|Reflections on Reconfiguring Methods During COVID-19: Lessons in Trust, Partnership, and Care
This paper is a set of reflections from researchers in the Center for Sustainable
Communities, University of Canberra, drawing out emerging lessons from the process
of re-configuring research methods during COVID-19. The pandemic has presented
new spaces of negotiation, struggle, and interdependence within research projects and
research teams. It has left researchers often uncertain about how to do their work
effectively. At the same time, it has opened up opportunities to re-think how researchers
undertake the work of research. In this paper we reflect on several current research
programs that have had to undergo rapid design shifts to adjust to new conditions under
COVID-19. The rapid shift has afforded some surprisingly positive outcomes and raised
important questions for the future. In our reflections we look at the impact of COVID-19
at different stages of designing research with partners, establishing new relationships
with partners and distant field sites, and data collection and analysis. We draw on
Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodological ideas and highlight ways in which we
have adapted and experimented with PAR methods during the pandemic. We reflect on
the aspects of PAR that have assisted us to continue in our work, in particular, how PAR
foregrounds diverse ways of knowing, being and doing, and prioritizes local aspirations,
concerns and world views to drive the research agenda and the processes of social
or economic change that accompany it. PAR also helps us to reflect on methods for
building relationships of mutual trust, having genuine and authentic collaborations, and
open conversations. We reflect on the potential lessons for PAR and community engaged
research more generally. Amidst the challenges, our experience reveals new pathways
for research practice to rebalance power relationships and support local place-conscious
capacity for action.
|Ethnography in and with bodies
In this article, Katharine and Kelly reflect on the role of the body in ethnographic research, suggesting some questions we might consider as we seek to create caring academic communities supporting each other in ethnographic work.
|Creating community-based indicators of gender equity: A Methodology
It appears that an almost unquestioned development pathway for achieving gender equity and women’s empowerment has taken centre stage in mainstream development. This pathway focuses on economic outcomes that are assumed to be achieved by increasing women’s access to material things, including cash income, loans, physical assets, and to markets. Gender equity indicators, which measure progress toward these outcomes, cannot escape reinforcing them. We argue that far from being neutral; indicators are embedded in political and ideological agendas that serve as guides to the appropriate conduct of those whose performance or behaviour is being measured. Drawing on participatory feminist, diverse economies and strengths based approaches, we outline a research methodology for developing community-based indicators that recognises women and men’s participation and relationships in all spheres of life, including the ‘non-economic’. If indicators are grounded in local meanings and realities, we propose that community members can use them to identify aspirational goals for gender equity, and measure progress toward these goals.
|Care-full Community Economies
For this chapter, we reviewed as much Community Economies literature on care as we could, trawling this site for anything relevant to care. Using the framing questions 'who cares?' 'what do we care for?' and 'how to do we care?' we present an imagining of what constitutes the collective, the commons we care for, and how we might care through research.
|Community economies in Monsoon Asia: Keywords and key reflections
The paper has been collaboratively written with co‐researchers across Southeast Asia and represents an experimental mode of scholarship that aims to advance a post‐development agenda.This paper introduces the project of documenting keywords of place‐based community economies in Monsoon Asia. It extends Raymond William’s cultural analysis of keywords into a non‐western context and situates this discursive approach within a material semiotic framing. For Open Access, click here.
|The Diverse Economy: Feminism, capitalocentrism and postcapitalist futures
This book chapter outlines the basics of diverse economies and the idea of capitalocentrism for an audience in international political economy.
|The Geopolitics of Birth
This paper explores the territoriality and politics of birth. Engaging with debates that are largely polarised between discourses of natural versus medical birth, in this paper I take an in depth look at one birth story, and look for a different way to think through how women's birth experiences might be understood. Written at the beginning of a year of research into women's birth experiences this paper represents my early thinking in the study.
|Beyond the birth wars: diverse assemblages of care
In this article, we argue that paying attention to the diverse assemblages of care enables us to go beyond simplistic natural versus medical models of birth and maternity care. We draw on interviews with women in New Zealand.
Written with Robyn Dowling this chapter offers a discussion of theories of identity in human geography, and draws on recent research by each of the authors to elaborate new challenges to the way geographers think about identity. Includes consideration of the impacts of J.K. Gibson-Grahams thinking around subjectivity, collectivity, and social change to geographers engagements with identity across different fields.
|A Different Kind of Difference: Knowledge, Politics and Being Antipodean
Written as a response to a series of commentaries on 'Antipodean Economic Geography’ this piece draws on my fieldwork experience to question whether it is useful to invoke the ‘otherness’ of the Antipodes. I call for a habituation of the practice of looking for difference as a way of cutting across the Antipodean-Metropole binary invoked in the discussion.
|Strategic Localism for an Uncertain World: A Postdevelopment Approach to Climate Change Adaptation
Phil Ireland and I collaborated on this paper during his PhD studies while I was at Macquarie University. We sought to bring together his work on Climate Change Adaptation with my thinking on post-development. We argue that when it comes to efforts to support Climate Change Adaptation in the majority world, it is important to challenge technocratic approaches that dismiss the value of local innovations. Instead we draw inspiration from the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham and their injunction to refuse to know too much.
|Development Professionals in Northern Thailand: Hope, Politics and Practice
This book is a critical history of development practice and professionalism in nothern Thailand, exploring how a postdevelopment perspective informed by the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham can shed new light on the nature of development practice and hope for the future.
|Being Indigenous in Northern Thailand
The chapters in this edited collection were envisioned as conversations between scholars and indigenous collaborators from around the world. My contribution was drawn from a round-table session with highland activists and community representatives who met in Chiang Mai in 2007 to discuss how to represent themselves as indigenous.
In this chapter I consider what identification is from a social geography perspective. Drawing on fiedwork with indigenous activists in Thailand I explore what identification is, what it means and how it works. Engaging with a range of social theorists such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Ernesto Laclau, Judith Butler and J.K. Gibson-Graham I discuss the processes through which we are identified in the systems of governance and power that prevail in the contemporary world and what these processes mean both for how we are subjected to the machinations of power in the world and how we may act within and upon them.
|Diverse Present(s), Alternative Futures
This chapter appeared in a volume that brought together work on alternative economic and political forms. My piece is in the section on “Alternative spaces of social enterprise and development" and considers how post-development thinking, such as that present in the work of geographers like J.K. Gibson-Graham or Lakshman Yapa, can support concrete efforts for real change in the world.
|Taking Postdevelopment Theory to the Field: Issues in Development Research, Northern Thailand
Reflecting on the process of field research this paper explores the challenges of bringing together empirical research and the experience of doing development work, with the complex and often speculative theorising of contemporary political and social philosophy.
|Postdevelopment, Professionalism and the Politics of Participation
In response to the accusation that development can only serve to perpetuate uneven power between the '1st' and '3rd' worlds, this paper explores possibilities for new postdevelopment approaches founded on an understanding of development as a political engagement.
|An Orthodoxy of 'The Local': Post-colonialism, Participation and Professionalism in Northern Thailand
The emergence of a participatory orthodoxy in the development industry has had enormous positive impact, however discourses of participation are also being used in surprisingly political ways. This paper explores how a “pro-local” discourse amongst development professionals in northern Thailand is being deployed in ways that undermine the goals of empowerment and emancipation that are central to the aims of participatory approaches.
|Politics and Professionalism in Community Development: Examining Intervention in the Highlands of Northern Thailand
This paper offers a synopsis of the key findings of my PhD Thesis which explored the politics of development practice and theories of postdevelopment. Drawing on a series of case studies from northern Thailand, I argue that development is always political, whether it is being shaped by a politics of emancipation or the international geopolitical concerns of the day. Thus what is required in development practice is a much more aware engagement with the political dynamics at play.
|(Im)Mobilisation and Hegemony: 'Hill Tribe' Subjects and the 'Thai' State
The first paper published during my PhD studies, this article explores how the movement to obtain citizenship rights for highland minorities in Thailand is carefully engaging with dominant discourses of Thai-ness in ways that open up the incompleteness of Thai state hegemony.