On the 5th of December 2019, Professor Iwona Sagan gave a lecture at the School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London. Its title was: “From communism to neoliberalism and back to populism: changing models of (not only) urban policy”. It’s been a very important distinction and first Annual David M.Smith Lecture presented by the researcher from Central-East Europe.
Annual David M. Smith Lecture has been one of the highlights of the academic year at the School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London. Its purpose is to remember the seminal works of prof. Smith (currently a retired professor at QMUL) in the fields of geography, ethics, inequalities and social justice, as well as to discuss the central issues within socio-economic geography. The School of Geography at the Queen Mary University of London is an institution with 125 years of history, currently included in the top five geography schools in the UK and the best one hundred in the world.
Professor Iwona Sagan was invited to give a lecture as the first from outside of the Anglo-American circle of researchers. Among the fifteen previous speakers were, among others, Doreen Massey, David Harvey (The City University of New York), John Pickles (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Stuart Corbridge (Durham University), and Jennifer Robinson (University College London).
In her lecture, professor Sagan explored how changing models of urban policy have transformed urban landscapes, spatial social structures and turned inhabitants into citizens. The context for the description of these issues was the processes of multidimensional transformations in post-socialist countries (primarily the transition from a centrally controlled to a free market economy, accession to the European Union, and recently the rise of populist governments). The full abstract of the presentation is available here.