Past Research Projects

Common Pool Governance in Vietnam, 2008-2011

Funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), we (researchers from Hue University of Agriculture in Vietnam, along with several Canadian researchers) worked across two ecosystems (upland forest and lagoon) to analyze property rights and the potential for collective forms of natural resource governance. Research outputs included three books on property rights for a Vietnamese audience, a policy brief on fisheries co-management, and several multi-authored peer review papers including one for the The International Journal of the Commons (see Marschke et al. 2012) and another for Marine Policy (c.f., Armitage et al. 2011).  At a practical level, management rights were designated to several lagoon villages for fishing and fish farming; project work additionally supported the creation of a co-management network encompassing over 50 Fisheries Associations found throughout the lagoon. In the upland field site, enhanced access rights were negotiated particularly for poorer households.

The Challenges of the Agrarian Transition in Southeast Asia (ChATSEA), 2005-2010.

This Major Research Collaborative Initiative (Principal Investigator, Rodolphe de Koninck, Geography, University of Montreal) focused on understanding agrarian change across Southeast Asia. ChATSEA produced a series of books, including one in which I contributed a chapter, Revisiting Rural Places: Pathways to Poverty and Prosperity in Southeast Asia (Rigg and Vandergeest 2012). Chapter contributors each conducted village restudies, whereby scholars returned to the sites of their original dissertation research (masters or doctoral) to follow what had happened to households and the village more generally since the original research had taken place. Particular attention was paid to surprises and unexpected events that had taken place over the ensuing years.