Professor Monika Buscher



Monika Büscher is Professor of Sociology, Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research and Associate Director for the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University. She co-edits the book series Changing Mobilities.

Monika currently leads research on disaster mobilities and ethical, legal and social issues of IT innovation in the EU FP7 SecInCore project. In 2011 she received an honorary doctorate for her work in interdisciplinary participatory design and IT innovation at Roskilde University, Denmark.

Her theoretical orientation builds on phenomenology, pragmatism, ethnomethodology, workplace studies, science and technology studies, feminist theory, non-representational theory. Public sociology, participatory design, computer supported cooperative work, design studies and service design furnish epistemologies and methodologies for engagement with stakeholders.

The book series Changing Mobilities, which I edit together wih Peter Adey, invites contributions that address the empirical realities of changing mobilities and opportunities to inform design, policy and social change.

Please contact me at

Twitter @mbuscher

Selected Research projects

SecInCoRe (Secure Dynamic Cloud for Information, Communication and Resource Interoperability based on Pan-European Disaster Inventory)

The SecInCoRe project identifies data sets, processes, information systems and business models used by first responders and Police authorities to inform the development of a dynamic and secure cloud based ‘common information space’. The main goals of SecInCoRe are:

  • To develop a pan-European inventory of past critical events and disaster and their consequences focusing collaborative emergency operations and real-time decision making while taking ethics, law, social practices and privacy into account.
  • Understand ethical, legal and social issues and the regulatory environment, and the constraints and possibilities they imply for the use of pan European cloud based information management services.
  • Design of a secure, dynamic cloud based knowledge base and communication system concept including the ability to use emergency information by means of a trans-European communication infrastructure.

Bridge: Bridging resources and agencies in large-scale emergency management (2011-2015)

A collaborative design project funded by the EU Commission. We are co-designing a system to support interoperability (both technical and social) in large-scale emergency relief efforts with stakeholders. The system will be a bridge between multiple agencies: It will help to mediate the activities of the command and professional staff, which is where most of the strategic decision making must occur; it will also help to merge the systems and resources from different agencies into a cohesive whole and support collaboration with user generated 'crisis informatics'.

Citizens Transforming Society: Tools for Change (CaTalyST) (2011-2014)

This project will bring together a group of social scientists (sociology; anthropology), computer scientists (mobile computing; web2.0; distributed systems), management scientists (consumer behaviour) and designers (innovation) to develop next generation systems that empower citizens to create bottom-up innovative solutions to 'wicked' societal problems. It will promote cross-disciplinary working across Lancaster University (and beyond) between the School of Computing & Communications, Sociology, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster Environment Centre, and Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts.

New Interaction Order (2010-2011)

This pilot project studies the 'new' interaction order from different empirical and analytical perspectives. Drawing on sociology, ethnomethodology, criminology, geography, and design, we are carrying out studies of 'behaviour in public places' in Manchester.

Design for Flexibility and Change within Health Service Providers (DFC)

This project explores how medical practitioners can mobilize local and expert domain knowledge and dovetail it with new design and managerial skills to implement the Practice Based Commissioning (PBC) framework to shape NHS service provision. Designing new health and care service models and facilities requires creative, managerial and/or design skills and this 18 month research project is part of the EPSRC funded innovation centred called HACIRIC (Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre).

Innovative media for a digital economy

In this research cluster, we investigate digital economy practices that are emerging around the capabilities of social, mobile and pervasive technologies. We explore how we can develop new services, new forms of exchange and interaction that benefit the whole of the UK economy.

PalCom, Palpable Computing: A new perspective on Ambient Computing, FP6 IST Future and Emerging Technologies, 2004-7.

As computing technologies become an ever more 'invisible' and powerful part of our mobile lives, it is crucial that people are supported in understanding what these technologies are doing and what they could do for them.

WorkSPACE, Distributed Work Support through Component Based SPAtial Computing Environments, FP5 IST Future and Emerging Technologies, 2000-3.

Mobile workers often generate dynamic configurations of spaces, information, and people - within the office, but also beyond. These practices pose great challenges to the computer as-we-know-it today and open up a range of opportunities for innovative design. Spatial computing environments respond to these challenges. They exploit technical possibilities to support the social and spatial organization of work.

Selected Publications Show all 73 publications

Mobile methods
Buscher, M., Urry, J., Witchger, K. 2010 London : Routledge. 206 p. ISBN: 9780415492416.

Collective intelligence in crises
Buscher, M., Liegl, M., Thomas, V. 2014 In: Social collective intelligence. Springer p. 243-265. 23 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Privacy, security, liberty: ICT in crises
Buscher, M., Liegl, M., Perng, S. 2014 In: International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management. 6, 4, p. 76-92. 17 p.
Journal article

Peripheral response: Microblogging during the 22/7/2011 Norway attacks
Perng, S., Buscher, M., Halvorsrud, R., Wood, L., Stiso, M., Ramirez, L., Al-Akkad, A. 04/2012 In: Proceedings of the 9th International ISCRAM Conference – Vancouver, Canada, April 2012.. Academic Publishers 11 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)