I am a postdoctoral researcher at the chair of comparative sociology at the University of Duisburg-Essen. I wrote my dissertation at the IMPRS-SPCE, the graduate school of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, in cooperation with the University of Duisburg-Essen. In this context, I also stayed at the Centre on Social Movement Studies of the Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence. My thesis deals with social mobilization strategies in conflicts around large-scale land acquisitions. Assuming that the increasing governance of land offers opportunity structures to social movements, the thesis contributes to the literature on norm emergence by tracing how land became a norm in multilevel governance. Further, I collected qualitative data during fieldwork in Mozambique, where I compared two cases of social mobilization around large-scale land projects. With this data, I identified repertoires of contention that specifically address and sidestep a lack of information, which is characteristic for large-scale land investments.
My research interests include transnational governance and organizations, social movements, rural development, agriculture, and rural livelihoods. I have conducted fieldwork in Uganda, Ghana, and Mozambique.
Currently, I am teaching two bachelor's courses at the University of Duisburg-Essen. One is about the basics of social movement research, and the other is about social movements, land grabbing, and its interconnections.
Publications & Presentations
13/10/2021: Gerken, L. (Discussant): A Discussion on Land Formalisation/[Audio-Podcast]. In: Luso-Scapes. A Podcast about the Legacy of Colonialism on Land Relations in the Portuguese Speaking World. Lusophone Land Legacies Research Group, University of Saskatchewan. https://lusolandlegacies.org/media/podcasts/
03/07/2021: Gerken, L.: Impacts of Organized Denial on Social Mobilization in Multilevel Governance. After Covid? Critical Conjunctures and Contingent Pathways of Contemporary Capitalism. Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE).
26/05/2021: Gerken, L.: The Role of Land Registration in Struggles about Large-Scale Land Acquisitions. International Symposium Lusophone Land Legacies in Comparative Perspective. University of Saskatchewan.
Gerken, L. (2019): Solidarity after the Cyclones in Mozambique. Global Cooperation Research1 (3), 10.
Gerken, L., Meininghaus, E., Röing, T. & Rudolf, M. (2017): Freiwillige Rückkehr von Asylsuchenden. Dossier in: Flucht und Asyl: Grundlagen. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. https://www.bpb.de/themen/migration-integration/kurzdossiers/243268/freiwillige-rueckkehr-von-asylsuchenden/