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Call for chapter proposals

Reframing Transnational Researcher Positionalities:
Decolonial Resistance and Cross-Border Dynamics of Knowing and Unknowing


This call for chapter proposals seeks empirical as well as theoretical contributions which explore one or several of the below-mentioned questions:

  1. How are transnational researcher positions situationally constructed and institutionally conditioned? Which sets of power relations are at stake in such positionings and how do they operate both within and beyond the frameworks of coloniality and neo-liberalist knowledge regimes (Cannella & Koro-Lungberg 2017; Kuokkanen 2011; Mohanty 2013)?

  2. What does having and/or claiming transnational positionality entail in accounting for the ways power systems inform and influence our research practices? What are the related methodological consequences/implications for knowledge production as abyssal (De Sousa Santos 2007) and/or interwoven situated (Haraway 1999) practices?

  3. What can critical engagement with knowledge production regimes as situated through transnational researcher and participant positionalities offer in rethinking/framing the politics of knowledge as a decolonizing project that imagines alternative destinations for all kinds of social, material, scholarly and artistic capital?

    We seek contributions that shed light on the shifting directions of migration and mobility flows, and the many conditioning transnational experiences that are involved in research practices. We also welcome contributions from different disciplinary, theoretical and thematic lines of inquiry, but particularly invite scholars of feminist, post-colonial/decolonial, indigenous and migration studies to contribute.

    Interested authors are invited to send an abstract (two versions: one extended abstract of maximum 750-1000 words and one shorter version of approx. 300 words) of the proposed chapter to Yan Zhao, Magdalena Nowicka and Marie Lovrod before May 15th, 2020.

    The abstract must clearly state the title, question(s) for discussion within the framework of the book, theoretical or/and empirical ground, alongside with short bio(s) of up to 75 words per author.

    Read the full call for chapter proposals here.


Phoungvyna Sangva, MA, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg
I am working on a master dissertation related to an ethnographic study that aims to identify and explore local people’s experiences and perspectives toward an influx of Chinese migrants and investments in their everyday lives in Shihanoukville, Cambodia. It also aims to understand how economic relations influence social life, having bearing on health, trust, working condition, emotions, and landscape in the city as a whole. During my field study, I spent four weeks observing and conducting interviews with local people in Shihanoukville. Currently, I am analyzing the data from my field studies and finding the main aspect from the materials.


Heidi Alexandra Darvell, MA, Center for Peace Studies, University of Norway
I’m currently a Master student in Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies, Center for Peace Studies at UiT, the Artic University of Norway, Norway. I took my Bachelor’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University, Sweden. I’m interested in studying the conceptualization of peace, peacebuilding from a theoretical and practical point of views, in informal and formal formations. I’m current working on my Master Project where I’m researching the UN PBF’s peacebuilding projects in Kyrgyzstan and it’s change in focus from inter-ethnic conflicts to prevention of violent extremism.


Desatová and McCargo quoted in BBC News and TIME Magazine

Friday, 21 February, the Future Forward Party in Thailand was dissolved, after the country's Constitutional Court ruled it violated campaign financing rules.

Director at NIAS, Professor Duncan McCargo, comments to TIME Magazine that the ruling is a disappointing development in Thai Politics. “Six million people voted for that party,” he says. “A lot of those people already felt disenfranchised and alienated, and now they’re going to feel more so.” See the full article here.

Post Doc Researcher at NIAS, Petra Desatová, has likewise commented on the situation to BBC News Thailand, in which she argues that the party’s dissolution reflects that Thai politics is still in the hands of small elite. "Thailand remains just as divided (if not more) than it was ahead of the 2014 coup," she says. See the full article here (in Thai).

NIAS Director Duncan McCargo has two new publications

Duncan McCargo’s book Fighting for Virtue: Justice and Politics in Thailand is just out from Cornell University Press. Based on a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship that funded him to conduct a year’s fieldwork in Bangkok, it explores the role of judges and examines a number of politically-related court cases that have helped shape Thailand’s recent politics. The book draws upon hundreds of hours of political ethnography conducted in Thai courts and police stations, as well as dozens of interviews. McCargo argues that legalistic ‘solutions’ to Thailand’s complex political problems have made matters worse, raising questions about the value of legalism more generally.




Duncan McCargo’s latest article, in the journal Conflict, Security & Development, co-authored with Colombo-based scholar Dishani Senaratne, explores parallels between the politics of memorialization in southern Thailand and Sri Lanka. The authors argue that the way government and anti-government combatants are memorialized – or not – speaks volumes about the real nature of peace in post-conflict societies.

The article draws upon on a fieldtrip McCargo made to the North of Sri Lanka in the summer of 2017 (see, as part of an ESRC-funded collaborative project on illiberal peacebuilding in Asia (  

Reference: Duncan McCargo and Dishani Senaratne, ‘Victor’s Memory: Sri Lanka’s post-war memoryscape in comparative perspective’, Conflict, Security & Development, 20, 1, 2020: 97–113.


Sonja Irene Åman, PhD, University of Oslo
My name is Sonja Åman and I am a PhD candidate at the Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo. My background is in political ecology and I am currently part of a research group called ‘Whales of Power’. My thesis focuses on human-whale relationships and the practice and policies of indigenous subsistence whaling and whale-watching. My aim is to trace how local indigenous knowledge interacts with the national and global policies and public narratives in the case of whaling among the Makah tribe in the US, and the Maori-led whale-watching in New Zealand’s South Island.


Ihntaek Hwang, PhD, Tampere Peace Research Institute, Tampere University
Ihntaek Hwang is doctoral researcher at Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI), Tampere University. He used to work for the Republic of Korea Air Force as political education officer. He is currently researching on how we imagine national security. His case is the conscientious objectors to military service in South Korea, who have long been criminalised by both the government and the public for jeopardising national security. He is interested in travelling between the micro and the macro through body politic, aesthetics and arts, and the subliminal/subterritorial.



Taeho Kim, MA, Center for East Asian Studies, University of Turku
My name is Taeho Kim from South Korea. I grew up in Thailand and studied International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I am currently undergoing a Master's Degree Programme in East Asian Studies at the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Turku, Finland. My research topic will be looking at South Korean perception of the Nordic Welfare State Model. Despite South Korea's rapid industrialization and ascension in stature as a global economic powerhouse, there also seem to be growing demands and increasing challenges calling for better social security, social stability and quality of life. In light of these issues, the Nordic Model is frequently brought up as a trendy and attractive alternative to addressing social issues in South Korea. As someone who has experienced these cultures, I thought it would be interesting to explore the South Korean perception of the Nordic Model.


Latest publications from Andreas Forsby

How do Denmark and other European countries navigate and position themselves in the burgeoning strategic rivalry between China and the United States? NIAS researcher Andreas B. Forsby has provided a Danish perspective to these questions in a newly released report from the ETNC network of European research institutions. In his chapter, entitled “America First: Denmark’s Strategic Navigation in the Era of US-China Rivalry”, he demonstrates how Denmark – being far more dependent on the US than China – is now struggling with how to maintain its Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with China in the face of growing pressure from the Trump administration.
Read the chapter here

Forsby has also written a Danish language op-ed (kronik) in Jyllandsposten on the same topic.
Read it here.

Duncan McCargo comments in TIME magazine on situation in Thailand

Director of NIAS, Duncan McCargo, is interviewed this week in TIME Magazine to comment on the current political situation in Thailand, in which the leader of Thailand's Future Forward Party has amassed a "Korean boy band" type of following. To read the article, please follow this link.



Elina Nilsson, PhD, Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University
My background is in cultural anthropology and gender studies. In my research, I explore the experiences of transnational commercial surrogacy, through interviews with women who have acted as surrogate mothers in Thailand. The study focuses on the interconnection between the global and the intimate through the lived experiences of those whose labour involves intimacy, embodiment and emotions. I have spent in total 5 months in Thailand (2018-2019) interviewing former surrogate mothers. Recurring themes in the women’s narratives are mobility, motherhood and labour as well as issues concerning money and religious/local moral values. At the moment I am writing a chapter on (im)mobility, borders and restrictions.


Guro Vestrheim Skeie, MA, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen
My master project is an urban ethnographic study of morality among LGBT+ subjects in Yangon, Myanmar.  The background for the project was to investigate how Myanmar sexual minorities engaging with multiple discourses of gender, identify and govern themselves within the gendered aspects of different ideologies. This project takes identity, love and desire among LGBT+ subjects as point of departure, to gain insight into the moral and cultural norms of the dominating ideologies in transitioning Myanmar



Rebekka Åsnes Sagild, PhD Student, University of Oslo

Rebekka Åsnes Sagild is a PhD-student in Modern China studies at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo. She has a background in China studies and political science, and has spent several years in the People's Republic of China, for studies, work, and field research. Currently she is writing the first English language monograph on the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conferences (CPPCC). A key point of her research is to describe the role of the CPPCC in the Chinese political system, and its functions and practice, in particular at local levels in China.


Julia Wong, MPhil Student, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Julia Wong is a master student at the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Tromsø. Her background is from political science, with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Stavanger.

The main topic for the master thesis is the Hong Kong protests from 2019, questioning whether an assumed generational gap in identity might explain the level of active participation. More specifically, the perception of national or civic identity among individual ‘baby boomers’ and ‘millennials’. In addition to identity, the focus will be on the general view on the society and political situation. Data for the thesis is based on interviews and observation from fieldwork conducted in Hong Kong during the summer of 2019. Furthermore, the research will be drawn to more general theories regarding the role of identity in conflicts and human security.