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Dr Igor Calzada

Dr Igor Calzada

Research Fellow, WISERD

sbarc|spark, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am Research Fellow at WISERD at Cardiff University School of Social Sciences leading the WP New Emerging Citizenship Regimes as well as Wales & Basque Country Cooperation programme.

In addition, I am Senior Research Affiliate at the University of Oxford, Future of Cities Programmes and Urban Transformations ESRC at COMPAS, where I joined in 2012 and led various research projects funded by H2020, Marie Curie, RSA, and Ikerbasque. From 2019 to 2021, I have served as Senior Scientist for the Joint Research Centre (JRC), Digital Economy Unit and Centre for Advanced Studies at the European Commission. I currently serve as Honorary Senior Advisor for UN-Habitat Programme and the Basque Government, External Affairs, and I am Guest Invited Senior Lecturer at the University of Oxford, Social Science and Humanities, Mondragon University (Global Digital Humanities) and the University of the Basque Country (Postgraduate in Diaspore).

Over the last 20 years, I have been working as Senior Lecturer and Researcher in several international HEI (Strathclyde, Aston, Nevada, Vrije, Ikerbasque, and Mondragon Universities) and institutions as follows:

  • 2022-2023: Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence (SIR), US-UK Fulbright Commission (US)
  • 2021<: Cardiff University (UK)
  • 2019-2021: UN-Habitat, People Centered Smart Cities (US)
  • 2019-2021: Joint Research Centre, European Commission (Italy)
  • 2012-2021: University of Oxford (UK)
  • 2015-2019: University of Strathclyde (UK)
  • 2016-2018: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)
  • 2014-2015: Aston University (UK)
  • 2008-2009: University of Nevada (US)
  • 2012-2014: Ikerbasque (Spain/UK)
  • 2002-2012: University of Mondragon (Spain)

Outside academia, I worked as director in the private sector, i.e. Mondragon Co-operative Corporation and in the public sector, i.e. Basque Regional Government.


Career Overview

Professional/Institutional Appointments

  • 2008-2010: Director of Innovation, Ministry of Culture, Basque regional government
  • 2002-2012: Project Director of Social Innovation, Mondragon Cooperative Corporation

PhD Dissertation (2011)


  • 2011: PhD (Cum Laude) in Social Innovation, University of Mondragon (Spain) and University of Nevada, Reno (USA)
  • 2006: Research Proficiency Certificate, University of Deusto (Spain)
  • 2000: MBA, Master in Business Administration, University of Deusto (Spain)
  • 1997: BSc (First Class Honours) in Sociology and Political Science, University of Deusto (Spain)

Research/Policy Interest

His research draws on urban, digital, and political transformations affecting citizenship from the critical/radical social innovation perspective. His most recent book Smart City Citizenship (Elsevier, 2021) focuses on the present and future techno-political post-COVID-19 challenges of citizenship in AI and data-driven global people-centred smart city-regions by paying particular attention to platform and data co-operatives. Broadly, his main research interest revolves around how digital transformation processes driven by AI disruptions are altering techno-political and democratic conditions of data governance models for the emergence of new algorithmic citizenship regimes in (smart) cities and regions in Wales, the UK, and Europe.

Research Projects

(i) New Emerging Citizenship Regimes: Pandemic (COVID-driven), Algorithmic (blockchain-driven), Liquid (digital rights-driven), Metropolitan (Foundational Economy-driven), and Stateless (devolution/Radical Federalism-driven), by conducting case studies respectively in Tallinn, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Cardiff, Glasgow, and Bilbao.

(ii) Benchmarking City-Regions: Basque Country, Scotland, Catalonia, Iceland, Liverpool/Manchester, Portland, Dublin, and Oresund; forthcoming monograph via Routledge, Regions and Cities Series.

(iii) Platform/Data Co-operatives and Digital Rights: By engaging with local and regional stakeholders through establishing a digital standpoint based on the foundational economy to better influence digital strategy and policy in Wales onwards.

Honours and awards

Fellowships and Grants

  • 2017: RSA Fellow (FeRSA)
  • 2016-2021: EU-H2020 Replicate project grant.
  • 2016: Visiting Fellowship by Vrije Universiteit Brussel, VuB.
  • 2015-2017: EU-Marie Curie Cofund- Regional Programmes.
  • 2016-2018: Core member of the Smart City-Regional Governance for Sustainability RSA Research Network.
  • 2015: Early Career Grant by the RSA.
  • 2012-2014: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship by Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science.
  • 2008-2010: Doctoral award by Caja Madrid Foundation.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Regional Studies Association (FeRSA)
  • Member of Eusko Ikaskuntza/Basque Studies Society

Speaking engagements

Since 2020:

Committees and reviewing

Advisory Boards

  • 2021< Urban Planning (Cogitatio Press)
  • 2020< Frontier in Political Science, Politics of Technology (Frontiers).
  • 2020< Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy (Emerald).
  • 2018< Smart Cities (MDPI).
  • 2018< Applied Sciences (Nature Springer).
  • 2017< Territories: A Transcultural Journal of Regional Studies (eScholarship).

Journal Reviewer

Urban Studies; Regional Studies; International Journal of Urban and Regional Research; Urban Geography; Technological Forecasting and Social Change; Tranforming Government: People, Process and Policy; Sustainability; New Media & Society; Urban Research and Practice; Territory, Politics, Governance; Informatics; Annals of the American Association of Geographers; Public Management Review; Applied Sciences; Area; Cambridge Review of International Affairs; Data; Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance; Emerald Open Research; Energies; Ethnicities; Information & Culture: A Journal of History; Information, Communication & Society; International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making; Journal of Contemporary European Studies; Journal of Planning Literature; Journal of Tourismology; Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability; Media and Communication; Nations and Nationalism; Sensors; Smart Cities; The Annals of Regional Science.



















  • Echeberria, M. A., Calzada, I. and Larruskain, O. 2002. El trabajo como valor: los valores en CAPV – Navarra y en la UE. In: Elzo, J. ed. Los valores de los vascos y navarros ante el nuevo milenio: tercera ampliación de la encuesta europea de valores [1990, 1995, 1999]., Vol. 21. Serie ciencias sociales Bilbao: Universidad de Deusto, pp. 121-176.


  • 2022<: Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of the Basque Country, MSc in Sovereignty (Spain)
  • 2021<: Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of the Basque Country, MSc in Diaspore (Spain)
  • 2021<: Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Mondragon, BSc in Global Digital Humanities (Spain)
  • 2017<: Honorary Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences & Humanities, University of Oxford (UK)
  • 2015-2019: Lecturer in MSc in Global Sustainable Cities, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow (Scotland, UK)
  • 2014-2015: Lecturer in Sociology and Policy, Aston University in Birmingham (England, UK)
  • 2002-2012: Senior Lecturer and Researcher. Mondragon University (Spain)

Part of ESRC Large Centre Grant:

ES/S012435/1 ‘WISERD Civil Society:  Changing perspectives on Civic Stratification and Civil Repair’

Project Title: New Emerging Citizenship Regimes (NECRs)

Context of this Research Project:

COVID-19 has hit European citizens dramatically, not only creating a general risk-driven environment encompassing a wide array of economic vulnerabilities but also exposing them to pervasive digital risks, such as biosurveillance, misinformation, and e-democracy algorithmic threats. Over the course of the pandemic, a debate has emerged about the appropriate techno-political response when governments use disease surveillance technologies to tackle the spread of COVID-19, pointing out the dichotomy between state-Leviathan cybercontrol and civil liberties, and further requesting debates in certain city-regional cases. Moreover, the giant technological flagship firms of surveillance capitalism, such as Google and Facebook, have already assumed many functions previously associated with the nation-state, from cartography to the disease surveillance of citizens, which is creating a wide range of emerging citizenship regimes that overlap among them.

Aims of this Research Project:

In order to shed light on these debates, this research project introduces a novel theoretical framework called (i) pandemic citizenship to better understand extreme circumstances in which citizens are surviving (Calzada, 2021). Particularly, this research project examines certain city-regions to elucidate how European pandemic citizenship pattern may be unwittingly exacerbating a unique set of interrelated emerging citizenship regimes including: (ii) algorithmic citizenship driven by blockchain and characterised by e-residence framework in Tallinn (Bridle, 2016; Tammpuu and Masso, 2018); (iii) liquid citizenship driven by dataism (the ideology of the Big Data’s determinism) and contested through digital rights in Barcelona and Amsterdam (Bauman, 2000; Morozov, 2014); (iv) metropolitan citizenship caused by Brexit and reshuffled through Radical Federalism/Foundational Economy in Cardiff (Barbera and Rees Jones, 2020); and (v) stateless citizenship driven by devolution and reinvigorated by data sovereignty in Barcelona, Glasgow, and Bilbao (Keating, 2020).

Research Questions:

  • Pandemic Citizenship: The Post-COVID-19 era, on the one hand, has dramatically slowed down several mundane routines for citizens such as mobility patterns while on the other hand, have exponentially emerged new demanding professional pressures, emotional fears, life uncertainties, algorithmic exposure, data privacy concerns, health-related direct risks, and socio-economic vulnerabilities depending eminently on the material and living conditions (foundational economy) shared by a wide range of citizens regardless of their specific geolocalisation in Europe. How pandemic citizenship is affecting the civic stratification and how resilient responses to gain civil repair through platform and data co-operatives are being shaped in several places in Europe?
  • Algorithmic Citizenship: What are the implications on civic stratification in terms of shared sovereignty through an algorithmic citizenship status that may inclusively overlap identities (beyond nationalities)?
  • Liquid Citizenship: What are the implications on civic stratification in terms of the uneven interaction between AI devices and citizens?
  • Metropolitan Citizenship: What are the implications on civic stratification in terms of the increase populism among non-metropolitan citizens embodied by a deep crisis of liberal democracies (i.e. Brexit, austerity,…)
  • Stateless Citizenship: What are the implications on civic stratification in terms of feasible devolution/secessionism in Europe?



I am currently supervising at CU one MA students and undertaking research supervision of four researchers at postdoc, postgraduate, and research fellow level in different topics around social sciences: Diplomacy, Smart Cities, Digital Citizenship, and Data Science.