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Dr J.L. (Justus) Uitermark

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Political Sociology: Power, Place and Difference

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Room number: B6.18
Postal address
  • Postbus 15508
    1001 NA Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    dr. Justus Uitermark has many research interests but mostly studies politics and cities. As a relational sociologist, he focuses on networks: what sorts of networks do people form to resolve their collective problems and achieve their goals vis-à-vis others? With a background in human geography, he is particularly interested how different kinds of environments mediate collective action. Uitermark has a long-standing interest in the roles of cities as terrains of political struggle and more recently has been studying how social media platforms facilitate challenges against the status quo or breed conformity.

    Please find his publications and more information on Researchgate and his personal webpage

  • Research projects

    I’m currently a principal investigator for two major research projects: a VIDI project on amenities in rapidly growing cities, and an H2020 project on the computational analysis of political and cultural conflict. While their thematic foci and methods are different, both projects reflect my long-standing commitment to use relational sociology for understanding conflict and cooperation in historical and comparative perspective.

    Between collectivization and enclosure: self-organization and state formation in rapidly growing cities (VIDI project)

    Many cities in the global South are expanding rapidly, creating pressures on land and fueling conflicts over resources. The growing numbers of urbanites need access to basic provisions like clean water, sewerage, roads, public space, and electricity but governments are strapped for funds and often refuse to attend to the needs of deprived residents in informal settlements. As a result, cities expand much faster than state provisions. This project studies what happens under these conditions. How do residents of rapidly expanding cities succeed or fail to create and access amenities when they can neither count on the state nor on the market? How do residents cooperate and compete as they set up amenities? And how do their practices of self-organization challenge or support state institutions?

    The project develops a sociological and geographical approach to examine how people connect or disconnect in the process of setting up and governing amenities. As edifices of collective action, amenities – from plots of bare land used as football pitches to elaborate educational systems – bind people together but also pull them apart: in setting up amenities, collectivities organize and define themselves while erecting barriers to outsiders. To study these dynamics, the project draws on work by Bram de Swaan and Elinor Ostrom, among others. Through literature reviews and case studies of Accra (Ghana) and Istanbul (Turkey), this project charts and explains the uneven development of amenities.

    So far I’ve been working with Joris Tieleman, a PhD-candidate at Erasmus University, on Accra’s expansion.

    The project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Reserach (NWO) through a VIDI grant and runs from 2018 until 2023.

    ODYCCEUS: examining cultural and political conflict

    This H2020 project brings together scholars from the exact sciences, social sciences, and humanities to develop theories, models, and methods to better understand political and cultural conflict. The project is directed by Eckehard Olbrich of the Max Planck Institute for mathematics in Leipzig and includes partners from Belgium, France, Sweden, Italy, and Germany; see the project website for more information. Within the scope of ODYCCEUS, I’m supervising two PhD-projects together with Petter Tornberg:

    • Livia Teernstra examines political coalitions and divides in 23 countries by applying network analysis to Twitter data. We use newly available data and techniques to revisit long-standing questions on differences in national political cultures. Preliminary findings, reported in this working paper, show that patterns of conflict and cooperation differ significantly between countries and change over time.
    • Anna Keuchenius studies how communities of scholars mediate the diffusion of Granovetter’s hypothesis on the strength of weak ties; preliminary findings are reported in this working paper. This case study is interesting in itself but we also think of it as a model for how to use computational and interpretive methods to examine how theories and beliefs change as they are adopted and adapted by different communities.

    Also within the framework of ODYCCEUS, and continuing work of the Cultural Conflict 2.0 project, I’m working with John Boy to study how social media are reshaping social relations within cities. In opposition to commentators who view social media as platforms for opinion exchange, we are developing the hypothesis that they are, first and foremost, stages for the expression and affirmation of status. Using both computational and interpretative methods of inquiry, we seek to illuminate how social media serve to consolidate or contest social hierarchies. Some of our work came out in PLoS ONE, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, and the Nordic Journal of Religion and Society.

  • Publications


    • Berbers, A. P. V., Uitermark, J. L., Traag, V. A., & D'Haenens, L. (2019). From the margin to the centre? A relational analysis of discursive contention in the minority integration debate in the Low Countries. The International Communication Gazette.






    • Sakizlioglu, B., & Uitermark, J. (2014). The symbolic politics of gentrification: the restructuring of stigmatized neighborhoods in Amsterdam and Istanbul. Environment and Planning A, 46(6), 1369-1385. [details]
    • Uitermark, J. (2014). Integration and control: the governing of urban marginality in Western Europe. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(4), 1418-1436. [details]
    • Uitermark, J., & Bosker, T. (2014). Wither the 'undivided city'? An assessment of state-sponsored gentrification in Amsterdam. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 105(2), 221-230. [details]
    • Uitermark, J., & Nicholls, W. (2014). From politicization to policing: the rise and decline of new social movements in Amsterdam and Paris. Antipode, 46(4), 970-991. [details]
    • Uitermark, J., Duyvendak, J. W., & Rath, J. (2014). Governing through religion in Amsterdam: The stigmatization of ethnic cultures and the uses of Islam. In N. Foner, J. Rath, J. W. Duyvendak, & R. van Reekum (Eds.), New York and Amsterdam: immigration and the new urban landscape (pp. 170-194). New York: New York University Press. [details]
    • Uitermark, J., Mepschen, P., & Duyvendak, J. W. (2014). Populism, sexual politics, and the exclusion of Muslims in the Netherlands. In J. R. Bowen, C. Bertossi, J. W. Duyvendak, & M. L. Krook (Eds.), European states and their Muslim citizens: the impact of institutions on perceptions and boundaries (pp. 235-255). (Cambridge studies in law and society). New York: Cambridge University Press. [details]



    • Bruggeman, J., Traag, V. A., & Uitermark, J. (2012). Detecting communities through network data. American Sociological Review, 77(6), 1050-1063. [details]
    • Uitermark, J., & Nicholls, W. (2012). How local networks shape a global movement: comparing occupy in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. Social Movement Studies, 11(3-4), 295-301. [details]
    • Uitermark, J., Nicholls, W., & Loopmans, M. (2012). Cities and social movements: theorizing beyond the right to the city. Environment and Planning A, 44(11), 2546-2554. [details]
    • Uitermark, J., Traag, V., & Bruggeman, J. (2012). De strijd om discursieve macht: een relationele discoursanalyse van het Nederlandse integratiedebat, 1990-2005. Sociologie, 8(2), 219-247. [details]


    • Uitermark, J., & van Beek, K. (2010). Gesmoorde participatie: de schaduwkanten van ‘meedoen’ als staatsproject. In I. Verhoeven, & M. Ham (Eds.), Brave burgers gezocht: de grenzen van de activerende overheid (pp. 227-239). (Tijdschrift voor sociale vraagstukken. Jaarboek; No. 7). Amsterdam: Van Gennep. [details]


    • Hajer, M. A., & Uitermark, J. (2008). Performing authority after the assassination of Theo van Gogh. In M. A. Hajer (Ed.), Authoritative governance: policy-making in the age of mediatization (pp. 76-96). Oxford: Oxford University Press. [details]
    • Uitermark, J., & Duyvendak, J. W. (2008). Citizen participation in a mediated age: neighbourhood governance in the Netherlands. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32(1), 114-134. [details]
    • Uitermark, J., & Duyvendak, J. W. (2008). Civilizing the city: populism and revanchist urbanism in Rotterdam. Urban Studies, 45(7), 1485-1503. [details]


    • Nicholls, W., & Uitermark, J. (2015). Giving voice: the ambivalent roles of specific intellectuals in immigrant and LGBT movements. In J. M. Jasper, & J. W. Duyvendak (Eds.), Players and arenas: the interactive dynamics of protest (pp. 189-210). (Protest and social movements). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. [details]
    • Nicholls, W., & Uitermark, J. (2015). Wildfire movements crashing on the local trenches: a comparison of Occupy Los Angeles and Occupy Amsterdam. In N. Konak, & R. Ö. Dönmez (Eds.), Waves of social movement mobilizations in the twenty-first century: challenges to the neo-liberal world order and democracy (pp. 115-128). Lanham [etc.]: Lexington Books. [details]


    • Uitermark, J., Oudenampsen, M., van Heerikhuizen, B., & van Reekum, R. (2012). 'Power to the people!' Een anatomie van het populisme. Den Haag: Boom Lemma uitgevers. [details]
    • Uitermark, J., Oudenampsen, M., van Heerikhuizen, B., & van Reekum, R. (2012). Populisme en de sociologische verbeelding. Sociologie, 8(1), 3-12. [details]



    • Uitermark, J. (2014). Verlangen naar Wikitopia. Rotterdam: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. [details]


    • Boy, J. D., & Uitermark, J. L. (2015). Capture and share the city: Mapping Instagram’s uneven geography in Amsterdam. Paper presented at RC21-conference "The Ideal City: between myth and reality", Urbino, Italy.


    • Uitermark, J. L. (2017). Between collectivization and enclosure: examining the uneven provision of clean water, waste disposal and public space in rapidly growing cities (NWO-Vidi Grant).

    Journal editor

    • Uitermark, J. L. (editor), Nicholls, W. J. (editor) & Loopmans, M. (editor) (2012). Environment and Planning A (Journal).
    • Uitermark, J. (editor), Oudenampsen, M. (editor), van Heerikhuizen, B. (editor) & van Reekum, R. (editor) (2012). Sociologie (Journal).

    Talk / presentation

    • Uitermark, J. L. (speaker), Hochstenbach, C. (speaker) & Groot, J. (speaker) (10-9-2017). The spatial selectivity of the state. How state-sponsored gentrification impacted socio-spatial inequalities in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, RC21 Conference, Leeds.
    • Hochstenbach, C. (keynote speaker), Uitermark, J. L. (speaker) & van Gent, W. (speaker) (17-5-2016). Lezing 10 jaar Rotterdamwet: de effecten, Kenniswerkplaats Leefbare Wijken, Hogeschool InHolland Rotterdam.


    • Nicholls, W. J. (participant) & Uitermark, J. L. (participant) (2011). Research Committee 21 (RC21) on Sociology of Urban and Regional Development of the International Sociological Association, Annual Meeting on the “Struggle to Belong,”, Amsterdam. Cities - Between Political Contention and Government Control (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).


    • Beraldo, D. (2017). Contentious branding: Reassembling social movements through digital mediators. [details]
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No known ancillary activities