About me

I am Marc Pradel Miquel, urban sociologist and assistant professor in the department of Sociological theory, philosophy of law and methodology of social sciences in the Univesitat de Barcelona. I am also:

  • Board member of the RC21 as young researchers representative (2010-2014)
  • Postdoctoral guest Researcher at the Center for Metropolitan Studies in the Tecnische Universität Berlin (september 2012-february 2013)
  • Consultant at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia) in the subjects Economy of Knowledge, Economy of Work, and Economic geography
  • Member of the Research Group on Creativity, Innovation and Urban Transformation, a multidisciplinar group of the University of Barcelona including antrhopologists, philosophers, sociologists and economists.

Research interests

Economic sociology and economic development

How can we explain the transformation of the economic life of cities? Despite increasing market oriented policies, there exist different forms of economic relations not all of them following market orientation. Exchange and redistribution are also playing a role. Departing from Polanyi’s theories on economic life, I try to understand how economic activities emerge and remain in territories. The departing point is that the whole set of social relations and institutional contexts matter in defining the emergence of new activities.

Social innovation and creative strategies against social inequaities

Social innovation is a term used widely in different contexts. For me refers to the practices developed by civil society or admiistration directed to provide material and immaterial resources to excluded people, empower them and give new approaches to social problems. From community gardens and housing movements to cultural centres, networks of solidarity and cooperatives, I analyse the conditions in which these practices are taking place and they achievements in the construction of better forms of local welfare.

Multi-level governance

How cities are governed depend on a wide range of actors, including private actors (companies, foundations etc.) public administrations and civil society groups. How hegemonic consensus on certain forms of development are created and sustained through time is key to understand how cities are being shaped. Moreover, the local level is enmeshed in a multi-level context in which actors at different levels play a role: national and regional governments, transnational companies, supranational institutions like the European Union… I analyze the interplay of all these elements from a sociological perspective, that is, taking into consideration the power struggle between actors and the influence of historical development path in the configuraiton of certain forms of governance.