Marc Boeckler

is Professor of Economic Geography and Global Studies at the Goethe University Frankfurt, where he leads the Research Group »Technologies of Global Circulation«. Before joining the Department of Human Geography in 2011, Marc was Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of Mainz and Senior Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Konstanz.  In addition to research interests in Africa and the Middle East, his work focuses on digital geographies, social studies of marketization, the performativity of economics, and the materials, infrastructures and spaces of a globalized economy.


Core Publications

Engel, U., Boeckler, M., & Müller-Mahn, D. (eds.) (2018). Spatial Practice: Territory, Border and Infrastructure in Africa. Leiden: Brill. 

Berndt, C., & Boeckler, M. (2017). Economics, Experiments, Evidence: Poor Behavior and the Development of Market Subjects. In Higgins V., & Larner, W. (eds.), Assembling Neoliberalism. Palgrave Macmillan, 283–302. 

Boeckler, M., & Berndt, C.  (2017). Märkte in Entwicklung. Zur Ökonomisierung des Globalen Südens. In Diaz-Bone, R., & Hartz, R. (eds.), Dispositiv und Ökonomie. Diskurs- und dispositivanalytische Perspektiven auf Organisationen und Märkte. Springer VS, 349–370.

Boeckler, M. (2014). Digitale Geographien: Neogeographie, Ortsmedien und der Ort der Geographie im digitalen Zeitalter. Geographische Rundschau, 6/2014. 4–10 (Special Issue of Geographische Rundschau on Digital Geographies).

Boeckler, M., Dirksmeier, P., & Ermann, U. (2014). Geographien des Performativen. Geographische Zeitschrift, 102:3, S. 129–132 (Special Issue of Geographische Zeitschrift on Performative Geographies).

Bair, J., Berndt, C., Boeckler, M., & Werner, M. (2013). Dis/articulating producers, markets, and regions:  New directions in critical studies of commodity chains. Environment and Planning, A 45:11, 2544–2552. (Special Issue of EPA on Critical perspectives on commodity chain studies.

Boeckler, M., & Berndt, C. (2013). Geographies of circulation and exchange III: The great crisis and marketization »after markets«. Progress in Human Geography, 37:3, 424–432.

Berndt, C., & Boeckler, M. (2009). Geographies of exchange and circulation I: ›constructions of markets‹. Progress in Human Geography, 33:4, 535–551.

Boeckler, M. (2005). Geographien kultureller Praxis. Syrische Unternehmer und die globale Moderne. Bielefeld: transcript.

Most recent

Berndt, C., & Boeckler, M. (2022). Spatial agencing, geographies of marketization and the multiple spaces of the global economy. In Cochoy, F., Guzman, G. & Diedrich, A. (eds.), Space and Organizing. From Agencing Space to Spatial Agencing. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar (in press). 

Boeckler, M. & Tristl, C. (2022). PAYGo water dispensers and the lifeworlds of marketization. In Rottenburg, R., Riedke, E., Umlauf, R.  & Beisel, U. (eds.), Translating Technology in Africa. Leiden: Brill (in press).

Boeckler, M. & Berndt, C. (2022). Mehr-als-ökonomische Geographien. Geschichten von Vermarktlichungen, Performativierungen und Laboratisierungen. In Rainer, G., Schröder, V. & Steiner, C. (eds.), Mehr-als-menschliche Geographien. Schlüsselkonzepte, Beziehungen und Methodiken. Stuttgart: Steiner, S. 157-180.       

Boeckler, M. (2022). Digitale Geographien: Neogeographie, Ortsmedien und der Ort der Geographie im Digitalen Zeitalter. In Bork-Hüffer, T. & Strüver, A. (eds.), Digitale Geographien: Einführungen in sozio-materiell-technologische Raumproduktionen. Stuttgart: Steiner, S. 25-36. 

Berndt, C., & Boeckler, M. (2021).  Geographien des Markts. In Schneider-Sliwa, R., Braun, B., Helbrecht, I. & Wehrhahn, R. (eds.), Humangeographie. Braunschweig: Westermann., S. 439-446. 

Berndt, C., & Boeckler, M. (2020). Geographies of marketization: Performation struggles, incomplete commodification and the »problem of labor«. In Berndt, C., Peck, J., & Rantisi, N. (eds.), Market/Place. Exploring Spaces of Exchange. Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing, pp. 69-88.


Global Micro in the Making: The Marketization of Weather Index Insurance for Agriculture in Ghana & Kenya
(2013–2019, German Research Foundation, Team-Members: Prof. Dr. Marc Boeckler, Katharina Abdo, Luisa Hoffmann, as part of the Priority Program 1448). 
Untouched by the current crisis of radical market-oriented policies, market integration continues to serve as the dominant one-size-fits-all approach for poverty reduction and economic development in the Global South. One frontier of current marketization processes is constituted by the nexus of climate change adaptation and financial inclusion. Debates about climate change suggest that countries in Africa are particularly vulnerable to altering climate patterns. Hence, the management of weather-related risks in agriculture has turned into an urgent topic for these countries and in consequence has been put at the forefront of the global agenda by international development organizations. Index-based weather insurance products for small-scale farmers are expected to respond to these new and emerging needs. By constructing markets for the poor, microinsurance programs are contributing to the broader development agenda of microfinance. Development economists and practitioners currently design and implement this market-based risk transfer as a new adaptation tool. In fact, many African countries have recently seen the launch of index-based programs. 
This research project problematizes markets by studying the emergence of weather-related insurance markets on a micro level in the Ghanaian context. It does so by analyzing the global production of market models for microinsurance products and their subsequent translation into specific settings in Ghana. This mobility triggers processes of mutual adaptation. Because Ghana is serving as a testing ground for the finance industry, not only are local societies transformed to conform the model, but simultaneously the model itself will be altered in processes of marketization. Therefore, the role of development economists is a central subject of scrutiny insofar as they essentially contribute to the performativity of economics in general and the making of index-based weather markets in particular. The research is inspired by theoretical insights from various strands of science and technology studies. It not only considers the constitutive role of technologies such as economic models, economic experiments and various calculative practices, but also processes of organizing and signification that are indispensable in producing and stabilizing new markets. Empirically, the research addresses three different contexts and scales: First, there is a focus on the international microinsurance scene and the production of global knowledge related to index-based insurance. Second, the market-oriented localization and adaptation of this knowledge and relevant practices within an exemplary case study in Ghana are analyzed. Third, the generation and translation of economic knowledge via economic experiments such as randomized control trials and lab experiments regarding index-based insurance is reconstructed.
AFRASO. Africa’s Asian Options. 
(2013 to 2019, German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF), Team-Members: Prof. Dr. Marc Boeckler, Dr. Veit Bachmann, Dr. Philippe Kersting, Prof. Dr. Julia Verne)
AFRASO researches African-Asian Interactions on the premise that regional studies in a globalized world are increasingly confronted with processes of deterritorialization and transregionalization. These processes have to be approached with new innovative concepts and theories in order to keep up with the continuously changing subject matter of African and Asia studies. AFRASO addresses this problem by focussing on new African-Asian interactions and assumes that these interactions – on the economic, political, social, and cultural level – are not only opening up new opportunities for Asian countries, but also for their African counterparts. In addition to China and India, other countries such as Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam, whose relations to Africa have not received much attention yet, will also move into the focus of research. 
Within AFRASO Marc directs one of the two key areas (Markets on the Move), acts as member of the steering committee and is PI of the following research projects: 
·       Post-Terrestrial Area Studies? The Indian Ocean, Translocal Histories and Maritime Constructions of Space (with Prof. Dr. Julia Verne)
·       Landed Markets«: Commodification, Mobilization and Deterritorialization of Land in the Context of Asian Investment in African Land Markets (with Dr. Philippe Kersting)
·       East African Regionalism (with Dr. Veit Bachmann)