Philip Hirsch

Philip Hirsch
The University of Sydney · School of Geosciences

About

28
Publications
18,162
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1,183
Citations
Citations since 2017
1 Research Item
573 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100

Publications

Publications (28)
Book
An international river basin is an ecological system, an economic thoroughfare, a geographical area, a font of life and livelihoods, a geopolitical network and, often, a cultural icon. It is also a socio-legal phenomenon. This book is the first detailed study of an international river basin from a socio-legal perspective. The Mekong River Basin, wh...
Article
The Mekong is a region whose geopolitics are shifting in complex ways. They are shifting with the post-Cold War reconfiguration of ideological as well as strategic power deployments. They are also shifting with rapid economic development and associated regional integration. This paper employs these various dimensions of shifting geopolitics to expl...
Book
An international river basin is an ecological system, an economic thoroughfare, a geographical area, a font of life and livelihoods, a geopolitical network and, often, a cultural icon. It is also a socio-legal phenomenon. This book is the first detailed study of an international river basin from a socio-legal perspective. The Mekong River Basin, wh...
Article
This paper reviews several prominent journals to identify key trends and issues in Southeast Asian geography. The review identifies the locus of articles' geographical scholarship, the balance between issue-based versus other types of articles, and the trends in the subject matter of the issue-based publications. The paper considers the meaning of...
Article
This paper examines the recent revival of agrarian studies in the social science scholarship of South-East Asia following a period of decline from the 1980s onward. The hiatus provides an opportunity to examine the changed empirical contexts and theoretical framings of agrarian change in the intervening period. Renewed interest in rural agricultura...
Chapter
Integrated water resources management (IWRM) has been widely adopted as an over-arching framework for managing river basins. However, tensions are inherent in IWRM between top-down and bottom-up approaches to management. In seeking to move away from fragmented toward more integrative approaches to bio-regional natural resource management at the lev...
Chapter
At a global level, river basin development and management has shifted from a ‘hardware’-driven approach based around engineering river systems in the form of dams, diversions and other large structures, toward a ‘software’-driven approach under the broad rubrics of governance and integrated water resource management. Nevertheless, large-scale water...
Chapter
The lower half of the Mekong River flows unimpeded by dams, despite more than half a century of planning and institutional mechanisms for cooperation over the river’s development and its management. Construction of dams on the upper half of the river in China, on its major tributaries in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, and revived plans for dams on the...
Article
Full-text available
This commentary sketches a research agenda for mapping the normative networks through which debates concerning transboundary water resources in the Mekong River Basin are being conducted, particularly those networks’ transnational legal dimensions. It argues that traditional ‘hard versus soft law’ analyses of the Mekong River Basin have to date pai...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing water withdrawals for urban, industrial, and agricultural use have profoundly altered the hydrology of many major rivers worldwide. Coupled with degradation of water quality, low flows have induced severe environmental degradation and water has been rendered unusable by downstream users. When supply of water falls short of commitments to...
Article
This paper explores the notion of frontiers as ‘in-between’ spaces that define particular transitions. Three contexts of frontier and their rapidly changing nature form the basis of the analysis. Agricultural frontiers (typically between farmland and forest) are defined by new relations of production and interplays between conservation, shifting mo...
Article
Most studies of land settlement are concerned with planned schemes. This is despite the fact that unplanned settlement has more often been the major process by which agricultural land is settled in many countries. In this local study of spontaneous forest settlement in western Thailand, the recent history of two communities is traced in order to sh...
Article
In this paper we address the often sterile and circular debates over relationships between poverty and deforestation. These debates revolve around questions of whether forest loss causes poverty or poverty contributes to forest encroachment, and questions of whether it is loss of access to forests or dependence on forest-based livelihoods that caus...
Chapter
Full-text available
River basins are geographical units in which all streams drain to a common terminus, but as a political boundary it is also the result of a choice and social construction. The concept has, from the nineteenth century onward, chiefly been mobilized for justifying and rationalizing the large-scale development of water resources by powerful water bure...
Article
This article suggests that, rather than seeing deforestation as a symptom of underdevelopment, it is more useful to view the problem as part of a particular development dynamic. -from Author
Article
In this study we examine the enclosure of a common pool resource and ways in which a changed property rights regime has been legitimized by reference to the common property arrangements inherent therein. Legitimizing discourses of common property are situated in the wider discursive context of postsocialist development, territorialization, and comm...
Article
 The Se San is an important tributary river basin of the Mekong. In 1993, Vietnam began building the Yali Falls Dam 80 kilometres upstream of the point at which this westward flowing river enters Cambodia. Ninety indigenous communities along the Se San River in two provinces of north-eastern Cambodia have been impacted severely by flooding, and a d...
Chapter
(Chapter 1) This book is intended to supplement an earlier volume where the focus was on mining and its impacts on indigenous peoples (Connell & Howitt 1991). Since that volume was completed, claims on and against the nation states of Australasia, Melanesia and South-East Asia by indigenous peoples have emerged as a crucial issue. At wider scales a...
Article
Public participation in social impact assessment (SIA) has been identified as a source of improved decision-making about resource development in several countries, with an implicit assumption that this sort of participation provides an avenue for empowerment of affected communities in these decision-making processes. This paper provides a critical...
Article
As transitions in agrarian systems have increasingly extended from core agricultural areas to incorporate resource peripheries in the Mekong region, agrarian change has become bound up with environmental concerns. At a material level, agrarian processes have – or at least are claimed to have – significant environmental impacts including forest conv...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
The SPRINT call is regarded as an initial collaboration to better determine theoretical and methodological common ground for comparative research on the issue of territorial development, mainly on the topics of land grabbing, food security, and food sovereignty. The project will foster a strong research partnership between the University of Sydney (USyd) and São Paulo State University (UNESP) with the primary goal of establishing and enhancing a comparative research agenda focused on three geographic regions: Australasia (Australia), Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) and South America (Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Colombia). Analysis of how each region is experiencing these processes is vital and timely, considering that land grabbing is inextricably linked to the struggles for food sovereignty and security happening globally. These processes are central to the territorial development field. Paradoxically, while central to understanding territorial development, processes of land-grabbing and issues of food security and food sovereignty are commonly analyzed as local case studies. They need to be more fully understood through comparative analysis. Therefore this project proposes to contribute to a comparative view of the macro process of land-grabbing and its impacts on food security and food sovereignty without losing sight of the local and regional specificities that are particular to each of the three regions within the scope of the project. To initiate this research we propose two workshops to exchange experiences and evaluate the options for collaborative comparative research on land grabbing and its impact on food sovereignty and security. The first workshop, to be held in the city of São Paulo in February 2016, aims to determine activities to be executed during the project. Thus, the researchers will share the specificities of their work and discuss the issues facing each region with the goal of agreeing on a common theoretical and methodological approach to start collecting data and literature, each according to his/her scholarly and regional expertise. Following this, there will be a visit to the Unesp campus at Presidente Prudente and a fieldwork at Pontal do Paranapanema as a way to introduce researchers on some of the territorial development disputes and dynamics in Brazil. We consider this proposed work to serve as a pilot for a long-term collaboration between the University of Sydney (USyd) and the São Paulo State University (UNESP) following last year’s visit by Professor Thomaz, Professor Fernandes, and his colleagues to meet with Dr. Mann and Professor Hirsch in Sydney. A second workshop will be held by August 2017 at USyd with the intent of summarizing the two years’ collaborative work, evaluating the value of the comparative research and discussing the issues to be further analyzed in a new project. A proposed outcome of this meeting it a draft of a new collaborative comparative project and the definition of the structure of a book to be edited by the research leaders of UNESP and USyd presenting the first findings of the initial two-year project. Additional anticipated outcomes include: • International field schools that partner the University of Sydney with students in Latin America, based on the highly successful models led by Professor Hirsch and Dr. Neilson in Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam; • Partnered Ph.D. projects between UNESP/USyd students and associated co-supervision or even co-tutelle arrangements (based modeled on an existing co-tutelle arrangement with Chiang Mai); • Publications within the two-year project timeframe, targeting highly ranked, peer-reviewed journals of impact including the Journal of Peasant Studies; • Conference presentations by members of the team including the July/August 2016 regional land grabbing conference in Bogotá, Colombia and the global meeting on land grabs scheduled for Sept/Oct 2017 in China. It should be noted that the Mekong Research Group within the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney is already engaged in the collaborative organization of these series of conferences, the most recent having been held in Chiang Mai, Thailand 5-6 June 2015, of which the Colombia and China meetings are a continuation; • Concept note for at least one fundable collaborative research proposal for submission during 2016.