Andrea Stickler
Andrea Stickler is a doctoral researcher at the Centre of Sociology at the Department of Spatial Planning at the Vienna University of Technology. She holds a Master degree in Sociology and Spatial Planning. Her main research interests are the governance of mobility and mobility justice. In her Ph.D. thesis, she addresses the intentions and values lying behind transport policies at European level and is analysing how mobility regimes are discursively constituted.

Description of the Thesis
In the Ph.D. thesis, an analysis of political imaginaries of future mobility regimes at European level is combined with broader political-economic considerations. It is argued, that mobility is entangled in power and meaning, and is discursively constituted. Transport policy conveys ideological development and it is investigated how scientific knowledge, economic interests, political funding strategies, governmental regulations, and different ideologies interact and shape or frame transport policies. The support and funding of new “green” transport technologies is a high priority in the European research and innovation policy. With the special focus on the deployment strategies of automated cars, the collective order of knowledge that underlies those political discourses is analysed. This contributes to a critical reflection on the normative power of political imaginaries, that are instrumentalized through different policy documents.

The methodological approach is critical discourse analysis. As the analysis, should not be constrained to the study of only linguistic discourses in transport policy, also the actions in the name of these visions and their material manifestations in everyday life are considered. Embedding those discourses and developments in the whole power relations of the system of automobility, the question of how automobility is able to keep its dominant position in our society although faced with challenges like peak oil and ecological concerns, some policies fostering alternative modes of mobility and the contested occupation of the city space by cars is discussed. Finally, it shall be examined how the political imaginaries of future mobility regimes could stabilize or transform the whole system of automobility.