Dr. Olivier Walther
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Dr. Olivier Walther

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Master, Supérieur, Master
  • dissertation
Olivier Walther, PhD Department of Geography Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies 3 avenue de la Fonte, L-4364 Esch/Belval, Luxembourg Tel: +352.58.58.55.317; E-mail: Revised: 4 January 2012 EDUCATION 2003-2006 PhD in Geography, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and University of Rouen, France Supervisors: Professor Jean-Bernard Racine and Professor Denis Retaillé Dissertation: Geography of informal economic networks between Niger, Benin and Nigeria (in French) 2002-2004 Master of Advanced Studies in Development Studies, University of Geneva and University of Lausanne, Switzerland 1997-2001 Master of Arts (
  • european spatial
  • geneva 
  • present researcher
  • monitoring project
  • cross-border metropolitan
  • intra-regional employment
  • regional growth
  • national research
  • lausanne

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Olivier Walther, PhD Department of Geography Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies 3 avenue de la Fonte, L4364 Esch/Belval, Luxembourg Tel: +352.58.58.55.317; Email:Olivier.Walther@ceps.luRevised: 22 February 2012 EDUCATION 20032006PhD in Geography, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and University of Rouen, France Supervisors: Professor JeanBernard Racine and Professor Denis Retaillé Dissertation:Geography of informal economic networks between Niger, Benin and Nigeria(in French) 20022004Master of Advanced Studies in Development Studies, University of Geneva and University of Lausanne, Switzerland 19972001Master of Arts(Geography and Ethnology), University of Lausanne, Switzerland WORK EXPERIENCE 2007presentResearcher, Department of Geography, Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies (CEPS), Luxembourg 2010presentResearch Associate, ADES Research Unit, University of Bordeaux IIINational Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), France 2010presentResearcher, African Studies Laboratory (Afrilux), Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies (CEPS), Luxembourg 2010Visiting researcher, University of Basel, Switzerland (SeptemberOctober) 20032006Research and teaching assistant, Institute of Geography, University of Lausanne, Switzerland RESEARCH PROJECTS Ongoing projects 20122017EUBORDERSCAPES. Bordering, Political Landscapes and Social Arenas: Potentials and Challenges of Evolving Border Concepts in a PostCold War World th  Funded by the European Commission under the 7 Framework Programme  Contracting Partner
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20112013CROSSTRADE. Informal Trade and CrossBorder Integration in West AfricaFunded by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg (FNR)  Principal Investigator 20102012MetroNet. CrossBorder Metropolitan Governance in Europe: A Network Analysis Approach  Funded by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg (FNR)  Lead Partner 20102012GEOSPECS. Geographic Specificities and Development Potential in EuropeFunded by the European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON)  Contracting Partner Completed projects 20092011METROBORDER. CrossBorder Polycentric Metropolitan Regions Funded by the European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON)  Contracting Partner 20072009METROLUX. Metropolisation and Urban Governance in Luxembourg and CrossBorder Areas  Funded by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg (FNR)  Lead Partner 20052009Biodiversity Monitoring and Integrated Development in Hombori (Mali)  Funded by the World Wildlife Fund and Leenards Foundation  Partner 20022006Negotiating Conflicts of Interest Related to Water Management (Niger)  Funded by the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN)  PhD candidate AWARDS AND OTHER GRANTS 2010 Exchange visit grant, European Science Foundation, African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE) 2010Support for the submission of a FP7 European research project ‘Systems of MultiPolar Networks (SUNE)’, NationalResearch Fund of Luxembourg (FNR) 2010Support for the organisation of a series of conferences on ‘Changing European Borders’, National Research Fund of Luxembourg (FNR)2009 Support for ArticuloJournal of Urban Research, Alphonse Weicker Foundation Luxembourg and CEPS/INSTEAD Luxembourg 2007 Support for PhD thesis publication, University of Lausanne 2005Additional Doctoral Fellowship, Rector’s Conference of the Swiss Universities
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2002 Academic Excellence Award, Faculty of Arts, University of Lausanne 2001 Institute of Geography Alumni Association Prize, University of Lausanne 2000 Support for Master thesis fieldwork, J.J. van Walsem Foundation, Lausanne OTHER PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES 2010present Managing Committee Member, EastBordNet Remaking Eastern Borders in Europe, COST Action IS0803 funded by the EU 2005present CoEditor, ArticuloJournal of Urban Research Management and edition of a peerreviewed online journal devoted to urban issues,http://articulo.revues.org2003present Proofreader, Geographica Helvetica, Swiss Journal of Geography PUBLICATIONSPapers in referred journals Walther O. 2012. Traders, agricultural entrepreneurs and the development of crossborder regions in West Africa.Entrepreneurship and Regional Development (accepted for publication). Decoville A, Durand F, Sohn C, Walther O. 2012. Comparing crossborder metropolitan integration in Europe: Towards a functional typology.Journal of Borderlands Studies(accepted for publication). Walther O. 2012. Sons of the soil and conquerors who came on foot: The historical evolution of a West African border region.African Studies Quarterly13(1). Walther O, Schulz C, Dörry S. 2011. Specialized international financial centres and their crisis resilience: the case of Luxembourg.Geographische Zeitschrift99(3) (in press). Retaillé D, Walther O. 2011. Spaces of uncertainty: a model of mobile space in the Sahel. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography32(1): 85101. Nelles J, Walther O. 2011. Changing European borders: from separation to interface? An introduction.ArticuloJournal of Urban Research6, http://articulo.revues.org/1658. Walther O, Dautel V. 2010. Intraregional employment growth in Luxembourg (19942005). Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography92(1): 4563. Walther O. 2009. A mobile idea of space. Traders, patrons and the crossborder economy in Sahelian Africa.Journal of Borderlands Studies24: 3446. Sohn C, Reitel B, Walther O. 2009. Crossborder metropolitan integration in Europe: the case of Luxembourg, Basel and Geneva.Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy27: 922939. Walther O, Schulz C. 2009. Finanzplatz Luxemburg–vom ‘Steuerparadies‘ zur InvestmentfondsKapitale.Geographische Rundschau61(1): 3035. Sohn C, Walther O. 2009. Métropolisation et intégration transfrontalière: le paradoxe luxembourgeois.Espaces & Sociétés138: 5167.
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Walther O, Retaillé D. 2008. Le modèle sahélien de la circulation, de la mobilité et de l’incertitude spatiale.Autrepart47: 109124. Walther O, Renaud T, Kissling J. 2008. Heaven on Earth? The development of tourism in the Dogon Country and the Hombori Mountains (Mali).Articuloof Urban Journal Research4, http://articulo.revues.org/417. Beek W van, Lemineur P, Walther O. 2007. Tourisme et patrimoine au Mali. Destruction des valeurs anciennes ou valorisation concertée?Geographica Helvetica4: 249258. Walther O. 2007. Villesfrontières et réseaux informels sahéliens (GayaMalanvilleKamba). Geographica Helvetica1: 1020. Book Walther O. 2008.Affaires de Patrons. Villes et Commerce Transfrontalier au Sahel [Cities and CrossBorder Trade in the Sahel]. Bern: Peter Lang. Book chapters Walther O. 2012. Regional growth of the knowledge economy in Luxembourg, in Sohn C. (ed.)Luxembourg: An Emerging CrossBorder Metropolitan Region.Brussels: Peter Lang: 4163. Walther O, Schulz C. 2012. Financial services clustering in LuxembourgCity, in Sohn C. (ed.)Luxembourg: An Emerging CrossBorder Metropolitan Region.Brussels: Peter Lang: 6590. Walther O. 2012. Metropolitan regions and crossborder demographic integration, in Sohn C. (ed.)Luxembourg: An Emerging CrossBorder Metropolitan Region.Brussels: Peter Lang: 185204. Sohn C, Walther. 2012. Building a crossborder metropolitan region: the political stakes of scalar restructuring, in Sohn C. (ed.)Luxembourg: An Emerging CrossBorder Metropolitan Region.Brussels: Peter Lang: 265278. Walther O. 2010. Economie et frontières en Afrique sahélienne: un usage clientéliste de la partition coloniale, in Igué JO, Fodouop K, AlokoN’Guessan J. (eds)Maîtrise de l’Espace et Développement en Afrique.Etat des Lieux.Paris: Karthala: 125137. Schulz C, Walther O. 2009. Finanzplatz Luxemburg, in Bousch P. et al. (eds)Atlas du Luxembourg. Cologne: Emons: 130133. Dautel V, Walther O. 2009. Beschäftigungsdynamik in der Metropolregion, in Bousch P. et al. (eds)Atlas du Luxembourg. Cologne: Emons: 128129. Racine J.B, Walther O. 2007. Geografia de las religiones, in Hiernaux D, Lindon A. (eds) Tratado de Geografia Humana. Barcelona: Anthropos: 481505. Walther O. 2005. “Merci patron...”. L’espérance de recevoir et l’obligation d’offrir dans les relations clientélistes au Niger et au Bénin, in Reynard E, Dambo L. (eds)Vivre dans les Milieux Fragiles. Lausanne: Institute of Geography: 6075. Other publications Dautel V, Walther O. 2011. The geography of innovation in the Luxembourg metropolitan region: an intraregional approach. Luxembourg:CEPS/INSTEAD Working Papers38. Retaillé D, Walther O. 2011. Guerre et terrorisme au SaharaSahel: la reconversion des savoirs nomades.L’Information Géographique76(3): 5168. Walther O. 2011. Sons of the soil and conquerors: The historical construction of the Dendi border region (West Africa). Luxembourg:CEPS/INSTEAD Working Papers20.
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Decoville A, Durand F, Sohn C, Walther O. 2010. Spatial integration in European cross border metropolitan regions: A comparative approach. Luxembourg:CEPS/INSTEAD Working Papers40. Chilla T. et al. 2010.METROBORDER. Crossborder Polycentric Metropolitan Regions. Final Report. Luxembourg, European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON). Schaber C, Walther O. 2010.Tourism in the Hombori region (Mali). Neuchâtel: Hombori Biodiversity Monitoring Project, Mission Report. Schulz C, Walther O. 2010. Adaptation strategies of Luxembourg’s financial centre under pressure. Luxembourg:CEPS/INSTEAD Working Papers26. Walther O, Retaillé D. 2010. Sahara or Sahel? The fuzzy geography of terrorism in West Africa. Luxembourg:CEPS/INSTEAD Working Papers35. Dautel V, Walther O. 2009. Croissance de l’emploi et mobilité des entreprises au Luxembourg (19942005). Luxembourg: CEPS/INSTEADPopulation & Territoire15. Sohn C, Walther O. 2008. Géographie des activités économiques métropolitaines au Luxembourg. Luxembourg: CEPS/INSTEADPopulation & Territoire14. Walther O. 2007.L’échange généralisé: urbanisation et relations villescampagnes en Afrique de l’Ouest. Paris: Sahel and West Africa Club. Walther O. 2006.Le développement touristique dans les Monts Hombori (Mali). Neuchâtel: Hombori Biodiversity Monitoring Project, Mission Report. Walther O. 2004. Audelà de l’opposition entre villes et campagnes. Esquisse d’un modèle territorial dynamique en Afrique de l’Ouest.L’Information Géographique68: 308319. Racine J.B, Walther O. 2003. Géographie et religions. Une approche territoriale du religieux et du sacré.L’Information Géographique66: 193221. Book reviews Walther O. 2011. Expanding economic life: the potentialities and future of cities. Review of: Glaeser E. 2011.Triumph of the City. http://articulo.revues.org/1793. Walther O. 2011. New York City: A burning portrait of urban America. Review of: Wolfe T. 1987.The Bonfire of the Vanities. http://articulo.revues.org/1654. Walther O, Matthey L. 2010. The city as body. Review of: Ackroyd P. 2010.London. The Biography. http://articulo.revues.org/1304.Walther O. 2009. The World Development Report 2009: The beginning of a space odyssey? Cybergeo: European Journal of Geography, http://cybergeo.revues.org/22771. Work in progress and under review Walther O. Space and social networks: what if social networks and space were mobile? (manuscript in progress). Walther O, Heinrigs P. West African border markets: functional dynamics and policy implications (manuscript in progress).Walther O. Regional trade and economic networks in West Africa: a social network approach. Submitted toConnectionsin November 2011. Dautel V, Walther O. The geography of innovation in a small metropolitan region: an intra regional approach in Luxembourg. Submitted toPapers in Regional Sciencein October 2011.
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ORGANIZED SESSIONS AND CONFERENCES 2012Metrolux 2012 Conference on ‘Unpacking crossborder governance’ Coorganizer (forthcoming) 2012West African border markets and regional integration from belowPanel, African Borderlands Research Network Conference (forthcoming) 2012Governance and economic integration in urban border regionsSession, AAG Annual Meeting, New York (forthcoming) 2011Flows and business, components of the mobility of borders Session, Border Regions in Transition (BRIT) Conference, Geneva (4 papers) 2011Space and social networksSessions, AAG Annual Meeting, Seattle (10 papers) 2010Trade and regional integrationPanels, African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE) Annual Conference on CrossBorder Trade in Africa, Basel (9 papers)2010Changing borders: from separation to interface?Series of lectures funded by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg (8 lectures) 2010Borders and cities: perspectives from North America and EuropeSessions, AAG Annual Meeting, Washington, DC (15 papers) 2009Crossborder metropolitan integration: towards a comparative perspectiveSession, AAG Annual Meeting, Las Vegas (4 papers) PAPERS PRESENTED AT CONFERENCES (SINCE 2009) 2011 Walther O.Geneva and Luxembourg, a comparative analysis of crossborder integration. University of Geneva, Geneva, 3 November. Walther O.Integration of informal economic crossborder networks in West Africa.Working Group meeting on West African Futures: Settlement, Market and Food Security, OECD, Paris, 2728 October. Sohn C, Walther O.Comparing crossborder metropolitan integration in Europe, Border Regions in Transition (BRIT) Conference. GenevaGrenoble, 69 September. Walther O.Reconsidering border markets and economic networks in West Africa. Border Regions in Transition (BRIT) Conference. GenevaGrenoble, 69 September. Walther O. Crossborder governance networks in the trinational region of Basel.UK Social Network Analysis Conference (UKSNA), Greenwich, 79 July. Walther O. Border markets and economic networks in West Africa: A conceptual and methodological approach.European Conference on African Studies (ECAS4), Uppsala 1518 June. Walther O. Understanding the spatiality of crossborder governance networks,Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Seattle, 1216 April.
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Sohn C, Walther O. Comparing crossborder integration in European metropolitan regions, EastBordNet Conference, Catania, 2022 January. 2010 Dautel V, Walther O. The geography of innovation in the Luxembourg metropolitan region: an intraregional approach,Luxembourg 2020 Knowledge Economy Conference, Luxembourg, 79 December. Walther O. Doing business across the borders. The entrepreneurial landscape of a West African border region,Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) Conference, Luxembourg, 1013 November. Walther O, Sohn C, Decoville A. Spatial integration in European crossborder metropolitan regions,European Conference of the Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS), Veroia, 2325 September. Walther O. Traders, agricultural entrepreneurs and the development of border markets in West Africa,African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE) Annual Conference, Basel, 811 September. Schulz C, Walther O. ‘They still think we are a tax paradise’. Financial services clustering in Luxembourg City,Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting,Washington, DC, 1418 April. Walther O, Christopoulos D, Sohn C. Crossborder governance networks: the case of Basel, Sunbelt Conference,International Network for Social Network Analysis, Riva del Garda, 29 June4 July. 2009 Walther O. The development of Luxembourg as a crossborder metropolitan centre.Seminar über Forschung in und über Luxemburg, Fondation pour l’Architecture et l’Ingénierie, Luxembourg, 26 October. Walther O, Sohn C. The construction of crossborder regions in Europe.Theorizing Borders through Analyses of Power Relationships. BRIDGE Conference, University of Luxembourg, Schengen, 2930 April. Walther O. Employment growth in the Luxembourg crossborder metropolitan area. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting,Las Vegas, 2227 March.Walther O, Sohn C. Gouvernance métropolitaine transfrontalière: une approche par les réseaux sociaux.Gouvernement et gouvernance des espaces urbains, University of Rouen, Rouen, 1315 May. TEACHING ANSD SUPERVISING EXPERIENCE Graduate course 20032006‘The Transformations of Developing Countries’Institute of Geography, University of Lausanne Teaching assistant in development studies (Prof. Ronald Jaubert) Undergraduate courses 20032006‘Introduction to Economic Geography’Institute of Geography, University of Lausanne  Teaching assistant in economic geography (Prof. JeanBernard Racine)
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20022003‘Cartography’Institute of Geography, University of Lausanne Teaching assistant in cartography (Prof. Micheline Cosinschi) 19992001‘Introduction to Human Geography’PrEP private preparatory school, Lausanne Postdoctoral work 20102011 Dr. Frédéric Durand.CROSSPLANNING. Comparing CrossBorder Metropolitan Planning. Postdoctoral grant funded by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg 20102011 Dr. Jen Nelles.METROCOOP.Relating to the Region: CityRegion Governance and Multilevel Policy in CrossBorder Regions. Postdoctoral grant funded by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg Doctoral thesis 2012 present Nora Stambolic.Crossborder metropolitan integration and multinational firms’ networks: the cases of Luxembourg and Geneva. Doctoral grant funded by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg 2011present Moustapha Koné.West African Traders in Border Markets: Building a Business Community. Doctoral grant funded by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg RESEARCH TRIPS AND FOREIGN RESIDENCE Luxembourg Since 2007, foreign residence United States 1996 (6 months), foreign residence Niger 2012 (1 month). CROSSTRADE research project 2005 (4 months). PhD thesis, University of Lausanne 2003 (2 months), 2004 (3 months). Master of Advanced Studies, University of Geneva 19871989, foreign residence Benin 2005 (4 months). PhD thesis, University of Lausanne 2003 (2 months), 2004 (3 months). Master of Advanced Studies, University of Geneva Nigeria 2005 (4 months). PhD thesis, University of Lausanne. 2003 (2 months), 2004 (3 months). Master of Advanced Studies, University of Geneva
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Mauritania 2000 (one month). Master field research, University of Lausanne Mali 2000 (3 months). Master thesis, University of Lausanne 1999 (one month), Bachelor field research, University of Lausanne Ghana 1994 and 1995 (one month). Internship. Centre for Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) COMPUTER SKILLS Microsoft Office applications Social network analysis (UCINET) Geographical Information Systems (GIS) (ArcGIS)Cartography and statistics for the social sciences (SPSS) Graphic arts (Illustrator, Photoshop, GIMP)Online edition and publication of a scientific journal (Lodel, Manuscripts) LANGUAGES French Mother tongue English Very good reading, writing and verbal skills 2010present Daily practice at work 1996 6month language course, New York City, USA 1994 1month language course, Crawley, UK German Good reading, writing and verbal skills 2010present Regular practice at work and frequent interviews in the Basel region 20072010 GermanFrench conversation lessons, Luxembourg 2005 Private lessons, Switzerland REFEREE Review of African Political Economy, University of Arizona Press, Geographica Helvetica, L’Information Géographique, MappemondeMEMBERSHIPS Association of American Geographers (AAG), Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS), African Studies Association (ASA), African Borderland Research Network (ABORNE), and International Network of Social Network Analysis (INSNA)
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