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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Laurie Parsons

Visiting Researcher
Mobile Inequality and the Multi-Scalar Politics of Climate Migration


  • Climate Mobilities
  • Translocal Inequality
  • Hydrosocial Power


"The environments in which we live are increasingly interconnected and dynamic, but we continue to look at them through a static lens. After more than a decade working in Cambodia, one of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries, my aim is to bring theories of human-environmental interactions up to speed with the dynamic realities I see in the field." Laurie Parsons

Laurie Parsons is British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London. His work investigates the impact of mass labour migration and climate change on socioeconomic inequalities, working in particular towards more politically grounded perspectives on the nexus of environment and mobility. It combines a variety of approaches - including visual and statistical analysis of social networks, and qualitative methods - to discern how norms and social structures both reflect and mediate these new conditions. In addition, Laurie has retained a longstanding engagement with policy. Since completing his Ph.D. at King’s College London in 2015, he has conducted large-scale projects examining Cambodia’s uneven economic development for Transparency International, Plan International, Save the Children, CARE International, ActionAid, the IDRC and the Royal University of Phnom Penh, among others. He is currently lead consultant to the Tonle Sap Authority, the government agency responsible for the management of Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, working towards the formulation of a climate change strategy for the area’s management.

From June to August 2019, Laurie is a visiting researcher at IRI THESys.

Selected publications

Parsons, L. (2019). Giving as a total social phenomenon: Towards a human geography of reciprocity. The Geographical Journal.

Brickell, K., Parsons, L., Natarajan, N. and Chann, S. (2018) Blood Bricks: Untold Stories of Modern Slavery and Climate Change from Cambodia. London: Report.

Parsons, L. (2018). Structuring the emotional landscape of climate change migration: To-wards climate mobilities in geography. Progress in Human Geography.

Parsons, L. and Lawreniuk, S. (2018). Seeing like the stateless: Documentation and the mo-bilities of liminal citizenship in Cambodia. Political Geography.

Parsons, L. (2017). Multi-scalar inequality: Structured mobility and the narrative construction of scale in translocal Cambodia. Geoforum, 85, 187-196.

Full list