Welcome & Hi

I am a policy scholar with an interest in urban studies, planning and migration studies.

I am an Assistant Professor of Spatial Development and Urban Policy at ETH Zürich and the Deputy Director of the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development. Our research group operates at the intersection of public policy, planning, and urban politics.

Do not hesitate to contact me: kadavid@ethz.ch

For more information:

 

Publications

BOOKS

Kaufmann, David. 2018. Varieties of Capital Cities: The Competitiveness Challenge for Secondary Capital Cities. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Published in the Cities series.

  • Winner of the Kommunalwissenschaftlicher Preis der Carl und Anneliese Goerdeler-Stiftung, best Ph.D. thesis about local affairs in business, social science, philosophy or law in German-speaking countries.

„This volume constitutes a major contribution to the study of comparative urban economic development and public policy.“
– Paul Kantor, Fordham University, US

Mayer, Heike, Fritz Sager, David Kaufmann and Martin Warland. 2018. The Political Economy of Capital Cities. London: Routledge.
Published in the Regions and Cities series.

SPECIAL ISSUE

Kaufmann, David and Mara Sidney. 2020. Symposium: Toward an urban policy analysis, PS: Political Science & Politics 53(1): 1-32.

Journal articles (double-blind peer review)

Kaufmann, David, Johanna Künzler and Fritz Sager. Forthcoming. How (Not) to Design and Implement a Large-Scale, Interdisciplinary Research Infrastructure. Science and Public Policy. Accepted.

Kaufmann, David. 2020. Debating responsibility-sharing: An analysis of the European Parliament’s debates on the Common European Asylum System. European Policy Analysis. Early Online.

Hinterleitner, Markus, David Kaufmann and Eva Thomann. 2020. The fit between regulatory instruments and targets: Regulating the economic integration of migrants, Regulation & Governance. Early Online.

Sager, Fritz, Céline Mavrot, Markus Hinterleitner, David Kaufmann, Martin Grosjean and Thomas Stocker. 2020. Utilization-focused scientific policy advice: A six-point checklist, Climate Policy. Early online.
Blog post in Climate Policy Blog

Kaufmann, David and Mara Sidney. 2020. Toward an urban policy analysis: Incorporating participation, multilevel governance, and ‘seeing like a city, PS: Political Science & Politics 53(1): 1-5.

Lutz, Philipp, David Kaufmann and Anna Stünzi. 2020. Humanitarian protection as a European public good: The strategic role of states and refugees, Journal of Common Market Studies 58(3): 757–775.
Blog post in The JCMS Blog

Kaufmann, David. 2020. Capital cities in interurban competition: Local autonomy, urban governance and locational-policy making, Urban Affairs Review 56(4): 1168–1205.
Blog post in Urban Affairs Forum

Kaufmann, David and Stefan Wittwer. 2019. Business centre or bedroom community? The development of employment in small and medium-sized towns, Regional Studies 53(10): 1483-1493.

Kaufmann, David. 2019. Comparing urban citizenship, sanctuary cities, local bureaucratic membership, and regularizations, Public Administration Review 79(3): 443–446.

Kaufmann, David and Fritz Sager. 2019. How to organize secondary capital city regions: Institutional drivers of locational policy coordination, Governance 32(1): 63–81.
Winner of the Best Comparative Policy Paper Award (JCPA and ICPA)

Kaufmann, David and Rahel Meili. 2019. Leaves in the wind? Local policies of small and medium- sized towns in metropolitan regions, European Planning Studies 27(1): 21-41.

Bernhard, Laurent and David Kaufmann. 2018. Coping with the asylum challenge: Tightening and streamlining policies in Western Europe, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 44(15): 2506–2523.

Kaufmann, David and Tobias Arnold. 2018. Strategies of cities in globalized interurban competition: the locational policies framework, Urban Studies 55: 2703–2720.
Blog post in Urban Studies Blog

Kaufmann, David, Martin Warland, Heike Mayer and Fritz Sager. 2016. Bern’s positioning strategy: Escaping the fate of a secondary capital city?, Cities 53: 206–215

Mayer, Heike, Fritz Sager, David Kaufmann and Martin Warland. 2016. Capital city dynamics: Linking regional innovation systems, locational policies and policy regimes, Cities 51: 11–20.

Book chapters

Mayer, Heike, Rahel Meili and David Kaufmann. Forthcoming. ”Small and Medium-Sized Towns as Secondary Cities: The Case of Switzerland” In: Pendras, Mark and Charles Williams (eds.) Secondary Cities: Exploring Uneven Development in Dynamic Urban Regions . Bristol University Press.

Bernhard, Laurent and David Kaufmann. Forthcoming. ”Die Rolle des Missbrauchsarguments im Rahmen von Abstimmungskampagnen: Eine empirische Analyse zu drei Referenden gegen Änderungen des Asylgesetztes”. In: Anne-Cécile Leyvraz, Raphaël Rey, Damian Rosset and Robin Stünzi (eds.) Asyl und Missbrauch: Multidisziplinäre Perspektiven auf einen vorherrschenden Diskurs. Zürich: Seismo Verlag.

Kaufmann, David and Philipp Lutz. 2017. ”Vision Migrationsland Schweiz”. In: Lutz, Philipp (ed.)
Neuland. Zürich: NZZ Libro: 71-131 [in German].

Schlegel, Stefan, Philipp Lutz and David Kaufmann. 2016. ”Migration mit einer Gebühr schrittweise liberalisieren”. In: Abbt, Christine und Johan Rochel (eds.) Migrationsland Schweiz:
15 Vorschläge für die Zukunft
. Baden: Hier und Jetzt: 149-162 [in German].


Research Agendas

I apply a public policy and governance lens on urban studies, (spatial) planning and migration studies.

urban policy analysis

Societal, environmental and technological transformations accentuate themselves in dense settings, pushing cities and metropolitan regions at the forefront of tackling complex policy problems. Whether responding to climate change, migration, poverty, or limited land availability, or aiming to to generate sustainable development and inclusive technological transformations, cities tend to be policy innovators of global importance. This also means that contemporary confrontations between public and private property and land, between participation and exclusion, wealth and poverty, and emerging technology and existing economic, social, and political structures take physical form in cities. Thus, cities and their policies are essential objects of study if we want to understand contemporary transformations.

The following text gives you an overview of this research agenda:
– Kaufmann, David and Mara Sidney. 2020. Toward an urban policy analysis: Incorporating participation, multilevel governance, and ‘seeing like a city, PS: Political Science & Politics 53 (1): 1-5.

– I cooperate with Mara Sidney (Rutgers University) for this research.

Spatial Planning Policy Analysis

Densification and upzoning policies are at the core of spatial planning agendas in many cities worldwide. We analyze the effects of densification policies on the housing market, the affordability of housing and the socio-economic population composition in dense urban areas. We use statistical methods to study these policy effects in Switzerland and cities worldwide. In addition, we study how participatory, redistributive or inclusionary planning instruments affect the acceptance and effectiveness of planning. We use survey research to study the use and effects of such planning instruments in different planning systems as well as in concrete development projects worldwide.

– I cooperate with Michael Wicki, Elena Lutz and Katrin Hofer (all ETH Zürich) for this research.

Sanctuary cities

Irregular migrants tend to live in dense urban settings. City governments feel a certain immediacy to support, protect and regularize irregular migrants because they irregular migrants are perceived as regular participants in the everyday life of their communities and not as abstract illegal constructs. Thus, irregular migrants have become an urban policy target group. Cities engage in the formulation and implementation of a variety of migration and citizenship policies in support of irregular migrants such as urban citizenship, sanctuary city practices, local bureaucratic membership, and regularizations. I study these urban policies in support of irregular migrants mainly in European cities.

The following text gives you an overview of this research agenda:
– Kaufmann, David. 2019. Comparing urban citizenship, sanctuary cities, local bureaucratic membership, and regularizations, Public Administration Review 79(3): 443–446.

– I cooperate with Dominique Strebel (ETH Zürich), Raffaele Bazurli (Scuola Normale Superiore) and Fritz Sager (University of Bern) for this research.

Locational and local Economic Development policies

Globalized interurban competition affects cities of various sizes and cities in various locations. Cities try to find ways to position themselves in global markets by formulating locational policies. Locational policies aim to enhance the economic competitiveness of the targeted locality by identifying, developing, and exploiting place-specific assets. To capture the wide range of locational policies, I developed a conceptual framework of locational policies that is interdisciplinarily informed by theories of economic geography and political science Empirically, I study locational policies and local economic development policies in capital cities, in small and medium-sized cities as well as in small and medium-sized towns.

The following text gives you an overview of this research agenda:
– Kaufmann, David and Tobias Arnold. 2018. Strategies of cities in globalized interurban competition: the locational policies framework, Urban Studies 55: 2703–2720.

– I cooperate with Heike Mayer, Fritz Sager, Rahel Meili, and Stefan Wittwer (all University of Bern) for this research.

Migration and Asylum policies

Asylum policies have become salient in Europe. From the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s to the so-called 2015 ‘refugee crisis’, humanitarian tragedies in Europe’s neighborhoods have repeatedly sparked political divisions between European states and intense and emotionally charged public debates. Volatile numbers of refugee arrivals have highlighted the persistent malfunctioning and shortcomings of EU national asylum policy. This research agenda studies policy developments in the EU as well as on the national level. I study the difficulties of advancing the Common European Asylum System and its important Dublin Regulation. Furthermore, I examine national asylum policy developments in Switzerland and policy narratives in the Swiss direct democratic context.

– I cooperate with Laurent Bernhard (FORS, University of Lausanne), Philipp Lutz (University of Geneva), and Anna Stünzi (ETH Zürich) for this research.


Teaching

Master and Bachelor courses

  • 2020: „Introduction to Spatial Development and Transformation“, ETH Zürich, Mandatory Msc course, together with Dr. Markus Nollert.
  • 2019-2021: “Sustainability in law and politics“, seminar for B.A. students, together with Dr. Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi
  • 2019: “Migration policies”, seminar for M.A. students
  • 2014-2018: “Urban politics, urban policies, and metropolitan governance”, seminar for M.A. students. Together with Prof. Dr. Fritz Sager (2014-2017) and alone in 2018.

Continued Education

  • 2021: „Citizen and Stakeholder Participation in Policy-Making“, ETH Zürich, 4-day course in CAS Technology and Publicy Policy. Together with Prof. Dr. Michael Stauffacher.
  • 2020: „Planning and Politics“, ETH Zürich, Week course in Master of Advanced Studies in Spatial Planning, together with Dr. Walter Schenkel.
  • 2020: „Local Government and Urban Policy“, University of Bern, Half day course in Executive Master of Public Administration.

Research Grants & Policy Advice

I conducted a variety of third party funded research grants and research projects.

  • Swiss National Science Foundation 2016-2019, Urban prosperity beyond the metropolis: Analyzing small and medium-sized towns in Switzerland, grant number 159324. Project leaders: Heike Mayer and Fritz Sager.
  • Swiss National Science Foundation 2013-2016: Capital City Dynamics: A Comparative Analysis of Innovation and Positioning of Secondary Capital City Regions, grant number 143784. Project leaders: Heike Mayer and Fritz Sager.
  • Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs 2016- today: Task within the recruitment procedure for Swiss Diplomates (Concours)
  • Municpality Wohlen bei Bern 2018: “Überprüfung und Anpassung der Verwaltungsstrukturen der Gemeinde Wohlen bei Bern”
  • Swiss Science and Innovation Council 2017: “Wirkungsprüfung SystemsX.ch und die Dateninfrastruktur”
  • Association Bern NEU Gründen 2017: “Verwaltungsorganisation und politische Partizipation in einer fusionierten Grossstadt Bern”
  • Swiss Federal Office of Public Health 2013: “Drug shortages in Switzerland: A literature review”

Bio & CV

Bio

David Kaufmann is Assistant Professor of Spatial Development and Urban Policy at ETH Zürich and the Deputy Director of the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development. His research examines the intersections of public policy, urban politics, spatial planning and migration studies.

David Kaufmann studied political science at the University of Zürich and the University of Lund. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Bern in December 2016. He was guest researcher at Leiden University, Virginia Tech, University of Ottawa and University of Toronto.

David Kaufmann is the author of Varieties of Capital Cities (2018, Edward Elgar) and co-author of the book The Political Economy of Capital Cities (2018, Routledge). His work has been published in leading international journals such as Governance, Public Administration Review, Regional Studies, and Urban Studies. 

David Kaufmann received  the 2018 Carl-Goerdeler-Preis for the best Ph.D thesis about local politics or local administration in business and social sciences in German-speaking countries, the 2020 Clarence Stone Scholar Award as well as the 2017 Susan Clarke Young Scholars’ Award both awarded by the APSA section “Urban and Local Politics” and in 2017 the Best Comparative Policy Paper Award (together with Prof. Dr. Fritz Sager) awarded by the journal JCPA and the „IPSA Research Committee on Comparative Studies on Local Governments and Politics”.

He is part of the editorial board of the journal Urban Affairs Review, he is co-convenor of the Swiss Political Science Association working group Federalism and Territorial Politics and he is Beiratsmitglied der Langfristige Raumentwicklungsstrategie Kanton Zürich. At ETH Zürich, he is a member of the Network City and Landscape, the Institute of Science, Technology and Policy and of the Center for Comparative and International Studies at ETH Zürich.

Academic positions
  • 2019 – present: Assistant Professor, ETH Zürich
  • 2017 – 2019: University of Bern, Postdoctoral Researcher
    • 06-07/2019: University of Toronto, School of Cities, Visiting Fellowship
  • 2013-2016: University of Bern, Research and Teaching Assistant
    • 03-05/2015: Ottawa University, Guest Researcher
    • 12/2014-02/2015: Virginia Tech, Guest Researcher
    • 09-11/2014: Leiden University, Guest Researcher
Education
  • 2016: Ph.D. University of Bern
  • 2012: M.A. University of Zürich
  • 2010: B.A. University of Zürich
    • 2008-2009: University of Lund, Erasmus exchange year (two terms)
  • 2006: Higher education entrance qualification for adults (Passarelle)
  • 2004: Commercial Apprenticeship with Professional Maturity
Awards
  • 2020: Clarence Stone Scholar Award, awarded by the American Political Science Association section “Urban and Local Politics”.
  • 2018: Kommunalwissenschaftlicher Preis der Carl und Anneliese Goerdeler-Stiftung, best Ph.D. thesis about local affairs in business, social science, philosophy or law in German-speaking countries.
  • 2017: Susan Clarke Young Scholars’ Award, awarded by the American Political Science Association section “Urban and Local Politics”.
  • 2017: Best Comparative Policy Paper Award (together with Prof. Dr. Fritz Sager), awarded by the “Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis” and the “International Political Science Association Research Committee on Comparative Studies on Local Governments and Politics”.

Contact

Prof. Dr. David Kaufmann
ETH Zürich
Spatial Development and Urban Policy (SPUR)
Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development (IRL)
HIL H 29.3, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5
8093 Zürich, Switzerland
phone: +41 44 633 94 84
kadavid@ethz.ch

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