Roundtable: Comparative Urbanism for Southeast Asia

Date and time
Tuesday 26th October 2021
12 pm (BST)


Roundtable: Comparative Urbanism for Southeast Asia


Emma Colven (University of Oklahoma; London School of Economics and Political Science)

Junjia Ye (Nanyang Technological University; ; London School of Economics and Political Science)

Shaun Sheng Kiat Teo (National University of Singapore)

Jeremie Molho (Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies)


Hyun Bang Shin (London School of Economics and Political Science)

The Urban Salon is delighted to host a roundtable discussion together with the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre (LSE SEAC) at the London School of Economics and Political Science on comparative urbanism in Southeast Asia. This event is also part of the Southeast Asia Forum organised by LSE SEAC.

The renewed and sustained interest of urban theorists in comparative methodologies has generated a wealth of comparative urban research over the past two decades. However, this scholarship remains dominated by research on African and European cities, with Southeast Asia cities not especially well represented. Bringing together scholars whose work engages with sites across Southeast Asia and beyond, this roundtable discussion is convened to reflect on the present state and future of comparative urban research, and the potential of comparative urbanism to enrich understandings of Southeast Asia. Two sets of questions will guide the discussion: (1) What kind of theory-building or testing does comparative research make possible? How do comparative methodologies generate insights into the particular and the general, the local and the global? (2) How do the panelists choose and conceptualize their research sites? Are some sites incommensurable? What kinds of connections or relationalities does comparative research elucidate?


Emma Colven (@EmmaColven) is Assistant Professor of Global Environment at the University of Oklahoma and SEAC visiting Fellow. Her research explores themes of socio-ecological change, environmental expertise, and environmental politics in cities of the global South.

Junjia Ye is is Assistant Professor in Human Geography at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and SEAC visiting Fellow. Her research interests lie at the intersections of cultural diversity, critical cosmopolitanism, class, gender studies and the political-economic development of urban Southeast Asia.

Shaun Sheng Kiat Teo (@ShaunSKTeo) is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore. He is interested in the development of comparative tactics for analytical and conceptual innovation in urban studies. Thematically, his work focuses on experimental urban projects and their underpinning state-society relations. His work seeks to contribute to furthering tactical innovation in comparative urbanism and to theorizing the state’s relevance for progressive urban transformation.

Jérémie Molho (@jeremiehmolho) is a Marie Curie Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.

Hyun Bang Shin (@urbancommune) is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science and directs the LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre. He is Editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and is also a trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation.

Register here.

Images are collages of photographs from Hyun Bang Shin, featuring Bangkok, Hanoi, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur.