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Dr. Benedikt Schmid

Research Associate – currently on leave
E-Mail: benedikt.schmid[at]
Phone: ++49(0)761 203-3566
Room: 04026


Central research questions

Broadly speaking my research engages with the question how societal trajectories can be shifted away from current patterns of unsustainability towards social and environmental justice. Within the complex and divergent processes of global change, I take a particular interest in community initiatives and social enterprises working towards alternative economies. My primary empirical focus, thereby, is on localized productive infrastructures and the concomitant practices of tinkering, making and repair in the Global North. Conceptually, I draw on practice-theoretical scholarship allowing for the consideration of both the performativity and materiality of social relations. Taking a participatory and transdisciplinary approach, my research aims to develop strategies and build coalitions with and between a variety of actors and participants.

Research topics and projects

  • Alternative Economies / Diverse Economies
  • Post-growth and social-ecological transformation
  • Local and regional governance
  • Global Change
  • Political Geography
  • Practice Theory and Materiality
  • Community Initiatives and eco-social enterprises
  • Transdisciplinary research (methods)
  • Regional Focus: Europe (esp. Southern Europe, Northern Europe, Germany)



  • 2021 Price for Best dissertation thesis in human geography 2019-2021 by the Association of Geographers on German-speaking universities and research institutes
  • 2020: FRU-Förderpreis: Just Spaces? Gerechtigkeit und Gemeinwohl in Stadt und Region


  • 04/2023-09/2023
   Substitute professorship, chair of cultural- and regional geography, University of Trier
  • Since 07/2019
   Postdoctoral researcher, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 06/2019
   Doctorate in geography "Making Transformative Geographies: Lessons from Stuttgart’s Community Economy"
  • 2015-2019
   Doctoral researcher, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • 2016-2018
   Teaching fellow at the Universities of Heidelberg & Freiburg, Germany
  • 2013-2015
   Research assistant, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • Seminars on sustainability, social-ecological transformation, alternative economies, environmental justice, introduction to geography, qualitative methods
  • Thesis supervision in the following areas: post-growth, social-ecological transformation, sufficiency-oriented urban development, alternative economic models (in particular, common good economics, donut economy)