Till Rockenbauch

Till RockenbauchUniversity of Bonn | Uni Bonn · Department of Geography

3.91
· Dipl. Geograph
  • About
    Introduction
    I am a graduated geographer with a focus on social-ecological-systems research and development studies. I have been working for 3.5 years with GIZ, as an adviser on agricultural policies and food security. Currently I am working as PhD within a research project on Translocality and Resilience to Environmental Risks in Thailand (TransRe). My focus is on social networks and their role for resilience of rural households. I will carry out both quantitative and qualitative social network analyses.
    Current Institution
    2
    Research items
    325
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    5
    Citations
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    Benjamin Etzold
    Harald Sterly
    Vera Tolo
    Malte Steinbrink
    Lorenzo Guadagno
    Britta Lang-Azizi
    Christopher Lyon
    Florian Neisser
    Katrin Klein-Hitpaß
    Matthias Wirtz
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    Sopon Naruchaikusol
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    Benjamin Etzold
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    Simon Alexander Peth
    Vera Tolo
    Malte Steinbrink
    Current research
    Projects (2)
    Project
    The TransRe project offers a fresh perspective on the environment-migration nexus. It starts from the assumption that, regardless of the accuracy of the projections of future environmental changes, migration is already occurring and will continue to be a major dynamic of global change. Migration is connecting people, transforming places, and facilitating flows of knowledge and resources, and thus creating networked and interconnected translocal spaces. Through this intensifying translocal connectedness, the ability of households and communities to respond to climatic risks and sustain their livelihoods and well-being – that is, their social resilience – has the potential to be strengthened. Our project focuses on resource-dependent households and rural communities that are particularly vulnerable to climate-related risks. We seek to decipher the relations between migration, translocality and social resilience to climate change. Our research design follows place-based as well as multi-sited fieldwork approaches and seeks to generate empirical evidence based on case studies carried out in Thailand and in the places of destination of migrants.
    Project
    This subproject of the TransRe project will develop a toolkit for supporting translocal social resilience building for the local governments and NGOs working on community-based adaptation. The toolkit will be developed in close collaboration with the IOM, partner NGOs and local governments in Thailand, in order to guide government officials, decision-makers and practitioners in devising actions to support social resilience-building in the context of migration and climate change.
    Research
    Research Items
    In the last decades, a growing scholarship has outlined the crucial role of social networks as a source of resilience. However, with regard to the Global South, the role of social networks for the resilience of rural communities remains an under-researched and underconceptualized issue, because research remains scattered between different strands and has rarely been integrated from a resilience perspective. To provide common ground for the exchange between disciplines and to identify steps towards a more comprehensive social network perspective on the resilience of rural communities in the Global South, we present a systematic review of contemporary case studies from three strands of research: (i) natural resource management, (ii) agricultural innovation, and (iii) social support. Although studies in each strand have their own particular strengths and weaknesses in addressing aspects of the resilience of rural communities in the Global South, they all share a static view of the outcomes of social networks, tend to emphasize structure over agency, and neglect spatial dimensions of social relations. To address these challenges, we propose a translocal social network perspective on resilience that views rural communities as being embedded in social networks that connect people and facilitate the flow of resources, information, and knowledge between places.
    Climate change and migration are drawing increasing interest from researchers and policy makers as well as from the general public. While in the beginning a simplistic and geo-deterministic comprehension of the environmental impact on human mobility had dominated the discussion, the framing of the relationship has recently become more differentiated. Vast empirical evidence derived from rural livelihoods research clearly shows that migration is an important strategy of households when dealing with multiple risks, including environmental stress. This has led to the growing acknowledgement of the idea of “migration as adaptation” in migration-environment research. We consider this conceptual development an important step for a better understanding of this nexus. Nonetheless, migration as adaptation has several shortcomings. Firstly, it is narrowly focused on migration as an adaptive response to environmental risks and neglects the significant impact of other forms of migration. Secondly, it does not cover other dimensions of how people, communities and societies deal with environmental change: a blind eye is all too often turned to processes of resilience building. Thirdly, migration as adaptation has been found to be interpreted in a way which justifies migration policies with neo-liberal tendencies. In order to overcome such drawbacks, we propose an approach that integrates translocality and social resilience. In this paper we thus introduce the concept of translocal social resilience and reflect on its conceptual implications. We will thereby show how this approach can improve the understanding of the migration-environment nexus, and how it can also shape the concept of migration as adaptation, allowing for nuanced and critical views on the dynamics in the migration-environment context.
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