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Working Paper on Riverine Communities in Cambodia

The Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam is pleased to announce the publication of IAS Working Paper No 71: Reflections on a Livelihood Study of Sesan Riverine Communities in Cambodia and the Challenges of Transdisciplinary Research in the Global South by Ta-Wei Chu and Paul J. Carnegie. Please see below for details.

Abstract: This paper contends that a state’s political-economic dynamics can have a key influence over the primary aims and rationale of conducting transdisciplinary projects in the Global South (TPGS). By reflecting on fieldwork experiences in the study of dam-induced problems in northeast Cambodia, it problematises a tendency to overstate the impact of methodological challenges such as language barriers, internet access or unexpected funding expenses on project efficacy. Instead, the paper employs a social-conflict lens to detail the political-economic agency of actors and the preponderant influence this can bring to bear on the aims of a transdisciplinary project. In doing so, it foregrounds often-inimical and asymmetrical relationships that form among various non-academic stakeholders during a TPGS to significantly shape project outcomes.

Ta-Wei Chu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Science and Development, Chiang Mai University. His research interests are in security studies, hydropolitics in the Mekong Basin and transdisciplinarity. His articles have appeared in leading international journal including Asian Survey, Asian International Studies Review, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs and Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Water. His current research project focuses on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Myanmar.

Paul J. Carnegie is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. He has diverse interests in the politics, sociology and history of Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific with an enduring focus on Indonesia. He has published widely including The Road from Authoritarianism to Democratization in Indonesia (Palgrave Macmillan), Human Insecurities in Southeast Asia (Springer), (Re)presenting Brunei Darussalam: A Sociology of the Everyday (Springer) and research output in leading international journals such as Pacific Affairs, Australian Journal of Politics and History and Australian Journal of International Affairs. He is also a section editor for the Palgrave Handbook of Ethnicity. Paul has extensive applied research experience and networks having lived and worked previously in Australia, Egypt, Fiji, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates.

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