Professor Monika Buscher



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

Monika currently leads research on decarbonising transport, disaster mobilities and ethical, legal and social issues of IT innovation in a range of different projects.

Most recent publications

Chen, L, Buscher, M & Hu, Y 2019, On Liquid Ground: Contesting facts and responsibilities on Weibo during the Shouguang Flood. in Z. Franco, J.J. González & J.H. Canós (eds), Proceedings of the 16th ISCRAM Conference . ISCRAM 2019, ISCRAM, pp. 288-297.

Büscher, M., Escalante, L.M, Alter, H., Easton, C., Kerasidou, X. (2018) isITethical? Responsible Research and Innovation for Disaster Risk Management. In Boersma, K. and Tomaszewski, B. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 17thISCRAM Conference, Rochester, NY, USA, May 2018, pp 254-267.

Rizza, C., Büscher M., and Watson, H. (Eds.) (2017) Special Issue on Working with Data: Ethical Legal and Social Considerations Surrounding the Use of Crisis Data and Information Sharing During a Crisis. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, (6 papers, 90-100 pages). Including introductory article Rizza, C., Büscher M., and Watson, H. Working with Data: Ethical Legal and Social Considerations Surrounding the Use of Crisis Data and Information Sharing During a Crisis. Journal of Contingencies & Crisis Management, 25(1):2-6.

Taylor, D.; Büscher, M.; Murray, L.; Speed, C. and Zamenopoulos, T. (2016) Rules of Thumb: An Experiment in Contextual Transposition. Proceedings of the Design Research Society Conference 2016 50th Anniversary Conference, 27-30th June 2016, Brighton.

Büscher M., Sheller, M. and Tyfield, D. (Eds.) (2016) Special Issue. Mobility Intersections: Social Research, Social Futures (12 papers, 90,000+ works). Including introductory article Büscher, M., Sheller, M., & Tyfield, D. (2016). Mobility intersections: social research, social futures. Mobilities, 11(4), 485–497.

Petersen, K., and Büscher, M. (2016). Mobile work in crisis. Applied Mobilities, 1(2), 176–192.

Collaborations with international groups


Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre

European Commission, Joint Research Centre, E.1 - Disaster Risk Management Unit

Public Safety Communications Europe (PSCE)

Federation of European Firefighters (FEU)

Cosmobilities Network


Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia

Digital Ethnography Research Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne

The Australian National University, School of Sociology


University of Salzburg, Sociology, Graduate School ‘On the Move’


Universidade de São Paulo, School of Sociology, School of Architecture


Centre for Mobilities and Urban Design (CMUS), Aalborg University

Roskilde University,

The Alexandra Institute, Aarhus, Denmark


Airbus Defense and Space


Paderborn University, Germany, Faculty for Engineering

Technical University Dortmund, Germany, Communication Networks Institute

Siegen University, Media Studies, Science and Technology Studies, DFG-Graduate School ‘Locating Media’,

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, St Augustin, Bonn, Germany

Nuertingen-Geislingen University, Sustainable Mobilities Programme, Geography

TÜV SÜD, one of the world's leading technical service organisations


KEMEA – think tank for the Greek Ministry of Public Order and Citizen


United States International University,Information Communications Technology


Human Geography, University of Oslo


Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Sociology

Krakow University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture


Transilvania University of Brasov

South Africa

University of Pretoria, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment & Information Technology


Uppsala University, Department of Economic History

University of Halmstad, School of Health and Welfare


CloudSigma AG ( - developers of cloud computing services, Zurich (SME)

Lausanne University, Geography Department,

IRS (Institut de recherches sociologiques) University of Geneva


The international Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility

Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, Drexel University

Colorado University, Boulder Grand Challenges Earth Lab


University of Zambia, Geography

Academic collaboration ‘positions’: Books, ... editorial boards

Honorary Doctorate Roskilde University, Denmark

Member of journal editorial boards:


Applied Mobilities

Computer Supported Cooperative Work

Frontiers: Disaster Communications

Conference Chair

International Crisis Response and Management Conference (ISCRAM) – 22-25 May 2015, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway (Programme Chair)

Mobile Utopia: Pasts, Presents, Futures - 2-5 November 2017, Lancaster University, UK (Conference and Programme Chair)

Member of international advisory board for:

Graduate School ‘On the Move’, University of Salzburg

Smart Mobility Suburbsproject, Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway

EMERGENT EU FP7 Project Emergency Management in the Social Media Generation

Smart Society

Examples of plenary or keynotes outside of UK

‘Right now you can’t get relational’: A Mobile Utopia of Radically Reflexive Resilience - Mobile Cultures of Disaster Conference, 22 March - 24 March 2017, City West Campus, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Infrastructuring for Mobile Utopia - Living Infrastructures: Beyond Global North and Global South, Volgograd State University, Russia, April 27-28 2017.

Infrastructuring Cosmopolitan Mobile Utopia - Seventh International Conference on The Constructed Environment, 25-26 May 2017, Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology, held at the International Cultural Centre, Krakow, Poland

Immaterial Immobilities and the Infrastructuring of Mobile Utopia – Material Mobilities C-MUS conference 2016 November 29th-30th 2016, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark

Further Information

Monika's 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

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)

Infrastructuring Cosmopolitan Mobile Utopia
Invited talk

the 17th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management
Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

IsITethical? Participatory Ethics in Crises
Invited talk

Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Realising Data Together Workshops
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Ethics Through Design
Invited talk

European Conference on Networks and Communications
Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Is-IT-ethical? Responsible Research and Innovation for Disaster Risk Management
Invited talk

Industry Collaboration

SODA Co-designing Data Together
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

IsITethical? Serious Play with datafication as ethical impact assessment
Invited talk

MPC Data Utopia/Dystopia: Medical data mobilities through multiparty computing
Invited talk

Is IT Ethical? Mobile Work, Mobile Data, Mobile Methods in Crises
Invited talk

ELSI Guidance for Networked Disaster Risk Management
Invited talk

Infrastructuring for Mobile Utopia
Invited talk

Mobile Work - Mobile Methods
Invited talk

‘Right now you can’t get relational’: A Mobile Utopia of Radically Reflexive Resilience
Invited talk

Public Safety Communications
Business Engagement

Information Infrastructuring in Crises
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Collective Intelligence in Crises
Invited talk

Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Material Mobilities
Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

1851-2051 Mobile Utopia
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Mobilizing the Urban Model
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Collective Intelligence in Crises
Invited talk

Futures of the End of Life
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Public Safety Communication Europe (PSCE) Conference
Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Federation of the European Union Fire Officer Associations Meeting
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

European Security Research The Next Wave
Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Mobility Intersections
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Mobile Situations | Situated Media
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Health|Disaster Mobilities Workshop
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

23rd Nordic Symposium of Tourism Research
Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Ringvorlesung: You'll Never Walk Alone
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Locating Mobile Media: Making Cooperation Work
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

SecInCore Kick-Off
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Mobilities & Design
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Making Data | Mobilizing Data
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Code in the City
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

The Organisation of Emergency: Between emergency plan, violation of rules and security facades
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Mobilizing Emergency/Disaster Response Workshop
Types of Business and Community - Hosting of external, non-academic visitor

Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Materialities, Visualities, Securities
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Centre for Mobilities Research Day
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Mobilizing Communications and Networked Reinvention: Persons, Cities, Social Worlds
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

9th International Conference on Crisis Response and Management
Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

New Interaction Orders, New Mobile Publics?
Participation in conference -Mixed Audience

Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Honorary Doctorate
Honorary degree

  • CeMoRe - Centre for Mobilities Research
  • Centre for Alternatives to Social and Economic Inequalities
  • Centre for Science Studies
  • Evaluation
  • Imagination Lancaster
  • Institute for Social Futures Fellow
  • Mobilities.Lab
  • Security Lancaster
  • Security Lancaster (Law,Policy,Ethics)
  • Security Lancaster (Sociology)