Current research project

Places that don’t matter? Socio-economic transformation of industrial towns in Switzerland and Slovenia (SNF Project).

Research interests

  • Diverse economies, postcapitalism
  • Industry, manufacturing
  • Agri-food systems
  • Regional expertise: Switzerland, Central Asia, Luxembourg, Nepal

Work Experience

Since 2022
Postdoctoral researcher, Institute of Geography, University of Bern

Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Luxembourg

2013-2018 Research and teaching assistant, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg (CH)

Junior advisor Governance and Peace, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Zurich


Junior researcher, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Zurich/Kathmandu


Teaching assistant, Department of Geography, University of Zurich


2012 PhD in Geography, University of Fribourg (CH)

Visiting scholar, American University of Central Asia, Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)

2013 M.Sc. in Geography, University of Zurich

Swiss mobility exchange, University of Geneva


B.Sc. in Geography, University of Zurich


Erasmus exchange, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Jump to: 2022


Cima, Ottavia; Sovovà, Lucie (2022). The end of postsocialism (as we knew it): Diverse economies and the East. Progress in human geography, 46(6), pp. 1369-1390. Sage 10.1177/03091325221127295

Cima, Ottavia; Sippel, Charlotta; Schmid, Patricia (2022). Body-geographies of academia. Working with “Cuerpo-Territorio” in/at/with academia. Feministische Geo-RundMail(89)

Cima, Ottavia (2022). “…e com’è fare ricerca lì come donna?”. SAGW-Bulletin, p. 72. Schweizerische Akademie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften


2021. “The ‘failure’ of cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan? A postcapitalist critique of a biased narrative”. Geographica Augustana, 33, 29-37. Link:

2020. “From failure to emancipation: the case for a feminist research practice”. Feministische Geo-RundMail, 83, 55-60. Link:

2020. Rethinking agricultural cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan: towards a postcapitalist approach to cooperation in postsocialism. Doctoral thesis. University of Fribourg. 10.51363/unifr.sth.2022.004

2015. “Expanding spaces of participation: insights from an infrastructural project in rural Nepal”. Geographica Helvetica, 70(4), 353-361. Link:

2013. “Accountability at the local level in fragile contexts: Nepal case study”. IDS Working Paper 421. Brighton: Institute for Development Studies. Link:

2013. The journey of accountability. Translating, negotiating and performing development in rural Nepal. Master’s thesis. University of Zurich.