Political Ecology PhD supervision
Given that my own work and interests span a range of topics, I am also open to supervising on an equally wide range of topics, although all centrally located in the field of development studies – understood in a classical sense as processes of structural and societal transformation. I have a strong predilection for structuralist development economics, political economy, and demography, although I am thoroughly interdisciplinary, have dabbled in ethnography, and am a firm believer in the necessity of extensive fieldwork. I am fundamentally interested in the role of inequality and redistribution in development at local, regional and global scales, through a variety of angles such as financial and fiscal processes, social policy, and productive development policy. I have done a lot of work on western China and am always happy to supervise research on this country, but I have also worked on and supervised PhDs on Latin America, Africa and South East Asia.
I am keen to hear from potential PhD students interested in alternative economies and especially degrowth/post-growth, environmental justice movements, plantation studies, agrarian change in South Asia and the Himalayas, ethnographies of credit and indebtedness, anti-debt movements, ownership systems, decommodification, and theories of needs, values and the 'good life'. Anyone interested in radical social theory and psychoanalysis is most welcome.
I welcome proposals on issues concerning feminist political ecology, particularly case studies looking at how communities respond to economic and ecological changes in everyday social struggles; studies on practices of care, well-being and commoning in community economic and ecological processes and analysis of the interdependence of bodies, ecologies and technologies in studies of body politics and political ecology.
I welcome proposals focusing on issues concerning children and youth (e.g. education, work, migration) that take seriously young people’s own, but situated, perspectives and experiences. In addition, I also welcome proposals seeking to study development through the lens of the arts (especially (popular) music and dance) and if you have an idea about an original ethnographic research project, that will also make methodological contributions (e.g. mobile ethnography, digital ethnography, etc) do get in touch too!
My research interests are in the politics of agrarian transformation and natural resources governance (land, water, forests, sub-soil minerals) – examined in the era of the global resource rush (land grabbing, the rise of extractivism, agro-extractivism, large-scale development interventions) and climate change (focusing on the politics of narratives around mitigation and adaptation).
I also have an interest in the various forms of political reactions by poor people towards dynamic changes in the political economy (land/property, labour, income, reproduction) of natural resources, including studying social movements.
Transversal themes in my interest in and treatment of all these issues are conflict, power and political contestations across social class and identity politics, mediated by and through the state.
My regional focus is on Sub-Saharan Africa. Enquires from potential PhD researchers interested in topics related to my area of research are welcome.
My research interests centre on foregrounding marginalized perspectives in social policy with a specific focus on the relationship between policy, practice, discourse and theory for children, youth and their families in contexts of risk and marginality from a critical standpoint. This spans diverse aspects from education, including care and development in the early years, child and youth poverty and vulnerability, child-sensitive social protection, and (youth) sexuality and reproductive health. My scholarship building privileges research that is attentive to epistemic diversity, highlighting the need to foreground-situated accounts in pursuit of epistemic justice. In these endeavors, I have built alliances with scholars in Africa but I have also worked with and supervised post-graduate students from South Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.
I welcome projects focusing on the digitalization of agriculture and the environment (such as (climate) smart farming, big data in agriculture, automatization, and the rise of apps for agriculture), and in the field of technology and development more broadly (such as new platform economies).
I am also keen to supervise proposals on land transformations, large-scale farming, land acquisitions, and the financialization of agriculture.
Further I am very interested in proposals on agrarian and environmental movements (incl. food sovereignty, data movements) smallholder farming, urban gardening and land issues.
I have done supervisions in countries varying from Cuba, to Vietnam, Tajikistan and Myanmar. I am especially interested in research that is holistic, critical, qualitative and/or mixed method.