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New director takes over Canadian Centre for German & European Studies

New director takes over Canadian Centre for German & European Studies

York Professor Roger Keil has recently been appointed director of the Canadian Centre for German & European Studies (CCGES) at York for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Keil is looking forward to the challenge and says one of his main duties as director will be to develop the centre’s strategic plan, and with that the amount of research done at the CCGES.

“The most important thing to me is to increase the research aspect of the centre,” says Keil. “It’s done a great job but now we need to look at how to increase the thickness of the research portfolio. With the strategic plan I hope to come up with a solid, believable and manageable research agenda that will allow us to have a sustainable future.”

Left: Roger Keil

A professor in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, Keil received his PhD in political science from Frankfurt’s Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, where he also studied German and American studies. He has been a visiting professor at the Free University in Berlin, Germany, at Aberystwyth, Wales, and recently at the Montpellier, France.

Keil will continue to be the director of the City Institute at York University (CITY) for the next couple of years. Both the CCGES and CITY recently moved into the new York Research Tower.

People have worked diligently over the last few years to renew the CCGES, says Keil. “I see my role as expanding on those efforts and bringing in some of my own ideas.” He wants to raise the profile of the CCGES as well as procure funding for further research. “I want to nurture the existing links inside and outside of York and position the CCGES as the go to place for German research.”

In addition, Keil will be searching for a new director of the CCGES for when his term ends. As a long-time resident of the centre with an acute interest in the work of the CCGES, Keil feels becoming the centre’s director is a good fit.

“I’m looking forward to working together with the centre’s faculty affiliates and our partners, both off campus and here at York, to build a stronger CCGES,” says Keil. “The centre has an important role to play in connecting Canada and Europe, and I think our research agenda can make a significant contribution to increasing understanding and knowledge in a number of areas of importance – on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Keil's own research interests include urban governance, global cities, infectious disease and cities, urban infrastructures and urban political ecology. Currently, he is collaborating on Comparing Metropolitan Governance in Transatlantic Perspective, a project comparing policy, politics and governance in Toronto, Montréal, Frankfurt and Paris, funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada. The primary objective of the research is to broaden and deepen understanding of regional governance through an innovative comparative project.

Keil is the author of Los Angeles: Urbanization, Globalization and Social Struggles (John Wiley & Sons, 1999) and the co-author of Nature and the City: Making Environmental Policy in Toronto and Los Angeles (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, Nature and Society Series, 2004) and Changing Toronto: Governing Urban Neoliberalism (University of Toronto Press, 2009).

He is also the co-editor of Leviathan Undone?:Towards a Political Economy of Scale (University of Washington, 2009); Networked Disease: Emerging Infections and the Global City (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008); and The Global Cities Reader (Routledge, 2006).

In addition, Keil co-edits the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and is a co-founder of the International Network for Urban Research & Action.

For more information, visit the CCGES Web site.

Republished courtesy of YFile – York University’s daily e-bulletin.