenslauf als Datei

  • Migration and urban transformation (South Africa).
  • West-African migrations (Senegal, Mali, Mauritania) to France, South Africa, and the U.S.
  • History and epistemology of the concept of (social) representation(s).
  • Methodology and epistemology of the social and cultural sciences.

Titel der Dissertation

La (les) Représentation(s) de la migration, entre pouvoir et réussite : La mobilité des migrant(e)s originaires de la Vallée du fleuve Sénégal entre leurs pays d'origine et la France.

Zusammenfassung der Dissertation

Representation(s) of mobility, personal achievement and social prestige. Migrants from the Senegal River Valley travelling between their countries of origin and France.

This Ph.D. thesis explores the representation(s) and imaginations of migrants from the Senegal River Valley traveling between their countries of origin and France. The project pursues a twofold objective: Firstly, to account for recent transformations of representation(s) of power, legitimacy, and success, as well as for a diversification of ways to accede to social prestige, as they have been observed in various African countries. Secondly, to further develop a theoretical and methodological framework for the analysis of representation(s) and the imagination and to provide a detailed understanding of the relations between culture, politics and representation(s). The study draws on an interdisciplinary theoretical framework building on anthropology, social psychology and (the) philosophy (of culture), leading to a methodological framework that combines non directive interview with the analysis of cultural performances. It aims at reconsidering the important role of traveling, shown by classical works on migrations from this region, which frequently, and in a rather essentialist manner, conceive of migration as a “tradition” or as “initiation rituals”. In contrast to that, the study highlights their interdependence with recent social, economic and political dynamics in host and sending countries. It reveals new forms of conceiving the relations between mobility and social prestige, especially in relation to time, as well as ambiguities and contradictions stemming from of social and power relations during the migration process. However, the study also shows the ways in which the  migrants deal with these ambiguities, leading to a coherent “narration of the self”.


Prof. Dr. Nils Diederich (Freie Universität Berlin) / Prof. Dr. Denis-Constant Martin (CERI-Sciences Po Paris)


  • A conceptual history and epistemology of Representation(s).
  • Reconfiguring Representation(s) and Infrastructures of Urban Citizenship: Migration and Urban Regeneration in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg (South Africa).

Representations and Infrastructures of Citizenship: Mobility, Migration and Urban Regeneration in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg (South Africa)

More than 20 years after the end of apartheid, South African cities are undergoing continuous social and political transformation and have become important hubs of migration and building sites of urban regeneration. Frequent popular protest, recurrent discrimination and collective violence against foreign nationals, but also the emergence of new modes of cooperation and exchange between groups point to the ongoing renegotiation of forms and grounds on which residents of South African cities claim access to resources and urban space. Yet, the question of how infrastructure and the built environment of the city itself both shape and are shaped by social and political processes has rarely been investigated in this context. Against this backdrop, the project explores, both theoretically and empirically, the articulation of mobility, infrastructure and urban citizenship in post-apartheid Johannesburg and asks how categories of citizenship and city-ness are embedded in and contested through the (experience of) the built form of the city. The project draws on notions of urban citizenship and recent approaches to the study of infrastructure in anthropology and sociology and relies on a careful selection of ethnographic methods to analyze both representations of citizenship and the engagement with infrastructures of individuals and groups. Ultimately, the project aims at contributing to a methodological and epistemological renewal of urban studies from the Global South.


© Centre Marc Bloch 2018 - Deutsch-Französisches Forschungszentrum für Sozialwissenschaften, Berlin

© Centre Marc Bloch 2018 - Deutsch-Französisches Forschungszentrum für Sozialwissenschaften, Berlin