Professor Josef Konvitz
- Honorary Professor (People, Place & Social Change)
Faculty of Education, St Andrew'S Bldg (11 Eldon Stree
Josef W. Konvitz is an historian, authority on economic and urban governance, and former diplomat. He lives in France, and holds French and American citizenship.
Konvitz is Honorary Professor, Education, University of Glasgow (2011--).
- He has given seminars to doctoral students and faculty on how to improve the policy impact of research.
- He serves on the advisory boards of the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods, and of the Urban Big Data Centre.
- In 2012-15, he designed and helped to carry out an innovative programme with the City of Glasgow and three Glasgow universities to help secure long-term sustainability outcomes from the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
- During the referendum campaign on Scottish independence, and as an advisor to Policy Scotland at the University of Glasgow, Konvitz participated in a series of academic and public policy briefings, and co-presented on the topic of regulatory governance.
- Konvitz also consults with the David Hume Institute, and the office of the Chief Economist (Scotland).
He is Chair of the PASCAL International Observatory, a global network of universities that brings academics and practitioners together on projects to develop sustainable and learning cities (2012--).
Konvitz was Visiting Professor, King’s College London (2012-14) providing teaching modules on problem-solving innovation strategies, and organizing a high-level seminar on public and private sector co-operation.
He is Research Affiliate, Resilience, at the New Cities Foundation (2017--)
Konvitz wrote Cities and Crisis (Manchester University Press, 2016). Beginning with the crisis of 2008 and the slow recovery, he covers housing, innovation, and infrastructure in growing and declining cities, natural disasters and resilience, regulation and urban policies for sustainable development. An abbreviated, updated conclusion focusing on paradigm shifts will be published in 2019 in English and French by the Fondation pour l’Innovation politique (Paris).
Public policy and international relations, 1992-2011
Konvitz joined the OECD's urban affairs division in 1992, and became head in 1996. He directed reviews of urban policy in Japan and Germany, a series of Urban Renaissance reviews and case studies on learning city-regions, the Ecological City project, the OECD-Australia Conference on Cities and the New Global Economy, and studies on distressed urban areas and urban indicators.
As Head of the Regulatory Policy Division from 2003 until his retirement in 2011, Konvitz designed and implemented a strategic, multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral programme to strengthen regulatory quality and regulatory reform. He lead the preparation of two sets of OECD principles on regulatory policy, and the OECD-APEC Guidelines on Regulatory Reform. He directed OECD country reviews of regulatory reform of Russia, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Viet Nam, Australia, and assessments of 24 members of the European Union. In 2004 he helped establish the OECD’s programme of co-operation with countries in North Africa and the Middle East, and thereafter worked closely with Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. In both urban affairs and regulatory policy programmes, Konvitz integrated multi-level governance into the design and implementation of national policies.
Education and academic career
Konvitz holds degrees from Cornell University (BA with Honours in History, 1967), and Princeton University (PhD in History, 1973), and is the recipient of several prizes, and fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Center '87, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, '79 and '87. From 1973 to 1992 he was on the faculty of Michigan State University, with an extensive bibliography on the history of cities, infrastructure and the urban economy, the history of cartography, and international relations in an urban dimension.