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Session 4: Governance, institutions and actors: the challenges of researching socio-environmental complexity

Dr Daanish Mustafa will give an overview of the theoretical and epistemological questions that arise in socio-environmental research, namely in what regards the interplay of governance, institutions and actors. Following this introduction, the session continues with a more practical tone intended to provide participants with useful insights for their own research. Hence, Tiago Freitas will present a case study from the Brazilian Amazon about the connection between deforestation control and biofuel policies. Finally, Kay Phanthuwongpakdee will present a case study from Thailand about flood adaptation.

Our speaker

Dr Daanish Mustafa


Reader, Department of Geography, King’s College London


Daanish Mustafa obtained his BA in Geography from Middlebury College, VT, USA in 1991. His MA was from University of Hawaii Manoa and his PhD in Geography from University of Colorado, Boulder. His research interests have been at the intersection of water resources, hazards and development geography. He also maintains an interest in researching geographies of violence in terror, particularly in Pakistan from a social theoretical perspective. Daanish’s research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, National Environmental Research Council (NERC), International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada, and the Belmont Forum amongst others. He has published research based in South Asia, Central America, Southern United States, Central Asia, and South-West Asia. Daanish was the co-author of the first climate change response strategies for Pakistan in addition to being the lead author for the UNDP (Pakistan) five year flood response strategy. In addition, he has also undertaken policy related work with the Department for International Development (DFID), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Stimson Centre, and United States Institute for Peace (USIP).

While maintaining an active research, grant writing and publication profile, Daanish has also been engaged in teaching. He was the recipient of 2011 School of Social Sciences and Public Policy (SSPP) Excellence In Teaching Award. The teaching portfolio at the undergraduate and post-graduate level includes: Development and Environmentalism in the Global South, Disasters and Development, Critical Geographies of Terrorism and Environmental Thought.

Coordinators: Dr Daanish Mustafa, Tiago Freitas and Kay Phanthuwongpakdee

Place: Old Committee room, Strand Building, KCL

Date: 11/04/2015

Time: 11h00 – 13h00

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