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Kipfer, Stefan Andreas

 Kipfer_Stefan Andreas

Kipfer, Stefan Andreas

Associate Professor

BA (Political Science and French) , York
MES (Urban Political Economy and Ecological Politics) , York
PhD (Political Science) , York

Theories of society, politics and urbanization: Marxism, Anti-colonialism, Anti-fascism Urbanization, urban politics and planning: Urbanization, space, imaginaries of city and countryside Urban social movements and restructuring, Colonization, racialization and urbanization, Populism and fascism The state, territorial relations and urban policy: public housing, public transit, urban-regional planning, Ecological socialism and red-green urban strategies

My empirical research focuses on urban politics and planning in transnational context. In Euro-American global cities (Zurich, Toronto and Paris), I have researched the role of social movements and state intervention in transnational urban restructuring since the late 1960s. My research on Toronto has focused on the impasse of regional planning, the rise of right-wing populism and the formation of a 'competitive city' planning regime characterized by neoliberalism, revanchism and cultural-differential aspects of 'diversity management' (including multiculturalism).

In the last fifteen years, I have researched racialized policies of social mixity and public housing redevelopment in Toronto and Paris. I have also studied public transit, researching the ‘Grand Paris’ regional transit project in Paris and investigating transit as a linchpin in green, socialist, feminist, and internationalist approaches to planning. Most recently, I have moved to research the urban dimensions of right-wing populism and neo-fascism as well as the prospect of anti-fascist response, notably in France and Canada. This research has also led me to study the ongoing yellow vest movement in France.

Theoretically, I have worked above all with insights from Henri Lefebvre, Antonio Gramsci, and Frantz Fanon. In this respect, I have co-edited the first volume of essays on Henri Lefebvre in English: Space, Difference, Everyday Life: Reading Henri Lefebvre (with Kanishka Goonewardena, Christian Schmid, Richard Milgrom). I have published widely on the relevance of Lefebvre, Fanon and Gramsci for critical urban research as well as broader debates about the relationship between politics and spatial form. Linking Gramsci with Lefebvre, I have stressed the importance of urbanization (and planning strategies) for the exercise of hegemony. To explore some of these themes, I co-edited a collected volume on Gramsci: nature, space, politics (with Mike Ekers, Gillian Hart, and Alex Loftus). My contributions to this volume explore Gramsci’s geographical and historical method (in his writing on “city” and “countryside”) and, with Gillian Hart, the importance of his understanding of politics as “translation” for contemporary political theory.

Inspired by radical geography, European marxism, and anti-imperial and anti-racist feminist traditions, my current writing also engages with debates about the relationship between imperialism, colonization and urbanization. I have proposed an integration of Henri Lefebvre's concept of “colonization” with Frantz Fanon's view of racism and colonialism as a spatial relation. This combination points to a materialist approach to post-colonial studies, comparative method and debates about the relationship between ‘race’, class, gender and capitalism. Along these lines, I have published a book that brings together marxist and anticolonial lineages to investigate the neo-colonial dimensions of urbanization and state intervention in today’s world order (Le temps et l'espace de la (dé)-colonisation: Dialogue entre Fanon et Lefebvre). I am currently working on the expanded English version of this book.

Selected Publications



(2019) Le temps et l'espace de la (dé)-colonisation: Dialogue entre Fanon et Lefebvre (Paris: Eterotopia)

Edited Books

(2017) Governing Cities Through Regions: Canadian and European Perspectives (Co-edited with Roger Keil, Pierre Hamel, Julie-Anne Boudreau) (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press

(2013) Gramsci: Nature, Space, Politics (Co-edited with Mike Ekers, Gillian Hart, and Alex Loftus). London: Blackwell.

(2008) Space, Difference, and Everyday Life: Henri Lefebvre and Radical Politics (Co-edited with Kanishka Goonewardena, Richard Milgrom, Christian Schmid). New York: Routledge.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

(2018) “Pushing the limits of urban research: Urbanization, pipelines and counter-colonial politics” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

(2016) “Demolition and Counterrevolution: La Rénovation Urbaine in Greater Paris’ Antipode 48.3 : 603-625

[Extended French version (2015)”Démolition et contre-révolution : la rénovation urbaine dans la région parisienne” Période  Revueperiode.net. October 5. http://revueperiode.net/demolition-et-contre-revolution-la-renovation-urbaine-dans-la-region-parisienne/]

(2016) “Times and Spaces of Right Populism: Notes from Paris and Toronto” (principal author, with Parastou Saberi) Socialist Register

(2014) "From 'Revolution' to Farce? Hard-right populism in the making of Toronto" (principal author, with Parastou Saberi) Studies in Political Economy 93 Spring: 137-151.

(2013) “Urban Marxism and the post-colonial question: Henri Lefebvre and ‘colonization’’ (principal author, with Kanishka Goonewardena) Historical Materialism

(2013)“Henri Lefebvre: debates and controversies” (principal author, with Parastou Saberi, Thorben Wieditz) Progress in Human Geography 37.1: 115-134.

(2011) “Decolonization in the heart of empire: some Fanonian echoes in France today” Antipode 43.4: 1155-1180

(2009) ‘Tackling Urban Apartheid: The Social Forum of Popular Neighbourhoods in Paris’ International Journal for Urban and Regional Research 33.4.: 1058-1066.

(2009) “Colonization’ and Public Housing in the Competitive City: A Toronto Case Study” (Principal author, with Jason Petrunia) Studies in Political Economy 83: 111-39.

(2008) ““Comparative perspectives on ’colonization’ and urbanization”. Contribution to “Writing the lines of connection: Unveiling the strange language of urbanization” Nasra Abdi, Nathalie Boucher, Mariana Cavalcanti, Stefan Kipfer, Edgar Pieterse, and Vyjayanthi Rao. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32.4.: 989-1027.

(2007) "Space and Fanon: Colonization, urbanization and liberation from the colonial to the global city". Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 25.4.

(2007) “Colonization and the New Imperialism: On the Meaning of Urbicide Today”. (principal author, with Kanishka Goonewardena). Theory and Event 10:2: 1-39.

(2005) "Spaces of Difference: Reflections from Toronto on Multiculturalism, Bourgeois Urbanism and the Possibility of Radical Urban Politics" (second author, with Kanishka Goonewardena) International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 29.3.

(2002) "Toronto.Inc? Planning the Competitive City in the New Toronto" (Principal author, with Roger Keil). Antipode March. 227-64.

(1996) "Cities, Nature and Socialism: Towards an Urban Agenda for Action and Research." (With Franz Hartmann and Sara Marino) Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 7.2. 5-20.

(1995) "City and Ecology: Notes Towards an Urban Ecological Politics." Undercurrents: Journal of Critical Environmental Studies 7: 4-10.

Book Chapters

(2019a) “(De-)constructing housing estates: How much more than a housing question?” Massive Suburbanization: (Re-)Building the Global Periphery Eds. Murat Güney, Roger Keil and Murat Üçoğlu (Toronto, University of Toronto Press)

(2019b) “Peripheries against peripheries? Against spatial reification” (principal author, with Mustafa Dikeç) in Massive Suburbanization: (Re-)Building the Global Periphery Eds. Murat Güney, Roger Keil and Murat Üçoğlu (Toronto, University of Toronto Press) 35-55.

(2018) “Quel Gramsci décolonial? Plaidoyer pour une piste Fanon-Gramsci.” Rosa Luxemburg, Antonio Gramsci actuels Dir. Marie-Claire Caloz-Tschopp, Romain Felli, Antoine Chollet (Paris: Kimé)

(2017) “Grand Paris: the bumpy road towards metropolitan governance” (Principal author, with Julie-Anne Boudreau, Pierre Hamel) in Governing Cities Through Regions: Canadian and European Perspectives (Edited by Roger Keil, Pierre Hamel, Julie-Anne Boudreau, Stefan Kipfer) (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press)

(2016) “Populism” in Keywords for Radicals: A Late Capitalist Vocabulary of Culture and  Society. Eds. Kelly Fritsch, Clare O’Connor, AK Thompson (Chico, CA: AK Press) 311-318

(2014) “Espaces de la différence: réflexions de Toronto sur le multiculturalisme, l’urbanisme  bourgeois et la possibilité d’une politique urbaine radicale” (with Kanishka Goonewardena) Villes

contestées : pour une géographie critique de l'urbain eds. Cécile Gintrac et Matthieu Giroud (Paris: Prairies Ordinaires) pp. 239-60. [Translation of Goonewarden and Kipfer, 2005]

(2014) “Henri Lefebvre and “colonization”: From reinterpretation to research’” (Principal author, with Kanishka Goonewardena) in Urban Research and Architecture:
Beyond Henri Lefebvre Eds. Ákos  Moravánsky, Christian Schmid, Łukasz Stanek.  Pp. 93-109.

(2014) “Worldwide urbanization and neocolonial fractures: insights from the literary world” Neil Brenner ed. Implosions/Explosions: Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization (Berlin: Jovis) pp. 288-305.

(2014) ‘Urbanisation et racialisation: déségrégation, émancipation, hégémonie’ in Penser 'émancipation: offensives capitalistes et résistances internationales. Hadrien Buclin, Joe Daher, Christakis Georgiou, Pierre Raboud (éd.) (Paris: La Dispute) pp. 111-129.

(2013) “City, Country, Hegemony: Antonio Gramsci’s Spatial Historicism” in: Gramsci: Nature, Space, Politics.

(2013) “Translating Gramsci in the Current Conjuncture” (principal author, with Gillian Hart) in Gramsci:  Nature, Space, Politics.

(2012) “‘Ghetto or Not Ghetto’, telle n’est pas la seule question: quelques remarques sur la ‘race’, l’espace et l’Etat à Paris (Ghetto or not Ghetto is not the only question: some remarks on ‘race’, space and state in Paris)” Race et Capitalisme. Eds. Félix Boggio Éwanjé-Épéé and Stella Magliani-Belkacem. Paris: Syllepse.

(2011) “The times and spaces of (de-)colonization: Fanon’s counter-colonialism, then and now” in Nigel Gibson ed., Living Fanon (New York: Palgrave) 93-104

(2009) “Preface” to Henri Lefebvre, Dialectical Materialism (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press [1939])

(2009) “Why the urban question still matters: reflections on rescaling and the promise of the urban”.Towards a Political Economy of Scale. Eds. Roger Keil and Rianne Mahon (Vancouver: UBC Press) 67-83.

(2008) "Hegemony, Everyday Life, and Difference: How Lefebvre urbanized Gramsci". Space, Difference, and Everyday Life: Henri Lefebvre and Radical Politics (Eds. Goonewardena, Kipfer, Milgrom, Schmid). .

(2008) "The Production of Henri Lefebvre" (principal author, with Goonewardena, Milgrom, Schmid) Space, Difference, and Everyday Life

(2008) "Globalizing Lefebvre?"(principal author, with Goonewardena, Milgrom, Schmid) Space, Difference, and Everyday Life.

(2008) “Die Zentralität des Städtischen: Überlegungen zur Skalenfrage”. Politics of Scale. Räume der Globalisierung und Perspektiven emanzipatorischer Politik. Eds. Bernd Röttger, Susanne Heeg, Markus Wissen. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot, 85-105.

(2006) “From surf to turf: no limits to growth in Toronto?” (With Gene Desfor, Roger Keil, Gerda Wekerle) Studies in Political Economy 77: 131-155.

(2004) “In Lieu of a Conclusion: Beyond the Competitive City?”. (principal author with Roger Keil)  in INURA (International Network of Urban Research and Action). The contested metropolis: six cities at the beginning of the 21th Century. Basel, Boston, Berlin: Birkhäuser. 231-35.

(2004) “Creole City: Culture, Capital, and Class in Toronto”. (With Kanishka Goonewardena) INURA (International Network of Urban Research and Action). The contested metropolis: six cities at the beginning of the 21th Century. Basel, Boston, Berlin: Birkhäuser.

(2003) "The Urban Experience and Globalization". (With Roger Keil) Transformations: Canadian Political Economy at the turn of the millennium. Eds. Wallace Clement and Leah Vosko. Montreal and Kingston: McGill and Queen's University Press.

(1998) “Urban Politics in the 1990s: Notes on Toronto.” Possible Urban Worlds: Hitz et al. eds. Basel/New York: Birkhaeuser.

(1996) "Whose Sustainability? Ecology, Hegemonic Politics and the Future of the City: The Case of Zurich." Local Places in the Age of the Global City. Eds. Roger Keil, Gerda Wekerle, David Bell. Montreal: Black Rose. 117-124.

(1995) "Globalization, Hegemony, and Local Politics: The Case of Zurich, Switzerland." A New World Order?  Global Transformation in the Late 20th Century. Eds. Joszef Böröcz  and David A. Smith. Westport, CT: Greenwood. 181-199.

(1995) "Urbanisierung und Technologie in der Periode des Globalen Kapitalismus." (With Roger Keil) Capitales Fatales: Restrukturierung und Politik in Frankfurt und Zürich Eds. H.H. Hitz, Christian Schmid, Roger Keil, Ute Lehrer, Klaus Ronneberger eds.Zurich: Rotpunkt. 61-87.

(1994) “Weltwirtschaft/ Wirtschaftswelten: Globale Transformationen im lokalen Raum." (With Roger Keil) Stadt-Welt: Ueber die Globalisierung städtischer Milieus. Eds. Peter Noller, Walter Prigge, Klaus Ronneberger. Frankfurt: Campus. 83-93.

Special Journal Issues and Symposia

(2006) “Biopolitics” (With Roger Keil) Symposium in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism

(2004) “The new regionalism” (With Karen Wirsig) Review symposium in Antipode 36:4.

(2002) “Henri Lefebvre” (With Richard Milgrom) Special issue in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 13.2.

(1996) “Urban Ecology” (With Franz Hartmann and Sara Marino). Special issue in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism

Interviews, commentaries, reading guides:

(2019) “The Yellow Vests in France: A Few Snapshots” The Urban Now International Journal of Urban and Regional Research https://www.ijurr.org/the-urban-now/the-yellow-vests-in-france-a-few-snapshots/

(2018) “Sur la production de l’espace et quelques questions urbaines: tour d’horizon de la littérature anglophone” Revue Période http://revueperiode.net/sur-la-production-de-lespace-et-quelques-questions-urbaines-tour-dhorizon-de-la-litterature-anglophone/

[English Version [2018]:  http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/reading-guides/marxism-space-and-few-urban-questions-rough-guide-to-english-language-literature

(2017) “Gramsci géographe: entretien avec Stefan Kipfer” Période October 19 http://revueperiode.net/gramsci-geographe-entretien-avec-stefan-kipfer/ [English version: (2018) Gramsci as Geographer. Interview by Selim Nadi, Historical Materialism http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/node/961]

(2014) “Lefebvre's Metamorphosis: 1989-2006-2014” Society and Space open site http://societyandspace.com/material/discussion-forum/forum-on-henri-lefebvre-dissolving-city-planetary-metamorphosis/stefan-kipfer-lefebvres-metamorphosis-1989-2006-2014/

(2013) “Ségrégation raciale et émancipation’. Contretemps January



(2019)  “What Colour is Your Vest? The Gilets Jaunes Revolt Shaking France” (With Karen Wirsig) The Bullet February 13.

(2017a) “Macronism: neoliberal triumph or next stage in France's political crisis? The Bullet #1441, June 29

(2017b) ‘Things are serious’: A very brief update on the French Presidential election campaign” The Bullet #1406, May 2.

(2017c) “Projecting Shadows: France before the 2017 elections” The Bullet #1378, March 5

(2016)  “Paris in Transit: A few snapshots”. The Bullet #1344, December 20.

(2013) "The Scandalization of Politics: On FordList, HarperDuffy, and a Few Others" The Bullet 896 (November 11, 2013)

(2012) “Free Transit and Beyond” The Bullet #738 (December 3)

(2010)  ‘Rob Ford in Toronto: Why the Ascendancy of Hard-Right Populism in the 2010 Mayoral Election?’ New Socialist Webzine (With Parastou Saberi) (24 November)

(2010)  ‘The Hordes at the Gate? Hard-Right Populism Defines Toronto Mayoral Election’ The Bullet (Oct. 13)

(2008) ‘Mayor's panel dreams of a White Shiny City by the Lake’ (with Karen Wirsig) The Bullet 91 March 16.

(2007) “Mayor Miller and Toronto’s Suburbs: Colonization and Competition”. New Socialist February.

(2006) ‘The Metropolitan Mainstream and Suburban Growth Politics: The 2006 Municipal Elections’ The Bullet November 24, 2006.

2006) “Beware the ‘Real Deal’ for Cities” (with Karen Wirsig) Relay 10: March/April. 14-15.

(2005)  “Public Housing and Toronto Politics: The Regent Park Story”. Relay. July/August. 7-9.

(2005)   “Rebuilding Regent Park: Fewer Affordable Units Now.” Toronto Star January 21.

(2004) “Cities and Imperialism” (With Kanishka Goonewardena). Canadian Dimension July/August. 24-5.

(2004) “Tearing Regent Up” (With Debbie Douglas, Grace-Edward Galabuzi, Kanishka Goonewardena, datejie green, Jason Hackworth, Punam Khosla, Ute Lehrer, Karen Wirsig, Doug Young) (2004). Now Magazine February 26, 2004.

(2003) “A Portland’s People Zone – A Toolbox of Possibilities” (Adrian Blackwell and Kika Thorne; Portlands  strategy based on a conversation between Helen Lenskyi, Stefan Kipfer and Michael Shapcott). Fuse Magazine 26.2. 14-25.

(2000) “What’s the moose got do with it? Economic Development Strategies in the New Toronto”. Cityscope 1.3.

(2000) “City sell-off creeping up on the public”. the badger Fall 2000.

(2000) “Whose City is it? Global politics in the Mega-City”. Cityscope 1:1. 13-17.

(2000) “On Debt and Other Crises: Toronto’s 2000 capital budget”. Cityscope 1.1. 24.

(2000) “Boards of Directors, Cost Centres and Consumers: Creeping Privatization in the New Toronto.” Soundbite 20 (August 23)  Community Social Planning Council of Toronto.

(2000f) “The new City under the Spell of Finance: Three years of budgeting in the new Toronto”. Soundbite 18 (July 5) Community Social Planning Council of Toronto.

(2000) “An Act for the new Millennium? Toronto City Council approves “access and equity” recommendations.” Soundbite 15 (January 18) Community Social Council of Toronto.

(1999) “Urban Policy in the New Ontario: A review”. Toronto: Community Social Planning Council.

(1999) “Moving Towards Harmony? The “harmonization” debate in the new Toronto”. Soundbite 7. April 27.

(1998) “Olympic dreams = urban nightmares”. the badger Fall 1998.

Book Reviews and Review Articles:

(2015) Contribution to Review Forum: Glen Coulthard (2013) Red Skin White Masks Annals of the Association of American Geographers

(2012) Himani Bannerji (2011) Demography and Democracy: Essays on Nationalism, Gender and Ideology (Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press) Antipode, June, 2012

(2011) Judith Whitehead (2010) Development and Dispossession in the Narmada Valley (New Delhi:  Pearson) Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 29.6: 1129-1130

(2005) Stuart Elden (2004) Understanding Henri Lefebvre: Theory and the Possible (London:  Continuum) Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.

(2004) “’Metropolitics’ and the quest for a new regionalist corporatism in the United States: Comparative notes and Critical Comments.  Review Article for a Review Symposium on the new regionalism. Antipode 36:4. 740-752.

(2000) Klaus Ronneberger, Stephan Lanz, und Walther Jahn (1999) Die Stadt als Beute. Bonn:  J.H.W. Dietz Nachfolger. International Journal for Urban and Regional Research. December.

(1997) Henri Lefevbre (1996) Writings on Cities. Trans. Eleonore Kofman and Elizabeth Lebas. Oxford, UK:  Blackwell. The New City Magazine. 17.3. 45-6.


(French  - English)

Khiari, Sadri (2011) “The Tunisian Revolution did not come out of nowhere”. Decolonial Translation Group. http://www.decolonialtranslation.com/english/the-tunisian-revolution-did-not-come-out-of-nowhere.html

(German – English)

Ronneberger, Klaus (2008) “In search of the possible: Henri Lefebvre and urban everyday life”. Space, Difference, and Everyday Life: Henri Lefebvre

and Radical Politics. Eds. Goonewardena, Kipfer, Milgrom, Schmid. New York: Routledge.

Ronneberger, Klaus (2002) “Contours and convolutions of everydayness: On the reception of Henri Lefebvre in the Federal Republic of Germany”. (With Neil Brenner) Capitalism, Nature, Socialism June.

Altvater, Elmar (1998) "The Global Order of the Societal Relationship with Nature." Political Ecology: Global and Local Perspectives. Eds. David Bell, Leesa Fawcett, Roger Keil, and Peter Penz (London and New York:Routledge).

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