Marc Morell's picture
Anna Schnabel

Marc Morell

Guest Researcher
  • E-mailmarc.morell@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 92 46
  • Visitor Address
    Fosswinckels gate 6
    Lauritz Meltzers hus
    5007 Bergen
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7802
    5020 Bergen

In his current research project, Marc explores the shift towards ground-rent capitalism and the implications this has for anthropological class analysis. He does so by focusing on the historical specialisation of the Mediterranean region as one «exploited for the purpose of and by means of the consumption of space».

By looking into offshore Malta and its efforts to attract Foreign Direct Investment as an illustration of the wider global periphery of pleasure the Mediterranean has come to be, Marc delves into how local interpretations on the scarcity of property are deployed (79% of Maltese citizens own their homes), within the scope of an economic vision that in the last fifty years has shifted from tourism to finance and digital services, such as e-gaming. Far from decreasing, though, tourism has grown steadily hand in hand with urban development, real estate business and a tendency towards an increasing polarisation between homeowners and tenants.

Furthermore, Marc pays attention at how the Maltese turn towards the attraction of global capital and labour, via the development of thriving industries (e.g., financial services), has been accompanied by the political entrenchment of the Maltese two-party system into what is considered to be a «flawed democracy» (when minimum standards for democracy are not met); one that can get by thanks to the exercise of a ground-rent class hegemony that spreads brick-and-mortar wealth while granting the Maltese people with the promise of a full rentier society. Opposing this scenario there are very few political pressure groups and transformative social movements.

While on the concrete level of analysis, Marc asks how people in Malta manage their existence under the rule of the price of the square metre beneath the sun and what conditions of possibility for social transformation they are left with, on a more abstract level he considers what are the implications for thinking of value formation and class struggle under the aegis of ground-rent capitalism, as well as what «transformation» is about when democracy is flawed.


Marc Morell is a postdoctoral research fellow employed at the Department of Social Anthropology of Universitetet i Bergen, where he carries out research under the programme lead by Don Kalb «Frontlines of Value: Class and Social Transformation in 21st Century Capitalism», that seeks to foster ethnographic-historical class driven research on global capitalism and inequality. He obtained his PhD in Social Anthropology at the Universitat de Barcelona and before his appointment at Universitetet i Bergen he was employed as researcher and lecturer at the Universitat de les Illes Balears.

His main line of inquiry is that of the class character of the production of space in capitalist society and his current research on Malta follows former fieldwork in Majorca where he explored gentrification and the tourist commoditisation of housing not as a spatial expression of previously precipitated class formations, but as a constitutive moment in their making. In the coming years Marc is planning to close his inquiry on the urbanisation of the west of the Mediterranean by carrying out further fieldwork in Sardinia and leading research in the region (Maghreb included). Further in time, he wishes to study the neoliberalisation of the Baltic countries and the role they play within the EU and NATO.

Marc’s most recent publications include: «Why do middle-class positions matter?» (in Antipode 10.1111/anti.12798, 2022, with Yrigoy and Müller); «Housing financialization in Majorcan holiday rentals» (in Hahn and Kalb, Financialization, Berghahn, 2020); «Not tourism-phobia but urban-philia» (in Boletín de la Asociación de Geográfos Españoles 83, 2019, with Blanco-Romero, Blázquez-Salom and Fletcher); «Urban tourism via dispossession of oeuvres» (in Focaal 82.winter, 2018); and «The class gap in gentrification» (in Albet and Benach, Global Capitalism and Processes of Regeneration, Routledge, 2018).

Marc includes more detailed information in his CV.


Autumn 2022

SANT105 Power: Its Articulations and Disguises (28h)

Spring 2022

SANT103 Materiality: Environment, Place and Economy (28h)

Spring: 2021

SANT240 Poverty, Welfare and Marginalisation: An Ethnographic Approach to Modern Urban Life (28h)

SANT290 Anthropological Research Agends: Capitalism/Anti-capitalism/Post-capitalism (2h)

Spring 2020

SANT290 Anthropological Research Agends: Capitalism/Anti-capitalism/Post-capitalism (2h)


L-Università ta' Malta

Autumn 2020

ANT3035 Special Topic in Anthropology. Anthropology of the Mediterranean Reloaded: Capital's Brick and Mortar or Class Under the Sun (12h)


Universitat de les Illes Balears

Autumn 2019

22029 Artistic Projects in Early Childhood (5h)

Spring 2019

20918 Anthropology of Present Societies (12h)

21934 Anthropology of Migrations (6h)

21132 Final Dissertation in BA Geography (5h)

Autumn 2018

21101 Territory and Society (60h)

21119 Rural Geography (20h)

Sring 2018

20722 Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature (0,5h)

Autumn 2017

21119 Rural Geography (30h)

Spring 2017

21132 Final Dissertation in BA Geography (5h)


Universität Leipzig

Spring 2017

B-AG04 Urban Geography (3h)



Journal articles


Yrigoy I, M Morell and N Müller 2022 «Why do middle-class positions matter? The alignment of short-term rental suppliers to the interests of capital», Antipode. A Radical Journal of Geography, DOI: 101111/anti.12798

Blanco-Romero, A, M Blázquez-Salom, M Morell and R Fletcher 2019 «Not tourism-phobia but urban-philia: understanding stakeholders’ perceptions of urban touristification», Boletín de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles 83, 2834, 30 pp

Morell M 2019 «On heritage: holiday rentals and social movements in the city of Mallorca», Catalonian Journal of Ethnology 44, 94-105

Morell M 2018 «Urban tourism via dispossession of oeuvres: Labor as a common denominator», Focaal. Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology 82, 35-48


Morell M 2019 «Sobre el patrimoni: lloguer turístic i moviments socials a la ciutat de Mallorca», Revista d'Etnologia de Catalunya 44, 94-105


Blanco-Romero A, M Blázquez-Salom and M Morell «Turismofobia como arma arrojadiza», Ábaco. Revista de Cultura y Ciencias Sociales 98.4, 55-64


Book chapters


Yrigoy I, N Müller and M Morell 2021 «Contextualizando los anfitriones del alquiler turístico en la larga crisis de la clase media española: una aproximación desde el caso de estudio de Palma (Mallorca)», J Sequera (ed) Sé lo que hiciste el último verano. La transformación del turismo urbano antes, en y después de la pandemia. Manresa: Bellaterra Edicions, 31-52

Morell M 2019 «Turismo y diferencial de renta. No hay vacaciones para la lucha de clase», E Cañada and I Murray (eds) Turistificación global. Perspectivas críticas en turismo. Barcelona: Icaria Editorial, 309-23

Morell M 2018 «'Una casa deshabitada no es en realidad una verdadera casa'. Estado y movimiento en el alquiler turístico de Mallorca», C Milano and JA Mansilla (eds) Ciudad de vacaciones. Conflictos urbanos en espacios turísticos. Barcelona: Pol·len Edicions, 255-87


Morell M 2021 «Epíleg», D Guijosa Æberhard Memory amb postals. Calonge (Santanyí, Mallorca): AdiA Edicions, 77-83


Morell M 2020 «Housing financialization in Majorcan holiday rentals», C Hann and D Kalb (eds) Financialization. Relational Approaches. New York: Berghahn Books, 302-20

Morell M 2018 «The class gap in gentrification. A political reading of Neil Smith's rent gap theory», A Albet and N Benach (eds) Global Capitalism and Processes of Urban Regeneration. A Tribute to Neil Smith. New York: Routledge, 132-41

PRESENT-2019/11, ‘Frontlines of Value: Class and Social Transformation in 21st Century Capitalism’, Sponsored by the Trond Mohn Foundation – Universitetet i Bergen {PI: D Kalb}

PRESENT-2019/06, ‘Overtourism in Spanish coastal destinations. Tourism degrowth strategies’, Ministeri de Ciència, Innovació i Universitats (Programa Estatal I+D+i Orientada als Reptes de la Societat) – Universitat de les Illes Balears, Majorca {PIs M Blázquez-Salom and GX Pons-Buades}

PRESENT-2018/09, ‘Like a Local: The Socio-spatial Effects of AIRBNB. Tourism and Urban Transformations in 4 Spanish Cities’, Ministeri de Ciència, Innovació i Universitats (Programa Estatal I+D+i Orientada als Reptes de la Societat) – Universidad Nacional de Educación Distancia, Madrid {PI: J Sequera}

PRESENT-2018/09, ‘Re-inhabiting the Barrio: processes of university, school and society transformation and empowerment through artistic practices’, Ministeri d’Economia i Competitivitat (AEI/FEDER, EU) – Universitat de les Illes Balears, Majorca {PIs: N Berbel and M Jaume}