Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies in rural Cambodia: perceptions from flood-affected communities in Kratie

Dr Bryan Boruff1, Professor Andreas  Neef2, Mrs Sochanny HAK2, Dr Siphat  Touch3, Dr Chanrith Ngin2, Vidushi Patel1

1The University Of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia,

2The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand,

3Ministry of Rural Development, Phnom Penh   , Cambodia


Most studies and development interventions have considered climate change adaptation and post-disaster recovery processes as two separate issues. Yet there is increasing evidence that post-disaster recovery can only be successful and sustainable when it not only restores the pre-disaster livelihood situation, but evokes long-term efforts to enhance adaptive capacities to cope with future hazards and environmental risks. As such we aim to determine the factors that enhance or constrain resilience and adaptive capacities for several Cambodian communities impacted by annual flooding and growing environmental risks.

Here we present results from Q-sort activities conducted in four agriculturally based communes situated along the Mekong River, Kratie Province. Two separate Q-sort activities were conducted in small group settings to: i) understand perceptions of, and impacts from, climatic changes and related hazards, and ii) associated coping and adaptation strategies. Consensus statements show that whilst the interplay between drought and flooding is causing increased impacts from these two hazards, floods are still perceived to provide benefits to local people. Distinguishing statements, however, highlight how the perceived causes of environmental change are nuanced and coping strategies used by each must be interpreted within the wider context of the community’s livelihood risks, vulnerability and resilience.


Vidushi Amit Patel has completed masters in Geomatics from Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University,India. Currently she is a PhD Candidate Geography and Planning, School of Agriculture and Environment, University of Western Australia. She is also affiliated with Cooperative Research Center (CRC) for Honeybee Products. Her research Interests include geography of human-environment interactions, spatial modelling for sustainable systems and climate change.

Educated migrants mobilising rural and urban identities in north India

Mr Andrew Deuchar1

1University Of Melbourne


This paper examines the ways educated yet unemployed male migrants in north India perform identities so as to contend their marginality. While other studies have generated important insights into the performativity of migrants’ identities and their cultural versatility, they have tended to focus on a single location. This paper highlights the importance of mobile methodologies for migration research and offers insights into the spatial contingency of migrants’ identities. Through a multi-sited ethnography, during which I accompanied participants to their rural villages as well as the regional city of Dehradun, I argue that young men strategically mobilise identities which register them as ‘out of place’. More specifically, I argue that young men perform ‘rural’ identities in urban areas, and ‘urban’ identities in rural ones so as to realise status and respect. In a context of widespread unemployment and uncertainty, this is an important strategy through which migrants seek to position themselves as worthy youth with meaningful prospects, at the same time as they leave open the possibility of both rural and urban futures.


Andrew is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, in the School of Geography and the Australia India Institute. His work focuses on youth, migration and education in north India.

Thesis as kin: ontological relationships with critical development research

Ms Lauren Tynan1

1Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


‘Thesis as kin’ derives from my own Aboriginal ontological translation of the English (originally Latin) word ‘thesis’. From this understanding ‘thesis’ is broken into two parts, ‘the’ ‘sis’, revealing the short form for sister ‘sis’ as the primary entity. From here, thesis is reframed as relational, as sister or kin to be conceptualised, grown and become (Bawaka Country including Suchet-Pearson et al., 2013). Subsequently, other common metaphors for a research thesis, such as ‘body of work’ take on a more corporeal form as they refer to the embodiment of the thesis as a sister, an entity of its own, with whom I hold a deep relatedness. As a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman undertaking critical development research, this paper will speak to my ontological relationships with “research as relation” (Tuck & McKenzie, 2015, p. 22) as I continue my PhD. ‘Thesis as kin’ can similarly be translated or re-imagined as ‘thesis askin’’, an agentic provocation that situates knowledge production with the thesis itself and suggests the thesis is askin’ (asking) questions. ‘Thesis as kin’ decentres the human-centric notion of academic scholarship by revealing and acknowledging the powerful role of more-than-human entities in the processes and outcomes of academic knowledge production.


Lauren Tynan is a trawlwulwuy woman from tebrakunna country, north-east Tasmania, grown up on Awabakal Country and living on Dharawal and Yuin Country. She is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University, focusing on how community organisations centre ‘Country’ and decolonise development practices.


Silent citizens and hidden economies: theorising gendered power relations in and about marketplaces in the Pacific

A/Prof. Yvonne Underhill-Sem1, A/Prof Anita Lacey2

1University Of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

2University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia


There has been a recent upsurge in attention given to marketplaces in countries as diverse as Liberia and Papua New Guinea. Mostly this interest manifests itself in new buildings to replace the chaotic, informal and insecure spaces of marketplaces of the distant and contemporary past. Despite the apparent quick wins and photo opportunities that come with new buildings, simplistic technical or infrastructural solutions do not address the gendered power relations which underpin daily marketplace culture (Underhill-Sem et al 2014). These gendered power relations are increasingly recognised in studies that analyse women’s political participation. Building on previous empirical and theoretical work (Lacey and Underhill-Sem 2018), in this paper we assemble our conceptual thinking to allow for women and girl vendors to be understood as economic and political citizens as well as dynamic and opportunistic entrepreneurs.


Associate Professor Yvonne Te Ruki Rangi o Tangaroa Underhill-Sem is a Pacific feminist development geographer teaching Development Studies at University of Auckland. Together with her co-author, Associate Professor Anita Lacey, she has a long-standing interest in markets and gender in the Pacific.

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