Dr. Mike Parnwell


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Mike Parnwell is a Geographer who over the last quarter-century has specialised on the development process in Southeast Asia and its many problems and outcomes.

Mike Parnwell is a Geographer who over the last quarter-century has specialised on the development process in Southeast Asia and its many problems and outcomes. His PhD examined the then fairly recently theorised phenomenon of ‘return migration’, using northeast Thailand as a case study. From there his interests have blossomed to include many facets of development – tourism, rural change, urbanisation, deforestation, rural industrialisation, sustainability – and also many countries of the region and beyond – Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos and China. His recent research has looked at the emerging phenomenon of ‘localism’ in Thailand, which he has combined with collaborative research on the interface of Buddhism and development, looking at the work of ‘development monks’ in the northeast. He is presently working on a wider project on ‘alternative visions of development’ in the Southeast Asian context.

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