John Overton

John Overton
Victoria University of Wellington ·  School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences

About

130
Publications
24,048
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1,456
Citations
Citations since 2017
42 Research Items
795 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150

Publications

Publications (130)
Article
Full-text available
In this article we investigate why environmental debates swing in one direction or another by analysing the discursive construction of water security surrounding the Waimea Community Dam in Aotearoa New Zealand. Using narrative policy analysis based on interview and documentary data, we show how an initial dominant rural water security story was re...
Article
The increasing complexity and visibility of financial capital and processes in the global economy and in everyday lives offers both tantalising promise and pitfalls. This review of financialisation in global development develops three key themes: debates and contests over the definition, nature and extent of financialisation (‘what is it’); the ero...
Article
This study explores university students’ perceptions of factors that hinder student learning with particular attention to students’ discipline (STEM vs non-STEM) and ethnicity. A sample of 1684 university students in New Zealand participated in this study. Students’ responses to an open-ended question were first inductively coded and then quantitat...
Chapter
“Brew bars”—bars and restaurants that include beer brewing facilities—are one of the elements associated with the rise of the craft beer industry. In some ways, these enterprises can be seen as an extension of the production process, whereby a retail outlet is attached to the brewery. The craft brewing credentials of the brewery are laid bare for c...
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Education is one of the key objectives of, and means for, development. Its value is widely accepted though we rarely investigate the way different theories of development inform widely differing justifications and strategies for education. This article explores some of these issues and proposes five main paradigms regarding the education‐developmen...
Article
Although most studies of resource peripheries are macroeconomic in scale, a regional perspective permits a better understanding of the economic implications of commodity dependence. This study of the boom in commodity exports in Chile in the period 2005–15 shows that while a boom may have adverse effects on other activities, it also had positive im...
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University student perceptions of effective teaching have been explored in previous studies, however, research is lacking regarding the role of students’ ethnicity and programme of study on their perceptions of effective university teaching. In this study, student perceptions of effective teaching are explored between STEM (Science, Technology, Eng...
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In the last decade, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has earned a prominent position in policy spheres by offering forward-looking approaches and a framework for reflecting on the societal impact of research and innovation. Nevertheless, RRI remains an immature and relatively narrow area of inquiry, with a top-down approach and guided by s...
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In our quest to understand wine industries and their location and development worldwide, much emphasis has been given to key environmental, cultural and economic factors. The concept of terroir is used widely to describe, delimit and promote favoured wine regions. In this, we see constructions of rurality that tend to render invisible important con...
Article
There has been a rise in recent decades of consumer campaigns to promote more ethically responsible food and consumer goods production. These campaigns have spanned movements such as fair trade, food miles and organics. They have evoked significant if uneven response from producers and some government agencies. These responses, seen in changes to p...
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This article explores key elements of women’s empowerment based on findings from fieldwork in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It argues that efforts to promote women’s empowerment should recognise that empowerment requires women to make their own strategies to suit their particular circumstances. A conceptualisation of empowerment is proposed and this f...
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This study explores motivational strategies of university student from five different main ethnic groups in New Zealand. To explore students' motivational strategies, a selfadministered questionnaire was adapted. The study sample included 1854 students from a New Zealand university who participated in the survey. The findings showed that there were...
Article
Rapid global growth of ethical agro-food networks such as fair trade, organics, and geographical indications has been accompanied by an increasing volume of research, but, as yet, there has been little comparative or integrated study of these networks from the perspective of development geography. Focussing particularly on Latin America, this two-p...
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This is the second of a two-part series of review articles on ethical agro-food networks (AFNs) in global peripheries, with a focus on Latin America. This article focuses on origin or locality-based strategies, including geographical indications (GIs) as well as alternative approaches to valorising place–product connections. It compares the impacts...
Chapter
The Pacific Islands region covers a vast area of the globe yet it is often regarded as being marginalized in the global economy due to the small size, relative isolation and apparently limited resources of Pacific economies. This chapter examines processes of ‘de-marginalization’ that are being pursued by Pacific Island states and kinship networks....
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Writing on a subject as all-encompassing as globalisation from ‘down here’ (Oceania) in a way that is relevant ‘up there’ (Anglo-America), while retaining the ‘Antipodean’ perspectives we seek to represent and embody, presents significant tensions. How does a textbook on globalisation written from our viewpoint negotiate the very system it aims to...
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The global aid world has changed, partly in response to both the re-configurations of geopolitical power and to the global financial crisis (GFC). Paradoxically, in the face of recession in most Northern economies, collectively foreign aid contributions have not fallen. However there has been a qualitative shift in its narrative and nature. This ne...
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Wallis and Futuna officially became a ‘Sub-National Island Jurisdiction’ (known as French Overseas Territory/Collectivity) in 1961 and has since adopted an economic and political structure consistent with the MIgration, Remittances, Aid, and Bureaucracy (MIRAB) model. Although the MIRAB economy has been stable, the rapid increase in migration for h...
Chapter
The introduction of geographical indications in New Zealand has been slow and problematic. There has been some enthusiasm for tighter definition of regions in the way New Zealand agro-commodities are produced and marketed, yet also some apparent resistance. In this chapter we examine the reasons for this dichotomy with reference to the wine industr...
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Over recent decades, the demand for bottled water has grown exponentially at the global scale. In the marketing of such products, discourses of purity and paradise have often been invoked. Marketed as a ‘Taste of Paradise’, FIJI Water has gained enormous international success as an ostensibly clean and green product. Celebrity endorsements – reachi...
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The authors bring together two theoretical and empirical strands in economic geography – established work on clusters and nascent research on ‘fictive place’ – in order to introduce the concept of ‘fictive clusters’. To explore this concept, they examine the New Zealand craft beer sector, which has evolved from non-existence since the year 2000. Th...
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This article coins the term ‘retroliberalism’ to describe the aid regime that has evolved out of the post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC) world order. This approach sees a partial return to the principles of classical liberalism with respect to the role of the state vis-à-vis the market, whilst also perpetuating a number of the principles of neoliber...
Article
The construction of ‘fictive place’ is ever more common in capitalist production and exchange. It could be argued that the adoption of Geographical Indications (GIs) is a form of resistance to the homogenizing effects of globalization. In some ways fictive place-making can be seen as a means of adding value to land; however, we argue that fictive p...
Chapter
Aid has always been closely linked to wider geopolitical concerns. Donors, despite periodic attention to poverty alleviation, human rights or welfare, align development assistance with their wider self-interest concerning trade, security and investment. Security is not just associated with military concerns: sociopolitical security and legal market...
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The recent expansion of the global wine industry, especially in developing countries, has brought to light the apparent phenomenon of conspicuous production. This form of economic activity is characterised by investment decisions that seek status and reputation alongside or, in many cases, ahead of profits. This paper examines the wine industry and...
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Structural changes in the economic transformation of Malaysia from an agricultural-based to an industrial-based economy after the 1970s, were accompanied by an increase in the employment of women. This resulted in two predominant trends: firstly, an increase in dual earner families and secondly, the number of female university students surpassed ma...
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There has been a longstanding debate about the role of capital in agriculture. Most of this has taken place in the context of the so-called ‘agrarian question’. This discussion has often been overgeneralised and simplified the specific geographies of agrarian transformations. We argue this has arisen due to a failure to characterise and analyse the...
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The rhetoric of partnerships is deeply embedded in development policy and practice. Critiques of both participatory development in general and partnerships in particular, however, have argued that the rhetoric of partnerships, implying local control and ownership and mutual responsibility and accountability, is matched instead in practice by highly...
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This paper examines the case of Niue, a small raised atoll with a population of under 1500 that is self-governing in free association with New Zealand. Its marginality in terms of physical and economic isolation, small size and harsh environment is pronounced. However, it has survived with relatively high living standards and a range of livelihood...
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In this paper we draw on the concept of governmentality to examine the relationships between donors and northern non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during moments of policy change. Our case study comes from New Zealand/Aotearoa where a change in government has seen aid policy shift from poverty alleviation to sustainable economic development. We...
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The Rugby World Cup, held in New Zealand in 2011, was a showcase for a rapidly globalising sport involving competition between twenty national teams, comprising over 600 players. This paper analyses the geography of the players’ team affiliations and reveals patterns of labour mobility that disrupt and render complex concepts and definitions of ‘na...
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: This paper explores the evolving relationship between class and capital in the neoliberalised global wine industry. Wine is a unique sector that is possessed of intricate and underexplored aspects of class formation. Having investigated the recent restructuring of the industry under neoliberalism the paper goes on to analyse class formations in t...
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Geographical studies of international aid have been scarce. In this article we make the case for geographies of aid, arguing not only that aid would be better understood if a geographical lens were applied, but also that many of the core questions and concepts that concern geographers could be approached and better understood through research on th...
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Since the early 2000s, international development cooperation principles emphasise recipient countries’ ownership of policies, donors’ alignment with the recipients’ administrative processes, and harmonisation of donor processes. Overall, this should enhance the development policy sovereignty in the Pacific Island countries and polities. Since 2011...
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The wine industry is becoming increasingly globalized as consumer demand, capital investment, and industry restructuring lead to higher volumes of trade, greater levels of multinational ownership, and the evolution of new networks of production and consumption that link the four corners of the world economy. While there are some tendencies towards...
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The aid effectiveness agenda has placed much emphasis on issues of recipient ownership, alignment, and donor harmonisation. It has affected the policies and practices of many donor agencies and promoted a drive to consult widely with partners in governments and civil society and encourage their active involvement in aid-funded development activitie...
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New Zealand's aid policy has undergone a revolution under the National Party government elected in 2008. Prior to this, NZAID, a semi‐autonomous unit, had evolved to manage aid in line with internationally agreed principles. Under the new government, NZAID was reincorporated into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, its focus was shifted from...
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The Casablanca region of Chile has emerged in recent decades as a highly specialised wine region, a relatively small producer by volume by Chilean standards, but one characterised by a high degree of varietal specialisation, export orientation and supposed high quality. Unlike other regions, grapes were hardly in evidence 30 years ago, but now they...
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Theories and practices of international aid have stressed the need for the full participation of recipients. This approach has been strengthened by international agreements such as the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in 2005, which called for ‘ownership’ of development strategies by recipient agencies. This seemed to promise recipient govern...
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As a product, wine is closely associated with place. The industry has devised various strategies in order to delimit space and create places that are marketable as brands. Although demarcated by supposedly ‘natural’ features, these spaces are socially constructed in order to maximise accumulation. This article reports on the use of place-making str...
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The ‘field’ is an integral part of international education at the tertiary level. Students are taken to the field in order to experience, first hand, the themes, processes and people that they learn about in the classroom. Despite the critical importance of the fieldtrip mode of teaching and the positive impact it has on learning, budget constraint...
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In the 2000s a new aid regime evolved. This promised to move beyond the former neoliberal approach in a number of ways. It would involve greater consultation between donors and recipients, shift the focus from economic growth to broader factors, including poverty, and hand back the responsibility for this to the nation-state. This approach bears st...
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Simulation games have a long history in education and are well suited to learning about negotiation, power, relationships and uncertain outcomes. This paper reflects on the experience of using a semester-long simulation game to introduce postgraduate students to development policy. It focuses on three issues identified in the literature—realism, th...
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Globalization and industrial restructuring transform rural places in complex and often contradictory ways. These involve both quantitative changes, increasing the size and scope of operation to achieve economies of scale, and qualitative shifts, sometimes leading to a shift up the quality/price scale, towards finer spatial resolution and identifica...
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Spatial integration and infrastructure provision generally, and transport in particular, are commonly seen as key elements of rural development strategies. Yet there is little in the literature which seeks the perspectives of rural communities regarding their connections to the outside world. Furthermore, geographies of development and even, as yet...
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Geographers have developed a keen interest in the social production of space – in the way meanings and values are ascribed to places as a result of changing social, cultural and political processes. There is a need to explore this approach further, seeing how social and economic values of places are inter-related and how these values are constructe...
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While 'rights-based' approaches to development - those in which development and poverty alleviation are viewed through the lens of human rights - have become the language of choice among the international development community, less is known about how human rights are used for development at the local level. Using a case study of Fiji, this researc...
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Industry outsourcing has become a significant feature of industrialisation in Southeast Asia. This study presents the findings of a study of smaller industrial enterprises in Northeast Thailand that outsource some of their operations to workers in rural villages. It was found that social relationships rather than formal contracts are critical in th...
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This paper argues that existing categories defining the geography of the world's wine industry, principally the Old World/New World dichotomy, are flawed. Not only do they fail to represent adequately the complexity of production and marketing in those two broad regions but also, crucially, they do not acknowledge the significant and rapidly expand...
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For many Polynesians migration is still framed within a particular spatial context, although on an enlarged scale – one that we have termed the New Polynesian Triangle. With its apexes in the North American continent to the east, Australia in the west and New Zealand in the south, this New Polynesian Triangle encompasses a particular field through...
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New Zealand's relationship with its Pacific Island neighbours stretches back centuries, being characterised by movements of people, ideas, commodities, services and finance. It has been a reciprocal and dynamic relationship. Aid from New Zealand to Pacific Island states has been but one of its elements and one that has existed by that name only in...
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Rural places acquire value in different ways and geographers have adopted a range of approaches to understand the way value is created in land and place. This paper analyses the case of the Gimblett Gravels wine district in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. This district has been transformed over the space of 20 years from a peri-urban wasteland to, now, o...
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The alarm raised by the prospect of global warming and rising sea levels has led to concern about the future of Pacific Island states. Although major problems may eventuate from global climatic change, this paper argues that the range, magnitude and uncertainty of other mainly social and economic processes is such that simple prediction is impossib...
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The Pacific Islands present a different context for the study of human geography in the Third World. Though marked by much diversity in terms of culture, environment and history, there are key features which distinguish the region. Compared to elsewhere and with the notable exception of Papua New Guinea, they are small in terms of population, land...
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Poverty has arguably become the leading development agenda of the past decade and a poverty ‘consensus’ is said to have emerged in recent years, at least among key donors. On the surface, there appears to be agreement about what poverty is and how it might be measured, despite some lack of clarity over detail. But while the concern for poverty may...
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There are significant numbers of international postgraduate students studying in Western universities thanks to scholarships provided by governments and other donors. While these fully funded students are generally welcomed by geography departments, inadequate attention has been paid to considering how to facilitate their learning experiences given...
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The issue of food self-sufficiency has recently come under scrutiny as global trade liberalisation has been in conflict with national development strategies founded on protection and encouragement of staple food production. This paper examines the case of rice in Peninsular Malaysia from an historical perspective. It traces the evolution of self-su...
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Discourses about development have contributed to profound socio-economic transformation in all parts of the world. This paper examines the development debate in Fiji with particular reference to two distinctive approaches: state-led developmentalism (vakamatanitū) and a discourse about custom-led development (vakavanua). Political and economic dime...
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In December 1998 Professor R. Gerard Ward retired after 27 years as Professor of Geography in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University. Ward’s contributions to his discipline, the social sciences, and the discourses about development in the Pacific region have been very considerable. This paper reviews...

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