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PhD Candidate

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Julien MIGOZZI is a PhD candidate and a member of CNRS Research Units Geographie-Cités (8504) and Pacte (5194).
He is currently finishing his doctoral thesis in Urban & Economic Geography under the supervision of Pr. Myriam HOUSSAY-HOLZSCHUCH (University Grenoble Alpes) and Pr. Renaud LE GOIX (University Paris Diderot)/

My research examines the impact of housing market dynamics on patterns of social stratification and neighborhood change in Cape Town, one of the Global South’s emerging cities. My dissertation explores the restructuring of the housing market in South Africa, with a focus on the role of mortgage finance and credit scoring techniques as a driver of social inequality. I investigate how the financialization of housing unfolds in the emerging city and how market forces contribute to the making of middle classes.

My study draws from 15 months of fieldwork in South Africa and a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. I sourced and created a database of 800,000 georeferenced property transactions, which covers the Cape Town metropolitan area over a 30-year period. Using fine-grained, longitudinal census-data from statistical offices, my goal was to track how market dynamics impact patterns of social and urban change. I held 70 interviews with expert-practitioner (originators, credit bureaus, real estate agents, property developers and banking representatives, as well as buyers and investors from all social and ethnic backgrounds). Fielwork also included participant observation at several public and private sector events and part-time work in one real estate agency located in Khayelitha, Cape Town’s largest township.


2017 — : Lecturer, Department of Geography, Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris),

2015-2017 : Visiting PhD student, African Centre for Cities & Department of Environmental & Geographical Science, University of Cape Town (UCT).

2014-2017: Research & Teaching Assistant, Department of Geography, University Grenoble Alpes.

2011 : Research Assistant at Victoria University of Wellington, Marsden Pacific Aid Research Group

  • Research program: "The Inverse Sovereignty Effect: The New Aid Agenda in Pacific Island States". Directors: John Overton et Warwick Murray. Institutions: Victoria University of Wellington et Massey University (Nouvelle-Zélande). Funding: Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
  • General focus: The impact of new aid modalities on the Pacific Islands’ sovereignty
  • Personal focus: research on French Pacific Territories (New Caledonia, French Polynesia).

2011 : Intern at the Research Institute for Development (IRD), Nouméa, New Caledonia. Research Topic: social housing & urban development.


2014 — , PhD Candidate at the University Grenoble Alpes.

2013: Agregation of Geography (Annual competitive exam for the accreditation of university teachers in France). Placed 1st nation-wide.

2012: M.A Geography, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. First class honours.

  • Supervisors: Myriam Houssay-Holzschuch (ENSL) & Warwick Murray (Victoria University of Wellington).
  • Topic: Spatial Justice in Postcolonial Noumea : the Tuband housing project

2010-2011 : Postgrade Student in Development Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

2009: M.A in Geography (first year), Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon. First class honours.

  • Supervisors : Myriam Houssay-Holzschuch (ENSL) & Jean-Pierre Augustin (University Bordeaux III)
  • Topic : Playing together but schooling apart ? School rugby and the reshaping of segregation patterns in Cape Town metropolitan area

2008-2014: École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENSL).


  • Undergraduate teaching:
    • Geography of globalization
    • GIS & spatial analysis
  • Postgraduate teaching:
    • Master in International Development Studies, Seminar "The Economy of Development: financialization, mainstream theories & alternative aproaches"
    • Lectures in Human Geography for the Master in Education
    • GIS, Cartography


2015 & 2016 : Research grant, French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) & Scientific Committee of the MInistry of Foreign Affairs.
2014-2017: Doctoral Fellowship, Ministry of Higher Education and Research & the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
2008 - 2012 : Graduate Fellowship for being admitted to the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. Funding: Ministry of Higher Education & Research.


Real estate market, mortgage market, credit scoring, financialization, housing

Middle classes, social stratification, segregation, inequalities

South Africa, Global South, Emerging cities

Urban and Economic geography

Spatial Analysis, Multivariate Statistics, Cartography (on R & QGIS).

Aid and politics of Development



Migozzi J. & Shaban A., "Urban national parks and housing markets in emerging cities:places of exclusiveness, places of opportunities", in Landy F. (ed.), Whose Naturbanity? Urban National Parks in emerging cities, Springer: New Delhi. Forthcoming.

Prinsen G., Lafoy Y. & Migozzi J., 2017, "Showcasing the sovereignty of non-self-governing islands: New Caledonia", Asia Pacific Viewpoint

Migozzi, 2012, "Le quartier Tuband", in Bonvallot J., Gay J.-Ch. et Habert E. (coord.), 2012, Atlas de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, Marseille-Nouméa, IRD-Congrès de la Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Migozzi, 2012, "L’école des Springboks : le rugby scolaire au Cap entre ségrégation et déségrégation", Mappemonde, n°108, vol. 4.

Migozzi, 2010, "Le rugby en Afrique du Sud face au défi de transformation : jeu de pouvoir, outil de développement et force symbolique" », Les Cahiers d’Outre Mer, n° 250, p. 253-274.


Migozzi, 2017, "The financialization of the housing market and the remaking of the South African class structure", Seminaire REFCOM, Leuven, 20-22 Septembre.

Migozzi, 2017, "The financialization of the housing market: the making of the SOuth African middle classes", RC21, Leeds 11-13 Septembre, session "Reconstructing the the real estate-finance link: Housing financialization after the crisis"

Migozzi, 2017, "The filtering mechanisms of the property market and the remaking of the South African class structure", IFAS Research, Conférence Experimenting the city/Experiencing the city, May 18th, 2018, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Migozzi, 2016. "Property market and social change in Cape Town: mapping and conceptualising the urban middle class in South Africa", AAG, Session "Middle-class cities in the Global South", March 29 – April 2, 2016, San Francisco

Migozzi, 2015, "Keep your eyes on the price: investigating the daily dynamics of property market in Cape Town to understand patterns of social change in South Africa", French Institute Seminars in Humanities, Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud, Johannesburg, 22nd of June 2015

Migozzi, 2012, "Playing together but schooling apart: South African school rugby reshaping patterns of segregation and stigmatization in post-apartheid Cape Town". Session Place and Stigma: Coping, resistance and belonging(s) organised by Paul Kirkness. AAG Annual Meeting, New York, 24-28 février 2012.

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Updated on : 20 February 2018


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