Diana Suhardiman, professor by special appointment of Natural Resource Governance, Climate and Equity

Diana Suhardiman is appointed professor by special appointment of Natural Resource Governance, Climate and Equity at Leiden University, at Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, from July 2022 onwards. The chair was established on behalf of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, where she is director of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies since January 2022. In this role she will further strengthen the research programme on climate governance, studying how climate adaptation is entangled with every day’s livelihoods and linked with processes of agrarian change and globalization, while contributing to decolonizing climate debates and climate justice.

Suhardiman’s research focuses on natural resource governance placed within the broader context of state transformation processes and the shaping of state-citizens relations. Putting power and politics central within the contemporary struggles of natural resource governance, her research looks at power dynamics and power relationships that influence and determine the overall shaping of governance structures, processes, and outcomes across scales (local to transboundary), while also recognizing their blurred boundaries. Combining political economy and political ecology approaches, the research unpacks processes of regional economic integration in Southeast Asia, in particular the Mekong region and contests the predominantly a-political approach to development and the way knowledge reproduction, including in climate adaptation, is framed as neutral and universal.

Suhardiman is the author of more than 65 peer reviewed publications mostly journal articles, book chapters and monographs on the politics of exclusion, state territorialization, processes of contestation and institutional emergence, and transboundary water governance in Southeast Asia, including an edited book Water Governance and Collective Action: Multi-scale Challenges (with Alan Nicol and Everisto Mapedza).

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