Professor Seth Schindler

  • The Global Development Institute, School of Environment, Education and Development |, Room 1.005 Arthur Lewis Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road

    M13 9PL Manchester

    United Kingdom

Personal profile


Seth Schindler is Professor of Urban Politics and Development. He focuses on large-scale urban and regional transformation initiatives that integrate cities into transnational territorial and economic systems. National governments increasingly reassert their authority to regulate economic actors and enact development plans. Many governments have embraced industrial strategies that are ‘spatialized,’ insofar as they include plans to integrate territory into global production and trade networks. Furthermore, heightened geopolitical rivalry has forced many governments to balance economic and geostrategic objectives. These trends are transforming global economic geography, and Seth seeks to understand how cities and urbanization are impacted.

Seth co-founded of the Second Cold War Observatory (SCWO). It is a global network of scholars whose research explores how geopolitical rivalry influences people and places worldwide. He was also co- director of research of the African Cities Research Consortium, a six-year programme funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, which generates new insights and approaches to tackle complex problems in Africa’s rapidly changing cities.

Seth’s research has been funded by the Regional Studies Association, the British Academy, the Newton Fund and the Economic & Social Research Council. It has appeared in leading journals such as the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Studies, Urban Geography, Geopolitics, New Political Economy, and City. He was awarded best paper by the editors of Territory, Politics, Governance (2019), Environment and Planning A (2021), and Regional Studies (2022).

During his M.A., Seth spent semesters at the University of Freiburg, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and Jawaharlal Nehru University as part of the Global Studies Programme (2005-2007). He subsequently completed his PhD in Geography at Clark University where his doctoral dissertation research focused on street politics and contestations over urban space in Delhi, India. Prior to pursuing a career in academia Seth taught English in Tokyo, Managua, Dubai and Muscat.

Seth welcomes enquiries from potential PhD students interested in researching urban infrastructure projects, micro-geopolitics, national urban development strategies, territorial design and deindustrialization.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Manchester Urban Institute
  • Global Development Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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