Dr Fabian Frenzel

Associate Professor in Organisation Studies

Contact details

Personal details

I joined the School of Management (now ULSB) in February 2012. Between 2012-2014 I was seconded to the University of Potsdam, Germany, on a two-year Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship.

I am currently Co-Head of ULSB's Management and Organization division and ULSB’s Director of Impact.

Previously, I was a lecturer at Bristol Business School, University of the West of England (UWE), where I taught on the tourism and enterprise undergraduate programmes and on the MBA.

I am also a Senior Research Associate of the University of Johannesburg and a Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Technology and Society at the Technical University Berlin.


I have teaching experience across undergraduate, postgraduate, MBA and PhD programmes with a focus on political economy, organizational sociology, and qualitative research  methods, as well as enterprise studies, tourism and events.

I have recently developed a module on the Political Economy of Brexit, and currently teach on Business, Management and Economy in core Undergraduate provision. As previous director of ULSB’s flagship Business and Management Studies BA, I took part in the transformation of the programme.

Administrative responsibilities

Director of Impact for the School of Business, coordinating the School’s Impact REF return and conducting Impact support activities.


My research interests converge at the intersections of mobility, organisation and politics. In this context I consider the role of transnational mobilities, from activists to tourists, in the formation of a global social question with a focus on the way slums are becoming destinations of a range of better-off travellers, in solidarity and volunteer travel and in slum tourism. This is also the topic of my book 'Slumming It‘ (Zed Books 2016).

In a recent project, Lockdown Stories, I have collaborated with community tourism providers and local heritage projects in favelas in Rio de Janeiro to respond to a significant drop in numbers of tourists visiting their projects since Covid-19. Lockdown Stories (hyperlink: http://lockdownstories.travel) has resulted in a virtual tourism platform, helping to move some of their tourism provision online.   The project was funded by Research England Global Challenges Research Fund.

The project will be expanded via my new AHRC Research Network Grant with a focus of Local Heritage and Sustainability: promote reflection and sharing within and across communities with partners in Brazil, Mozambique and Malaysia.

In 2012 I received a Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the EU for a two-year research project on slum tourism, conducted at the University of Potsdam, Germany. Prior to this I won an early career grant from the University of the West of England to study tourism in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and to initiate the foundation of a slum tourism research network. I co-organised the first conference in this field of research in December 2010 at UWE. This led to the publication of a special issue on slum tourism in the journal tourism geographies and a book I edited on the same topic. In May 2014 I hosted the second slum tourism network conference in Potsdam and I am co-editor of two special issues emerging from the conference publications.

In my second empirical research field I study the ways in which social movements organise themselves in response to place and space with a particular interest in the organisational form of the protest camp. Since 2018 I have benefitted from a University of Leicester Research Development Fund for research on the role of protest camps at the G-20 in Hamburg, which has led to a number of publications. I collaborated with the research network ‘Mapping G20’ (hyperlink: https://g20.protestinstitut.eu/) which published a widely shared report on the G20 events.

In 2013 I published a book on protest camps as an organisational form (with Zed books) in collaboration with Anna Feigenbaum (Bournemouth University) and Patrick McCurdy (Ottawa University). I have taken part in the foundation of the protest camp research network. In the framework of the network, I have recently co-edited the book ‘Protest Camps in International Perspective’ (Policy Press). I am also one of the founders of the protest camp research collective.

Theoretically my work converges around the concept of valorisation, and in particular diverse voluntary practices that contribute to the valorisation of places and ideas. Bridging my empirical interests, the concept of valorisation also informs my research of urban regeneration, with a focus on work in Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro and Bristol, UK.

I have worked widely in the area of international development with a number of publications and supported by grants, including in 2019-2020 British Academy Grant Writing and Publishing Workshop Funding (£30,000) for two workshops with early career researchers in Vietnam. I have previously worked in an ESRC research project on Alternative Media Organisation in the 'Global South' (RES-155-25-0029).

Earlier work includes the foundation in 2003 of a research think tank Institute of Nomadology (InNo) in Berlin.


I’d be interested in supervising PhDs that aim to:

  • Critically study mobilities and tourism
  • Study political mobilities (i.e. activist travel), volunteer tourism, slum tourism and poverty as a tourist attraction
  • Research protest camps, both in contemporary and historical perspective
  • Reflect on the role of leisure in the formation of political identities
  • Interrogate the politics of compassion and the social question


Journal articles

Frenzel, F. and Frisch, T. (2020) Digitally enhanced tourist value practices and the geographies of inequality. Tourism Geographies, (forthcoming)

Dallyn, S. and Frenzel, F. (2020) The Challenge of Building a Scalable Postcapitalist Commons: The Limits of FairCoin as a Commons-Based Cryptocurrency. Antipode: A Radical Journal Of Geography (forthcoming)

Frenzel, F. (2020) The role of spatial organization in Resurrection City and other protest camps. Contention: The Multidiziplinary Journal of Social Protest Contention, 8 (1), pp.28–48.

Frenzel, F., Case, P., Kumar, A., & Sedgewick, M. (2018). Managing International Development: (Re)positioning Critiques. Ephemera : Theory and Politics in Organization

Frenzel, F. (2017). Tourist agency as valorisation: Making Dharavi into a tourist attraction. Annals of Tourism Research, 66, 159–169.

Frenzel, F. (2017). On the Question of Using the Concept ‘Slum Tourism’ for Urban Tourism in Stigmatised Neighbourhoods in Inner City Johannesburg. Urban Forum.

Frenzel, F., & Blakeman, S. (2015). Making Slums Into Attractions: The Role of Tour Guiding in the Slum Tourism Development in Kibera and Dharavi. Tourism Review International, 19(1-2), 87–100.

McCurdy, P., Feigenbaum, A., & Frenzel, F. (2015). Protest Camps and Repertoires of Contention. Social Movement Studies

Frenzel, F., Koens, K., Steinbrink, M., & Rogerson, C. M. (2015). Slum Tourism State of the Art. Tourism Review International, 18(2), 237–252.

Frenzel, F., 2014. Exit the System? Anarchist Organisation in the British Climate Camps. ephemera, 14(4), p.901-921.

Frenzel, F., 2014. Slum Tourism and Urban Regeneration: Touring Inner Johannesburg. Urban Forum, pp.1–17.

Frenzel, F. & Beverungen, A., 2014. Value struggles in the creative city: A People’s Republic of Stokes Croft? Urban Studies.

Frenzel, F., Feigenbaum, A and Mc Curdy, P. (2014) A research framework for the study of protest camps. The Sociological Review 62(3), pp 457-474.

Frenzel, F., (2013). Slum tourism in the context of the tourism and poverty (relief) debate. DIE ERDE – Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin, 144(2), pp.117–128.

Burgold, J., Frenzel, F. & Rolfes, M., (2013). Editorial: Observations on slums and their touristification. DIE ERDE – Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin, 144(2), pp.99–104.

Feigenbaum, A., McCurdy, P. & Frenzel, F., (2013). Towards a Method for studying Affect in (micro)Politics: The Campfire Chats Project and the Occupy Movement. Parallax, 19(2), pp.21–37.

Frenzel, F., (2012). Beyond “Othering”: the political roots of slum tourism. In F. Frenzel, K. Koens, & M. Steinbrink, eds. Slum Tourism Poverty, Power and Ethics. London: Routledge, pp. 49–65.

Frenzel, F and Koens, K (2012) Slum Tourism: developments in a young field of interdisciplinary tourism research Tourism Geographies 14 (2) p forthcoming.

Frenzel F, Boehm S, Quinton P, Sullivan S, Spicer A, Young Z  (2011) Comparing Alternative Media in North and South, Environment and Planning A  35(4) P. 1173-1189.

Frenzel, F. (2010) Researching Political Tourists: A Case Study Approach in Methodology: Innovative approaches to research, Vol 1, Issue 1, 24-27.

Brown, G., Feigenbaum, A., Frenzel, F., & McCurdy, P. (Eds.). (2017). Protest camps in international context - Spaces, infrastructures and media of resistance. Bristol: Policy Press.

Frenzel, F., (2016) Slumming it: The Tourist Valorisation of Urban Poverty, Zed Books: London.

Frenzel and Koens (eds.) (2014) Geographies of Inequality. The New Global Slumming Phenomenon. Oxon, Routledge.

Feigenbaum, A, Frenzel F and McCurdy P (2013) Protest Camps The Political and Organisational Form of Protest Camps. Zed Books.

Frenzel F, Koens K, Steinbrinck, M (eds.) (2012) Poverty, Power and Ethics in Global Slum-Tourism, Abington, Oxon, Routledge.

Frenzel, F. (2010) Politics in Motion, PhD Thesis, Leeds Metropolitan University Library.

Book chapters

Frenzel, F. (2020) How Slumming Made the Slum. In: A. Mayne (ed) The Oxford Handbook on the History of Slums. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Frenzel, F. (2020) Poverty, Class, and Tourism: From Seeing Poverty to Modern Philanthropy, Social Policy and Anti-Poverty Activism. In: K. James & E. Zuelow (eds) Oxford Handbook of Tourism History. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Frenzel, F. (2019) Touring Poverty in Townships, Inner-City, and Rural South Africa. In: J. M. Rogerson & G. Visser (eds) New Directions in South African Tourism Geographies. London, Springer Nature.

Frenzel, F. (2019) Tourist Valorisation and Urban Development. In: T. Frisch, C. Sommer, L. Stoltenberg, & N. Stors (eds) Tourism and Everyday in the Contemporary City. Routledge Studies in Urbanism and the City. London, Routledge, pp.63–83.

Frenzel, F. (2019) Slum Tourism. In: A. Orum (ed.) The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies. London, John Wiley & Sons.

Feigenbaum, A and F. Frenzel (2017) Austerity and the Post-Capitalist Politics of Protest Camps: experiments in autonomy at Occupy London. In Pete Bennett and Julian McDougall (eds) Popular Culture and the Austerity Myth: Hard Times Today Routledge: London.

Rollmann, N. and F Frenzel (2017) Between Protest Camp and Tent City: The Free Cuvry Protest Camp in Berlin Kreuzberg. In Brown G, Feigenbaum A, Frenzel F, McCurdy P (eds.) Protest camps in international context - Spaces, infrastructures and media of resistance, Policy Press: Bristol.

Frenzel, F., Mc Curdy, P, Feigenbaum, A. (2016) Place, Protest & Communication: Protest Camps and the Mediatization of Space. In Rovisco, Maria and Jonathan Ong (eds) Taking the Square: new protest movements, the media, and the struggle for democracy 'from below’ Rowan and Littlefield, London.

Feigenbaum A Frenzel F McCurdy P (2016) Protest Camps. In Slater, M B (ed) Making Things International, Minnesota University Press.

Frenzel F. (2014). Slum Tourism and its controversies from a management perspective. In M. Gudic, A. Rosenbloom, & C. Parkes (Eds.), Socially Responsive Organizations and the Challenge of Poverty (pp. 123–135). Leeds, UK: Greenleaf.

Frenzel, F. (2013) Regimes of Camp and Camping. The political mobility of activist encampments in Vogl, G. et al. (eds.) New Mobilities Regimes. The Analytical Power of the Social Science and the Arts, Farnham, Ashgate, pp. 225-237.

Frenzel F (2012) Beyond ‘Othering’ The Political Roots Of Slum-Tourism in Frenzel et al (eds) Poverty, Power and Ethics in Global Slum-Tourism Oxon, Routledge, p. (forthcoming).

Frenzel, F. (2011) Entlegene Orte in der Mitte der Gesellschaft? Die britischen Klimacamps seit 2006 [in German] in Brunnengraeber, A. (ed.) Das internationale Klimaregime, Wiesbaden, VS Research Verlag (2011).

Frenzel, F. and  Sullivan, S. (2009) Globalization from below? ICTs and Democratic Development in the Project ‘Indymedia Africa’. In Mudhai, Fred et al. eds. African Media and the Digital Public Sphere. New York and London, Palgrave Macmillian.

Unreviewed publications
Frenzel, F. (2010) Book Review: Tourism and Mobilities Local-Global Connections, Leisure Studies Association Newsletter 69-72.

Frenzel, F. (2005) Book Review: Tourism Mobilities Places to Play, Places in Play. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, 3 (2), pp.136-138.


Share this page:

Contact Details

School of Business
University of Leicester
University Road



AccessAble logo

The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has detailed accessibility guides for the Astley Clarke Building and the Ken Edwards Building.