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Dr. F.I. (Frank) Mueller

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
GPIO : Urban Geographies

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Postal address
  • Postbus 15629
    1001 NC Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Research

    I am an urban geographer and a Research Fellow in EU's Marie Skłodowska-Curie Program, project title: Weaponizing Social Housing in Rio de Janeiro and Medellín. Until the end of 2023, I am Visiting Scholar in the Weatherhead Scholars Program at Harvard University.

    My research focuses on housing and securitization in urban Latin America and beyond. I have studied land conflicts, “pacification”, and protests against involuntary resettlements in Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro. Informed by studies on the performativity of power, I have examined urban informality as a volatile role and ascription in everyday security encounters and in the socio-political and –spatial effects these generate.

    From February 2021-January 2024 I will be conducting fieldwork in Latin America and explore emerging forms of governability in the securitized urban peripheries of Medellin and Rio de Janeiro. The retreat of residents to gated enclaves, the formation of right-wing neighborhood defense groups, the employment of surveillance technologies and private security firms, and new strategies to displace low-income populations to the urban peripheries can be studied as global assemblages of securitizing housing.

    Secondly, funded by UvA's Centre for Urban Studies, I coordinate the research network ILLICITIES: City-Making and Organized Crime and its blog on the pages of Political and Legal Anthropology (PoLAR), together with Dr. Julienne Weegels (CEDLA).

    Thirdly, I am co-PI of the research lab Protein Matters: Securitizing Zoonoses in the EU and the USA which is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

    More information on each project can be found here.

  • Publications




    • Mueller, F. I. (2021). Standby urbanization: Dwelling and organized crime in Rio de Janeiro. Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization.


    • Mueller, F. I. (2020). Home Matters: The Material Culture of Urban Security. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
    • Mueller, F. I. (Ed.) (2020). Home Matters: The Material Cultures of Urban Security. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.


    • Grassiani, E., & Mueller, F. (2019). Brazil-Israel Relations and the Marketing of Urban Security Expertise. Latin American Perspectives, 46(3), 114-130. Advance online publication. [details]
    • Mueller, F. I. (2019). A Performative Approach to Urban Informality: Learning from Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro. Anthropologica, 61(1), 64-77.
    • Mueller, F. I. (2019). Securing the Home: Crime, State Sovereignty and Social Housing in Medellín. Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe, 107, 95-115.


    • Mueller, F. I., & Steinke, A. (2018). Criminalising encounters: MINUSTAH as a laboratory for armed humanitarian pacification. Global Crime, 19(3-4), 228-249.




    • Müller, F. (2014). The Global City and its Other: Decentering Informality in and from Mexico City. (Fragmentierte Moderne in Lateinamerika,; No. 17). Berlin: Edition Tranvia . [details]



    Journal editor

    • Mueller, F. (editor) (2012-2018). Critical Reviews on Latin American Research (Journal).


    • Weegels, J. (organiser) & Mueller, F. (organiser) (3-10-2019). ILLICITIES Workshop, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Mueller, F. (organiser) (29-6-2017). Workshop on Securing Housing and the Governing of Uncertainty, Amsterdam. This workshop invites comparisons of how increasing uncertainties affect security practices and politics – and vice versa – in metropolitan areas in (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).



    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 ancillary activities