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Alina Bekka and Raphaël Gernath

In the Eye of the Storm: Geopolitics and the Safe City

Dubai's Ruler Sheykh al Maktoom. Image from a presentation during the fieldtrip, by Lily Munson.

"I like it because it’s safe:" The Role of Fear and Security in Dubai’s Urban Attractiveness A beach is usually a place where people go to relax, get away from the hustle, and forget about their worries. You wouldn’t expect it to be a site of security, and yet inscribed onto the public restroom of an Abu Dhabi beach is an inconspicuous logo for Serco. The British company is probably also responsible for the security cameras that line the underpasses leading to ...

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Alina Bekka and Raphaël Gernath

Raphael Gernath is a graduate student in urban governance at SciencesPo Paris' Urban School. He obtained a bachelors from SciencesPo's Euro-American campus, and has studied sociology and history at the University of Wisconsin -Madison. An urbanist at heart, he is passionate about social movements in cities and political conflicts over land use. He is currently conducting an internship with an urban research group in Mumbai, focusing on collective action in the settlement of Dharavi. 


Alina Bekka is a graduate student in comparative urban governance and sociology at Sciences Po's Urban School. After obtaining a bachelors degree in social sciences from Sciences Po's Euro-American campus, she studied urban sociology and Arabic at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests lie at the intersection of the political repercussions of informal activity and social movements for urban food justice in the MENA region and in Latin America. She is currently writing her masters thesis in urban sociology on the workers of traditional food distribution networks in Mexico City.