TransRe maintains a diverse portfolio of publications, including scientific articles, working papers, and fact sheets, in order to engage with a wide variety of audiences.

Scientific Articles | Working Paper Series | Fact Sheet Series

Scientific Articles

Greiner, C. & Sakdapolrak, P. (2015). Migration, Environment and Inequality: Perspectives of a Political Ecology of Translocal Relations. R. McLeman, J. Schade and T. Faist (Eds.). Environmental Migration and Social Inequality. Springer, Heidelberg.

Research on the relationship between environment and migration – particularly on how the environment influences the decision to migrate – has gained currency in the last decade. The growing body of recent environmental migration literature partly exhibits an under-theorized and depoliticized notion of the environment. Furthermore, migration is usually perceived as an emergency response, as a one-time movement, neglecting the often inherent circularity and continuous feedback effects of migration. In this contribution, we introduce the concepts of translocality and political ecology as a means by which this drawback can be overcome, and propose a political ecology of translocal relations as a framework for research into the migration-environment nexus in general and environmental migration in particular. We consider this to be an important task vis-à-vis the mounting and often reductionist debates.

Hornung, M. & S. A. Peth (2014). Alltag im Hier und Dort - Heiratsmigration und translokale Verflechtungen zwischen Thailand und Deutschland,  Südostasien 4, 25-26.

Im Januar 2014 kommt der Alltag in Bangkok zum Erliegen. Tausende Menschen blockieren die Straßen in der thailändischen Hauptstadt um ihrem Unmut gegen das politische System Ausdruck zu verleihen. Doch die Demonstrierenden sind nicht allein. Unzählige ThailänderInnen aus der ganzen Welt stehen quasi virtuell mit ihnen auf der Straße. Sie verfolgen in Echtzeit die Ereignisse und beteiligen sich durch das Internet an den Protesten. Für viele Menschen ist es längst Alltag, dass sich Orte >übereinanderschieben<. Vor diesem Hintergrund haben sich (Heirats-)Migrationsprozesse in den letzten Jahrzehnten grundlegend verändert.

Fekete, A. & Sakdapolrak, P. (2014). Loss and Damage as an Alternative to Resilience and Vulnerability? Preliminary Reflections on an Emerging Climate Change Adaptation Discourse.  International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 5(1), 88-93.

One relatively novel way of assessing the characteristics and limitations of resilience and vulnerability (R&V) is undertaken in this article by investigating a growing alternative paradigm—loss and damage (L&D) policy. The idea of L&D as an emerging policy may be surprising to many in the disaster risk management community, and so we first outline the origins of this trend, and then explore the potential benefits and pitfalls of adopting it. This short article represents our preliminary opinions and observations regarding this reintroduction of a long-established concept. We also present results from a very brief peer-group survey on some of the first immediate reactions towards L&D policy. At this early stage, this article cannot offer a full-fledged analysis, but our reflections may serve as a starting point to encourage further discussion.


Sakdapolrak, P. (2014). Livelihoods as social practices. Re-energising livelihoods research with Bourdieu's theory of practice. Geographica Helvetica 69, 1–10.

The persisting problem of poverty in the global south, since the 1990s, has been increasingly analysed and tackled from the perspective of the poor themselves. The shift of view point from a structurally oriented perspective to a more actor-oriented view was closely related to the concept of livelihoods, which put strong emphasis on people-centredness, and examined the coping and survival strategies of people at risk. Livelihoods analysis has been widely applied by research scholars as well as development practitioners since the 1990s, but the drawbacks and pitfalls of the approach have become more and more obvious with its continued application. The approach has been criticised for its imbalanced consideration of the structure–agency relation, narrow focus on the household as a unit of analysis, narrow and non-embedded understanding of assets, and negligence of spatial and temporal dynamics. The livelihoods perspective is at a crossroads. Several scholars have drawn on Bourdieu’s theory of practice to overcome the identified challenges. This article seeks to bring together these insights and show how a Bourdieusian perspective can inform and contribute to the advancements in livelihoods research.

Greiner, C. & Sakdapolrak, P. (2013). Translocality: Concepts, Applications and Emerging Research Perspectives. Geography Compass, 7(5), 373–384.

The employment of translocality as a research perspective is currently gaining momentum. A growing number of scholars from different research traditions concerned with the dynamics of mobility, migration and socio-spatial interconnectedness have developed conceptual approaches to the term. In this review, we trace the emergence of the idea of translocality and summarize the characteristics that different authors associate with the term. We elucidate the underlying notions of mobility and place and sketch out fields of research where the concept has been employed. On the basis of our findings, we conclude by proposing key areas where a translocal approach has the potential to generate fruitful insights.

Keck, M. & Sakdapolrak, P. (2013). What is social resilience? Lessons learned and ways forward. Erkunde, 67(1), 5-19.

Over the last decade, a growing body of literature has emerged which is concerned with the question of what form a promising concept of social resilience might take. In this article we argue that social resilience has the potential to be crafted into a coherent analytic framework that can build on scientific knowledge from the established concept of social vulnerability, and offer a fresh perspective on today's challenges of global change. Based on a critical review of recently published literature on the issue, we propose to define social resilience as being comprised of three dimensions: 1. Coping capacities; 2. Adaptive capacities; and 3. Transformative capacities.

Working Papers

The working paper series aims to disseminate our most up to date research, stimulate discussion, and provoke feedback. TransRe working papers (WP) are typically works in progress and contain very early stage research, analysis, findings, and/or recommendations. There are four different types of working papers: 1) #Concepts - which analyzes more general or theoretical issues; 2) #Thesis - which will present bachelor and master's students' thesis work; 3) #Evidence - which will introduce more empirical information, and 4) #Methods - which explores ways in which to operationalize complex issues on the environment and migration.

Latest issues:

TransRe Working Paper No 4

Migrationspfade und Arbeitsräume in Bangladesch - Translokale Lebenssicherung in einer sich wandelnden (Um)Welt

Simon Alexander Peth
Department of Geography, University of Bonn

The climate change discourse in Bangladesh has the potential to overemphasize the environment as a driver of migration. The paper, Migration Trajectories and Labour Spaces - Securing Livelihoods in a Changing Environment, scrutinizes the reduction of migration decisions to climate change and points towards the danger of simplifying migration decisions, which are manifold and complex by nature. Recent attempts by migration studies, such as translocality, enable us to capture the complexity of migrants’ livelihoods and migration decisions. The paper presents empirical results from a multi-sited study conducted in Bangladesh. In contrast to other studies emphasizing the dominance of rural-urban migration, this paper shows that the rural areas play a more significant role than destinations than is often assumed. Work and employment opportunities are the goal for migrants, not the city or rural places as such. Social networks and translocal connections shape the diverse migration patterns in Bangladesh. It is both the conditions at the place of origin as well as the circumstances at the destination places that influence migration decisions. In this vein, the paper shows the necessity to go beyond simple causal drivers of migration.

KEYWORDS: Translocality; Labor Migration; Bangladesh; Environment-Migration Nexus

Migrationspfade und Arbeitsräume in Bangladesch
by Simon Alexander Peth

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All Working Papers:


Building resilience through translocality. Climate change, migration and social resilience of rural communities in Thailand
by Dr. Patrick Sakdapolrak

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Deciphering migration in the age of climate change. Towards an understanding of translocal relations in socialecological systems

by Dr. Clemens Greiner; Simon A. Peth; and Dr. Patrick Sakdapolrak

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Translocality: Place, Space – and Scale?
Luise Porst

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Migrationspfade und Arbeitsräume in Bangladesch -Translokale Lebenssicherung in einer sich
wandelnden (Um)Welt 

by Simon Alexander Peth

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Fact Sheets

This fact sheet series aims to foster dialogue between scientists, practitioners, and the public. It focuses thematically on the complex relationship between migration, environmental change, and adaptation. It aims to disseminate scientific results, news, and other interesting information in a brief and accessible way.


How the IPCC views migration. An assessment of migration in the IPCC AR5
by Kayly Ober

The recent IPCC assessment report of Working Group II (AR5 WGII) gives a thorough, balanced, and nuanced picture of the impacts of climate change on human social dimensions. However, its view on migration is a bit more varied. This fact sheet seeks to delve into three different groups of thought that come up throughout the report. These include, viewing migration as: 1) negative/maladaptive; 2) adaptation; and 3) a possible research subject for the future.

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Who we are

We are a BMBF supported research group seeking to decipher the relationships between migration, translocality, and social resilience to climate change in Thailand. Our working group is based at the Department of Geography at the University of Bonn, Germany. Get to know our team...



เรา คือ กลุ่มวิจัยฯ ภายใต้การสนับสนุนของกระทรวงศึกษาและวิจัยแห่งสหพันธ์รัฐ (BMBF) มีความสนใจในการสร้างความเข้าใจเกี่ยวกับความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างการโยกย้ายถิ่นฐาน การเชื่อมโยงระหว่างพื้นที่ และความยืนหยัดทางสังคมจากการเปลี่ยนแปลงสภาพภูมิอากาศในประเทศไทย โดยทางกลุ่มวิจัยฯ เป็นส่วนหนึ่งของภาควิชาภูมิศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยบอนน์ สหพันธ์สาธารณรัฐเยอรมนี รายละเอียดเพิ่มเติม ...




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