Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem is a human geographer with research interests in political geography and urban studies. He has particular specialism in social and spatial analysis, interdisciplinary methods, urban violence and inequality from a geopolitical perspective, with a specific interest in Europe and the Middle East.
Dr Rock Rokem’s work is inspired by over a decade of researching ethnic minorities in contested cities. His overarching research agenda is committed to conceptualising a socio-spatial ontology that brings a new comparative perspective to human geography and urban studies. He also investigates the deferential role of transport and mobility infrastructures as tools to govern social life in highly uneven and unequal settings.
Dr Rock Rokem publishes in international, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary scientific journals within the disciplines of geography and urban studies, such as Political Geography, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, CITY and Urban Studies.
Prior to joining the School in 2019, Jonathan taught at the Department of Geography, University College London (UCL) and held a Marie Curie Research Fellowship at the Bartlett School of Architecture, Space Syntax Laboratory, UCL.
Previous to this, Dr Rock Rokem held a Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Department of Human Geography, Lund University, Sweden. His PhD was awarded in 2015 from the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University, Israel. Jonathan also holds a Master's degree in Human Geography from the Department of Geography at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Dr Rock Rokem’s research addresses some of the societal challenges of the 21st century:
(i) Rapid urbanisation and rising global inequalities
(ii) Geopolitics and international migration
(iii) Barriers to urban mobility and diversity
(iv) Cities, climate change and conservation
Jonathan's overarching research objectives are threefold: firstly, from a theoretical perspective to advance the cross-disciplinary field of urban geopolitics, bringing geopolitics into the mainstream of human geography and urban studies; secondly, to construct a multidisciplinary comparative research method to re-frame urban inequality and segregation as a dynamic and mobile process; and, thirdly, to create a modelling tool to enhance immigrant communities’ access to transport and public spaces in cities.
Dr Rock Rokem's research has informed public policy decision-making and contributed to novel spatial and social approaches in the development of public transport infrastructures in Jerusalem and Stockholm.