Attabad Lake, Hunza © Benz 2012

In the field of Geographic Transition and Development Research, we deal with questions about life assurance, vulnerability, migrations, institutional arrangements and power relations in peripheral regions under the influence of globalization, post-colonialism and post-socialism. Current accelerating processes and forces such as climate change, government modernization projects or the commodification of everyday practices present challenges and often existential threats to societies in the Global South. This mixed situation is analyzed with the focus on environmental change, natural resource management and mobility in various research projects To point out inequalities and environmental problems as well as the interests and needs of marginalized population groups, to demand social justice and to initiate political change processes.

Research Projects

Commodification of Revolutionary Legacies – Changing Cuban Identities
Coffee – the taste of globalization. Studies of emerging coffee culture in Kyrgyzstan
Human-made Disaster at Lake Urmia (Iran)
A Political Ecology of Bauxite Extraction in Ghana
Neo-extractivism in Cuba - transformation of social-environmental conditions as a way out of the crisis?

Completed Research Projects

Environmental Change and Resource Use in South India - Discourses and Gender Perspectives in Rural Kerala
Migration and translocal development in the Karakorum and Himalayas
Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management in Arid and Semi-Arid Environments of Ethiopia
Global Climate Change is Highly Local: Perception and Adaptation of the International Climate Change Discourse in Peru
Local self-administration of irrigation systems in Talas area (Kyrgystan)