Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme

Prof. Dr.

Fachbereich Geowissenschaften

Institut für Geographische Wissenschaften

Fachrichtung Anthropogeographie



Globalisierung, Transformation, Gender

Adresse Malteserstr. 74 - 100
Raum K068
12249 Berlin
Sekretariat Martine Friedmann, K 067
Telefon +49 30 838 - 70782
Fax +49 30 838 - 459175


Liebe Studierende,

In der vorlesungsfreien Zeit vereinbaren Sie Sprechstundentermine bitte individuell. Schreiben Sie bitte kurz den Inhalt Ihres Anliegens.

Mail an:

Ich nehme keinen Betreuung von Bachelor- oder Masterarbeiten mehr an, da ich ab dem 1.4.2017 nicht mehr an der FUB sein werde.

Spätester Abgabetermin für alle Seminararbeiten ist der 15.3.2017.


  • 2014: Unternehmensgründung und –führung,, ETH and University of Zurich
  • 2012: Habilitation and Venia Legendi, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2005: PhD in Human Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2000: M. Sc. in Human Geography, Sociology and Political Science, University of Potsdam, Germany (incl. Erasmus Semester University of Plymouth, UK)


  • From 2015 Professorship, Freie Universität Berlin, Anthropogeography, Working Group Globalisation, Transformation, Gender
  • 2008 – 2014 Research group leader ‘Im/mobilities and Migration’ and senior lecturer, Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2005 – 2008 Post-doc, Humangeography, University of Zurich
    • 2001 – 2005 Research and teaching assistant in Human Geography, University of Zurich
    • 2003 Consultant for International Labour Office (ILO) Geneva (part-time)
  • 2000 - 2001 German Development Cooperation (GIZ) Germany and Bangladesh
  • 1999 Penang Heritage Trust, Penang, Malaysia (ASA Scholarship Carl Duisberg Society

Visiting Fellowships

  • 2011 American University Central Asia (AUCA) | Bishkek | Kyrgyzstan
  • 2010 Institute of Social Studies (ISS) | De Hague | NL
  • 2006/07 University of Sussex Centre for Migration Research | UK

Areas of specialisation

  • im/mobility, migration, labour, education 
  • development, transformation
  • social differences, inequality
  • social theory
  • Specific country experience: Nepal, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Switzerland

Implementation, Policy Dialogue, Consultancy

  • 2011-2014: Policy advice for Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) & HELVETAS
  • 2008: Documentary "the other silk road" (with Panos South Asia) download here:
  • 2003-05: Empowerment of Nepali labour migrants in India (with South Asia Study Center, Delhi)
  • 2003: Consultancy for International Labour Organisation (ILO), Geneva, Switzerland


  • Swiss research network "Passagen" - Crossings: Researching the Intersections of Migration and Gender, until 2014)
  • Executive Committee of the Commision for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries KFPE (2010-2014)

Current research projects

  • Since 2016: Alumni Study: Tracking former scholars from developing and transition countries at Swiss universities
    (in collaboration with Swiss Federal Commission for scholarships for foreign students/ Eidgenössische Stipendien-kommission für ausländische Studierende (ESKAS)
  • Since 2013: Unemployment as crisis – youth in crisis? Insights from recent labour migration from southern Europe to Switzerland” (with Sara Landolt, University of Zurich)
  • Since 2014: Internationalisation of Higher Education: Educational Consultants in Nepal. (self-financed)

Completed research projects

  • 2010-2012: Analysis, Visualization and contextualisation of quantitative migration data of different scale. with giCentre, City University London; Geocomputation, University of Zurich,
  • 2007-2008: “the other silk road”, documentary, Panos South Asia and NCCR North-South                              
  • 2003-2005: Two projects addressing migrant’s needs in Delhi, India in collaboration with the NGO South Asia Study Center (SASC), SNSF&SDC, NCCR North-South

Main Supervisor of PhD research

Ongoing at the University of Zurich

Samuel Graf (since 2012): Transnationally tied: Social, economic and political linkages of the Eritrean diaspora in Switzerland and how they can influence change in their home country, University of Zurich.

Pörtner, Ephraim (since 2011): Encountering asylum-seekers: Politics of mobility at the margins of the State. University of Zurich. Homepage:


Hatcher, Craig (2010 - 2014): Law, Space and the City: A legal geography of urban change in post-socialist Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. University of Zurich.

Samanchina, Jarkyn (2010-2014): The influence of educational migration on the development of inter-state relations between Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. Bishkek Humanitarian University, Kyrgyzstan. (In collaboration with Prof. A. Elebaeva, Academy of Science, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Journal articles

(If you are interested in an article and do not have access to the journal, please feel free to contact me)

  • Graf, Samuel and Thieme, Susan (2016): "We look similar and have the same geographical origin": translocal encounters of second-generation Eritreans with a new generation of refugees from Eritrea, Geographica Helvetica (71): 331-340, doi:10.5194/gh-71-331-2016 -
  • Hatcher, C. & Thieme, S. (2016): Institutional Transition: Internal migration, the propiska, and post-socialist urban change in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Urban Studies 53(10): 2175-2191.
  • Babel, A.; Thieme, S. & Grabska, K. (2015): Negotiating one position: Switzerland at the Global Forum on Migration and Development. Development in Practice 25(6): 856-866.

  • Thieme, S.(2014): Multilokales Erwerbs- und Familienleben im postsozialistischen Kirgistan. Geographische Rundschau 64 (11): 40-45. 




  • the other silk road (2008), 28 min
  • Documentary labour migration in Kyrgyzstan. National Centre of Competence in Research North-South and Panos South Asia production. Research: Susan Thieme, Script: Susan Thieme and Xonzoi Barbora. Film: Kazu Ahmed, Ushma Bardoloi, Sushmita Kashyap. 
  • Downloadhere:

Working Papers and Reports

Policy Briefings

  • Thieme, S.; Bhattarai, A. and Gurung, G. (2014): Making Migration Safer. Research Evidence for Policy. NCCR North-South, Berne.
  • Thieme, S.; Elebaeva, A.; Bruce Z.; Samanchina, J. (2013): Studying Abroad: Encouraging Students to Return to Kyrgyzstan. Evidence for Policy No. 5, NCCR North-South: Kyrgyzstan.
  • Thieme, S. (2009): Where to return to? Rural Urban Interlinkages in Times of Internal and International Migration. In: Social Research Center, American University Central Asia (AUCA) (Ed.): Policy Briefs on Civil Society. Migration, Islam, and Corruption. AUCA, Bishkek: 108-113.

Book sections


BLOG, Newsletter

  • Landolt, S. and Thieme, S. (2014): Feministische Geo-Rundmail.
  • Thieme, S. (2013, May): Bans Will Not Stop Women from Migrating. Central Eurasian Scholar Media Initiative (CESMI),, “my take on …”.
  • Thieme, S. (2013): Banning Women from Migrating. Geographies of Care. Feministische Geo-Rundmail. No. 56.