Biographical details

Philip Hirsch is Professor of Human Geography in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney. He specialises innatural resource management, rural change and the politics of environment in Southeast Asia. Phil leads the Mekong Research Group, which carries out engaged and collaborative research on a range of natural resource governance, livelihood and development themes in the Mekong region. He has been working on and in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia since the early 1980s. Phil is fluent in Thai and Lao, and also speaks and reads passable Vietnamese and some Khmer.

Research interests

Philip Hirsch has research interests in a range of natural resource management themes and their relationship with rural change and the politics of environment in Southeast Asia. He has written extensively on land, forest, water and fisheries in the Mekong region. He is also an area studies specialist on Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the wider Mekong Region. Phil has been involved with collaborative field projects in each country for many years.

More specific interests include river basin management, deforestation, environmental impact of development, rural social differentiation and agrarian change, the role of NGOs in development, resource tenure, changing relations between village and state, and community-based natural resource management. Phil's research work includes projects supported by the Australian Research Council, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research,Australian Agency for International Development, International Development Research Centre, Australian Water Research Facility, Asia Research Centre and Danish International Development Assistance.


The University of Sydney
Madsen Building, Eastern Avenue., Camperdown NSW
2006 Sydney

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