Bourse de recherche sur le Cambodge et la Birmanie

Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD),
Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University

Two Research Fellows to work on resource conflict in Burma and Cambodia

The Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development
(RCSD) of Chiang Mai University, a vibrant academic research hub on
issues around agrarian transformation, resource conflict and
development are calling for applications for two (2) Research Fellows
starting June 2014, and will work for two years. Preferably the
applicant should have a doctorate, but we are open to accepting
applications from senior PhD candidates in case the qualification
requirements are met. One Research Fellow will work on Cambodia and
the other on Burma/Myanmar.

The Research Fellows will work for two years in a large consortium
project with nine institutional members and jointly anchored by RCSD
of Chiang Mai University and the International Institute of Social
Studies (ISS) in the Hague, the Netherlands. The joint project
coordinators are Dr. Chayan Vaddhanaphuti of RCSD and Dr. Saturnino M.
Borras Jr. of ISS.

The 4-year research project is called ‘Climate change mitigation
policies, land grabbing and conflict in fragile states: understanding
intersections, exploring transformations in Myanmar and Cambodia’. It
is funded through the Climate Change Management and Conflict and
Cooperation (CCMCC) joint program of the Dutch research council NWO
and the Department for International Development (DFID). The research
project is a collaborative undertaking between academic and civil
society groups and as such it will have academic and CSO advocacy
For details about the project, please see short summary further below.
Profile and Tasks:
The successful candidates are those with excellent track record in
solid academic research work and publication. They should have a great
ability to work with grassroots civil society organizations, should
have a deep understanding and appreciation of the importance of the
work of civil society activists, and should have a great appreciation
of the relevance of bridging world-class academic work and grassroots
The successful candidates are expected to be able to anchor the bulk
of the academic research in each country (Cambodia, Burma/Myanmar),
with two regional sites for each, working closely with the joint
project coordinators. They are expected to be able to work well and
productively with other PhD and MA students and other interns working
in the project. They are expected to be able to work very well with
grassroots civil society organizations. They are expected to take the
lead in formulating and drafting some academic papers for publication
in leading international journals, either as sole author or in
collaboration with other consortium members depending on the research
work circumstance.

A recently completed PhD – or a PhD candidate in her/his later stage
of candidacy — in the social sciences (development studies,
environmental studies, geography, anthropology, political science,
sociology, etc.)
o   Great appreciation of, and ability to work with, grassroots rural
social movement organizations and NGOs
o   Evidence of publication capacity, including an emerging
publications track record and clear research and publications plans;
o   Deep familiarity with either Burma/Myanmar or Cambodia; knowledge
of the local language an advantage
o   Ability to work in an inter-disciplinary and international team;
o   Willingness to be based for the most part of the research period
in the Burma/Cambodia, and/or in Chiang Mai.
Appointment and Fellowship: RCSD Chiang Mai University will offer a
fixed temporary contract of two (2) years, with a fellowship award
fixed at US$1,500 per month, with additional US$300 mobility fund per
Applications and more information: Applications, accompanied by a
detailed Curriculum Vitae and the names of three Referees, should be
addressed to Ms. Chanida Puranapun ( Short-listed
candidates will be requested to supply samples of published output and
at that stage their referees will be contacted. More information about
the vacancy can be obtained from the project co-coordinators: Dr.
Chayan Vaddhanaphuti ( and Dr. Saturnino M.
Borras Jr. ( A Selection Committee composed of the
project consortium representatives will deliberate and decide on the
Deadline: 15 March 2014. Interviews (by video conferencing) for
short-listed candidates will be carried out second half of March, and
decision made 1 April.
Mosaic Project
Climate change mitigation policies, land grabbing and conflict in
fragile states: understanding intersections, exploring transformations
in Myanmar and Cambodia
The social impacts of climate change mitigation strategies (biofuels,
REDD+) and large-scale land acquisitions (land grabs) have captured
the attention of scholars, practitioners, government and civil society
actors. Most relevant research, however, investigates these processes
separately and within discrete areas such as particular landholdings
where dispossession or competing land resource claims occur. This
project expands the boundaries of the problem to the landscape level,
believing that the intersection of these phenomena can produce social
and ecological spill-over effects and chain reactions which in turn
ignite new or aggravate old sets of competing claims and conflicts
over resources within a much larger area. Through collaborative, case
study action research, the project seeks to understand the interplay
between climate change mitigation initiatives and land grabs from a
landscape perspective – including spatial, social, ecological and
institutional dimensions – and resulting trajectories of conflict and
cooperation in two fragile states: Myanmar and Cambodia.
The project also seeks to influence these trajectories by contributing
to building capacity for development interventions that promote
socially just and sustainable conflict management strategies in the
case study areas and beyond. These interventions will emerge through
the collaboration of grassroots social movements, NGO and academic
partners. They will reflect local understandings of justice, and they
are likely to include actions at multiple scales. Analyzing
international governance instruments to identify leverage points for
action will inform these conflict management efforts in the two
selected countries.
Beyond the case study countries, the project seeks to contribute to
theory about the more general conditions under which inclusive,
landscape-level strategies for preventing or transforming resource
conflicts can be achieved. Contributing to building an international
knowledge network will be an important step toward this goal. The
project will achieve this partly through annual knowledge sharing
workshops involving partners with experience resolving disputes over
resource control in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as
by sponsoring and linking with emerging research in other countries
and regions.
The anticipated project outcomes are: (i) nuanced understanding of the
spatial and institutional interplay of climate change mitigation
initiatives, land grabbing and conflict; (ii) enhanced capacity of
grassroots and civil society groups and local researchers to address
resource conflicts through strategic collective action aimed at
influencing policy and practice; and iii) an emerging network of
knowledge and practice dedicated to enabling more socially just and
ecologically sustainable outcomes of the intersecting processes
examined in the project.
Consortium members:
International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, The
Netherlands (the lead institution)
Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD),
Chiang Mai University, Thailand
Transnational Institute (TNI), Amsterdam
Foodfirst Information and Action Network (FIAN)
Inter-Church Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO-Cooperation)
Southeast Asia Regional Office
Paung Ku (Myanmar)
Food Security Working Group (FSWG) Land Core Group (LCG) Myanmar
Equitable Cambodia
CPDS/CPN Cambodia

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