The Pandemic City: Governing Urban Health and Disease

An event hosted by LSE Cities

This workshop examined concerns about health and illness and the role they play in shaping the governance of urban spaces, populations and bodies. Focusing on the intersection of technical projections and cultural imaginaries, it sought to highlight how cities become objects of medical expertise and intervention and how urbanism serves as a resource for thinking about topics such as fitness and disease.

The Urban Uncertainty workshop series is an integral part of LSE Cities’ collaborative investigation into emerging ways of envisioning and governing the future of cities. Each session focuses on a different dimension of urban uncertainty, from health and housing to crime and climate, and brings together scholars from a handful of disciplines whose work converges on common themes.

Event materials


    Carlo Caduff

    Carlo Caduff is a Lecturer in the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. He works on questions of health and disease, knowledge and expertise, science and technology, ethics and morality, safety and security.

    Javier Lezaun

    Javier Lezaun is the James Martin Lecturer in Science and Technology Governance, and Deputy Director of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, at the University of Oxford. His research interests focus on the interplay of scientific expertise, policy institutions and social movements. He has recently completed a study on the politics of expertise and urban governance in Mexico and Tanzania, comparing malaria control practices in Dar es Salaam and post-hurricane reconstruction in Cancun.

    Marta Magalhães Wallace

    Marta Magalhães Wallace is a Research Associate in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include political economy, violence, cities and space, ethnography of the state, crisis, gender, and social theory in Latin America and Europe.

    David Reubi

    David Reubi is Lecturer in Geography at Queen Mary, University of London. His work explores the politics of expertise and advocacy in global health and biomedicine. His current project examines the international tobacco control movement and the way it has attempted to govern smoking in Africa over the last 30 years. His earlier research looked at the genealogy of biomedical research ethics in the UK and Singapore.

    Austin Zeiderman

    Austin Zeiderman is an interdisciplinary scholar who specializes in the cultural and political dimensions of cities, with a specific focus on Latin America. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University as well as a Master of Environmental Science degree from Yale University. His book, Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá (2016, Duke UP), focuses on how security and risk shape the relationship between citizens and the state in the self-built settlements of the urban periphery. Austin is also beginning a new research project on urban, environmental, and infrastructural transformations motivated by the promise of a post-conflict future in Colombia.