The Phenomenology of Automobility Violence

Activity: Consultancy typesConsultancy and expert advice


Given my work relating to Buddhism, on the one hand, and trauma, on the other, I was invited to be a consultant for a research project, led by Robert Braun at the Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna, titled The Phenomenology of Automobility Violence, funded by the Austrian Science Fund. My specific role was in advising on how Buddhism might contribute to a re-imagining of social space and movement. The larger research project aims to challenge the dominant systems-theory based approach of automobility and road accident causation models and applies ethnomethodology combined with action research. The central research question is ‘What are the constitutive elements of a phenomenologically informed understanding of road accidents in urban environs?’ The research approaches accidents as the result of non-systemic and non-linear patterns within the spatio-political automobility order which are habituated in and by the imaginary of automobility. The objective is to provide a comparative, participatory, social science grounded, alternative account of road accidents anchored in comparative cross-national political-cultural experimentation and offer an evidence base for a (post-phenomenologically informed) critical automobility concept that may be further developed into a full-fledged, non-systems theory of automobility. The project involves the design of small-scale change experiments that address the governmentality of automobility. A comparative analysis will be provided using templates for comparing experiences, reflections and experiments both across social labs and national/cultural contexts. A phenomenological appropriation of accidents will not only collect experiences related to actual events, but also focus on non-events that may aid our knowledge of what accident experience actually is.
Period11 Jan 20242025
Work forInstitute for Advanced Study Vienna, Austria
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Buddhism
  • trauma