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Airbnb is a global digital platform with the aim ‘to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere’. In disputed, colonised or occupied regions, Airbnb’s activities inevitably intersect with geopolitical conflicts. Whereas journalists and activists have questioned Airbnb’s stance and responsibilities, platform scholars have paid little attention to the platform’s role as a geopolitical actor. This project contributes to filling this gap by exploring the politics of hosting in Israeli settlements. How does the historical, political and cultural context of settlements inform listings on Airbnb, and the experiences of hosts? To what extent do hosts understand their activities through Airbnb as political practices? Drawing on critical geopolitics and media studies perspectives, the project deepens existing research on hosting in contested territories, examining Airbnb not only as a company but, specifically, as a platform, whose politics are to a large extent shaped by hosting ‘communities’.

The Team


Valentina Carraro is Assistant Professor at the Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development of the University of Amsterdam. Her current research is located at the intersection of digital, political and environmental geographies. Her PhD project interrogated the politics of web-maps in/of Jerusalem.

Jelke Bosma is a PhD candidate in the Department of Media Studies and the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam. His PhD project looks into dynamics of value related to platform-mediated short-term rentals on Airbnb. He has a background in urban studies and his research interests include platform urbanism, housing, and urban theory.