Dr. David Garbin


Fellow (Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien)


Max-Weber-Kolleg (Steinplatz 2) / Raum 307c (2. OG)

+49 361 737-2809


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Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Nordhäuser Str. 63
99089 Erfurt


Universität Erfurt
Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Postfach 90 02 21
99105 Erfurt

Dr. David Garbin

Zur Person

Curriculum Vitae

I am a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kent, UK. Prior to joining the University of Kent in 2012, I taught Sociology and Anthropology at Brunel and Roehampton universities (London). As a researcher at CRONEM (Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism, University of Surrey) I also worked on several international research projects including ‘The religious lives of migrants and minorities: a transnational perspective’ (coordinated by Josh de Wind, Jose Casanova and Peggy Levitt, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/14710374/14/3

I studied in Tours, Dublin and London and my doctoral work focused on the Bengali Muslim diaspora, exploring the relationship between place, identities and transnational politics, with ethnographic fieldwork in London (Tower Hamlets) and Bangladesh (Sylhet).


My current research focuses on the connection between urbanization, religion and development in African contexts as part of the ‘RUA project’ (https://rua-project.ac.uk) funded by the British Academy and which I coordinated as the Principal Investigator. This project, on the moral economies of religious urbanization in Kinshasa (DRC) and Lagos (Nigeria), is a large international partnership between the Universities of Kent, York, Toronto, Lagos and Kinshasa and involved sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, urban planners and demographers. The project explores how religious urban spaces, models and ideals engage with challenges of infrastructural development, urban social cohesion and inclusion, safety and sustainability, in two of the most populated and fastest growing cities in sub-Saharan Africa. As part of my fellowship at the Max-Weber-Kolleg, I want to draw upon some of the RUA project data to explore the links between time and space through a focus on visions of the urban future embodied in the discourses of urban planners and religious actors in mega-city context. Here I pay particular attention to urban change and the infrastructural dynamics of religious urbanization. In parallel I examine the impact of transnational Afro-Christian groups and networks on these urban and territorial processes in Africa but also in diaspora settings.



  • Garbin D. (forthcoming 2020) Religion, Migration and Globalization: Space and Identity in the Congolese Diaspora. Bloomsbury.
  • Garbin D. and Srthan A. (eds, 2017) Religion and the Global City. Bloomsbury.

Articles and book chapters

  • Garbin, D. and Millington, G. (2018). 'Central London under siege': Diaspora, 'race' and the right to the (global) city. The Sociological Review, 66: 1.
  • Garbin, D. (2018). ‘Religion, Migration and Diasporas’. In: The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Wiley.
  • Garbin, D. and Strhan, A. (2017). ‘Introduction: Locating Religion and the Global City’. In: Garbin, D. and Strhan, A. eds. Religion and the Global City. Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 1-24.
  • Vasquez, M. and Garbin, D. (2016). ’Globalization’. In: Stausberg, M. and Engler, S. eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, pp. 684-701.
  • Garbin, D. (2014). ‘Regrounding the sacred: transnational religion, place making and the politics of diaspora among the Congolese in London and Atlanta’. Global Networks 14: 363-382.
  • Garbin, D. and Godin, M. (2013). ‘Saving the Congo: Transnational social fields and politics of home in the Congolese diaspora’. African and Black Diaspora 6: 113-130.
  • Garbin, D. (2012) ‘The Visibility and invisibility of migrant faith in the city: diaspora religion and the politics of emplacement of Afro-Christian churches’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39:677-696.
  • Garbin, D. (2012) ‘Marching for God in the global city: Public space, religion and diasporic identities in a transnational African church’. Culture and Religion 13: 425-447.
  • Garbin, D. and Millington, G. (2012) ‘Territorial Stigma and the Politics of Resistance in a Parisian Banlieue: La Courneuve and Beyond’. Urban Studies, 49: 10.
  • Eade, J. and Garbin, D. (2007) Reinterpreting the relationship between centre and periphery: Pilgrimage and sacred spatialisation among Polish and Congolese communities in Britain. Mobilities 2: 413-424.
  • Eade, J. and Garbin, D. (2006) Competing visions of identity and space: Bangladeshi Muslims in Britain. Contemporary South Asia 15: 181-193.
  • Eade, J. and Garbin, D. (2002) Changing narratives of violence, struggle and resistance: Bangladeshis and the competition for resources in the global city. Oxford Development Studies 30: 137-149.