AbdouMaliq Simone

Senior Professorial Fellow

About AbdouMaliq

AbdouMaliq Simone is an urbanist with an abiding interest in the spatial and social compositions of urban regions.

He is a research associate at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, visiting professor of sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, visiting professor at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, research associate with the Rujak Center for Urban Studies in Jakarta, and research fellow at the University of Tarumanagara.

He brings to the Urban Institute a long background working in urban areas of Africa, South and Southeast Asia, with a particular interest in the everyday lives of Muslim working class residents.

Research interests

For three decades, AbdouMaliq  has worked with practices of social interchange, technical arrangements, local economy, and the constitution of power relations that affect how heterogeneous cities are lived.  He has worked on remaking municipal systems, training local government personnel, designing collaborative partnerships among technicians, residents, artists, and politicians.

The focus of these efforts has to been to build viable institutions capable of engaging with the complexities of life across the so-called “majority world.” His work deals with a multiplicity of propositions and capacities for relationships that remain untapped in popular districts across urban Asia and Africa, even though they are deployed everyday under the rubric of “popular economies.”

His present research examine unconventional processes of urbanization across extended urban regions in South and Southeast Asia, exploring particularly the kinds of analytical and governance frameworks necessary to address the disparate conjunctions of landscapes, aspirations, and economies prevalent in these regions. He also explores the effects of globalized generic blackness as an organizing instrument of urban life and the kinds of political instruments that are entailed in circumventing racialized control systems.


In Whose Image: Political Islam and Urban Practices in Sudan, University of Chicago Press, 1994

For the City Yet to Come: Urban Change in Four African Cities, Duke University Press, 2004

City Life from Jakarta to Dakar: Movements at the Crossroads, Routledge, 2009; Jakarta

Drawing the City Near; University of Minnesota Press, 2014

New Urban Worlds: Inhabiting Dissonant Times, Polity 2017 (with Edgar Pieterse)

Improvised Lives: Rhythms of Endurance in an Urban South, Polity 2018.

Comprehensive publications list available here.