Dr. Marguerite van den Berg

Associate Professor
Organisation Science

I study work, precarisation, informal organization, improvisation, gender and the state. I work as an associate professor at Utrecht University School of Governance.

In my work, I like to look very closely at what it is that people do. I study practices: how advice is given to citizens in the context of policy, how urban dwellers use the city or how people prepare for work. I tend to use ethnographic methods: participant observation, drawing, interviews. 

Presently, I work with a team on a project on improvisation. Funded by the Dutch Research Council NWO with a Vidi grant, the project is called Improvising security: subsistence in contemporary urban Europe. We research how urban dwellers in Dublin and Rotterdam improvise security, now that both labor markets and welfare states are increasingly unable to offer financial and social security. Together with local organizations and urban dwellers, we aim to look at how people find everyday workarounds, engage in makeshift practices and find practical solutions to insecurity in their lives.

In the fall of 2021, I published Werk is geen oplossing , ‘Work is not a solution’ with Amsterdam University Press: a book on work, precarisation and the politics of refusal.

In Spring 2017 I published Gender in the Post-Fordist Urban – The Gender Revolution in Planning and Public Policy (Palgrave Macmillan 2017).

I taught courses on feminist urban studies, social policy, the welfare state and public issues. Previous to working at Utrecht University, I held positions at the University of Amsterdam (2008-2022), Erasmus University in Rotterdam and visiting positions at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY, in 2007 and 2010) and the Georg Simmel Zentrum at Humboldt University in Berlin (in 2011). In the Spring of 2019, I was embedded researcher with Het Nieuwe Instituut: Institute for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture. In the Spring of 2021, I was a fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, NIAS.