I am a development geographer concerned with highlighting and explaining patterns and processes of social, economic and environmental change in the Asian region and the impacts of such changes on ordinary people and everyday life. In my work, I have tried to give a ‘face’ to the individuals buffeted by modernisation and ascribe to such people an agency which is sometimes absent in higher level interpretations of change. I have been concerned to treat ordinary people as special and the geographical contexts in which they live – and which they help to shape – as distinctive.
I am currently convening two modules, GE4219 Environment and Development in Southeast Asia, and GE6770 Graduate Research Seminar.
To date I have supervised more than 20 PhD students through to completion. They have have come from a variety of countries: Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, France, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the UK. The topics have included:
- Female-headed households and survival strategies in Soweto, South Africa
- Women as agents of change: migrants in Northern Thailand
- Water rationality: mediating the Indus waters treaty
- Trust and markets in Ghana, West Africa
- Boundary management in Saudi Arabia
- Agricultural development policy and decentralised regional planning in the Chao Phraya Basin, Thailand
- Household resilience, food security and recurrent exogenous shocks: a study from the semi-arid communal areas of Zimbabwe
- Transboundary environmental management in southern Africa
- Fair trade and producer groups in Bangladesh
- The geographies of interstitial urban spaces in Southeast Asia
- Socio-environmental transitions in the uplands of Laos
- Memorialisation, memory and the Second World War in Malaya
- Landslides and risk in Nepal
- Handicrafts and rural development in Northern Thailand
- Youth and migration in Laos
- Information and knowledge for empowerment: a study of India
- Waste and the environment in Malaysia
- The rubber boom and agrarian transition in the Lao PDR
- Housing and climate change in Mumbai
I am currently working on three projects: an international, interdisciplinary study of resilience to earthquake risk in the continental interior of Asia; a study of the role of land in agrarian change in Thailand; and a project on the survival of the smallholder in East and Southeast Asia. My latest book Challenging Southeast Asian development: the shadows of success was published in August by Routledge.
My research interests, broadly defined, encompass:
- Agrarian change and transformation
- Risk and resilience
- Migration and mobility
- Livelihoods and making a living
I pursue these interests largely through fieldwork in the Asian region, and particularly in Southeast Asia
- Rigg, Jonathan (2015) Challenging Southeast Asian development: the shadows of success, London: Routledge
- Rigg, Jonathan (2012) Unplanned development: tracking change in South East Asia, London: Zed Books, 240 pp.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2007) An everyday geography of the Global South, London: Taylor and Francis, 231 pp. [Selected by Routledge ‘to feature in our collection of distinguished works on Development’ (October 2010).
- Rigg, Jonathan (2005) Living with transition in Laos: market integration in Southeast Asia, London: Routledge Curzon, 235 pp. Reprinted in softback, 2012.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2003) Southeast Asia: the human landscape of modernization and development, London: Routledge (second edition), 386 pp.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2001) More than the soil: rural change in Southeast Asia, Harlow, Essex: Prentice Hall, 184pp.
CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
- Rigg, Jonathan (in press) “Policies and Negotiated Everyday Living: A view from the margins of development in Thailand and Vietnam”, in: Juanita Elias and Lena Rethel (edits) The Everyday Political Economy of Southeast Asia: Economic Cultures and Global Flows, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2014) “The Millennium Development Goals”, in: Rob Potter and Vandana Desai (edits) The Arnold companion to development studies, London: Arnold (third edition), pp. 67-73.
- Rigg , Jonathan, Lisa Law, May Tan-Mullins, Carl Grundy-Warr and Benjamin Horton (2012) "In the wake of the tsunami: Researching across disciplines and developmental spaces in southern Thailand", in Matthew Kearnes, Francisco Klausner and Stuart Lane (Eds) Critical Risk Research: Practices, Politics and Ethics, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 173-196.
- Rigg, Jonathan and Tai-Chee Wong (2011) “Contestation and exclusion in Asian urban spaces under the impact of globalization: an introduction”, in: Tai-Chee Wong and Jonathan Rigg (edits) Asian cities, migrant labor and contested spaces, London: Routledge, pp. 3-26.
- Rigg, Jonathan, Suriya Veeravongs, Lalida Veeravongs and Piyawadee Rohitarachoon (2011) “Migrant labour in the factory zone: contested spaces in the extended Bangkok Region”, in: Tai-Chee Wong and Jonathan Rigg (edits) Asian cities, migrant labor and contested spaces, London: Routledge, pp. 203-222.
- Salamanca, Albert M. and Jonathan Rigg (2011) “Living at the margins: migration and the contested arena of waste re-use aquaculture systems in Phnom Penh, Cambodia”, in: Tai-Chee Wong and Jonathan Rigg (edits) Asian cities, migrant labor and contested spaces, London: Routledge, pp. 265-286.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2010) ‘An early critical foray into participation in Thailand, in Nicholas Tapp and Philip Hirsch (edits) Anthropological Traces: Thailand and the Work of Andew Turton, Leiden: International Institute for Asian Studies, pp.89-101.
- Rigg, Jonathan, Suriya Veeravongs, Piyawadee Rohitarachoon and Lalida Veeravongs (2010) “From farm to factory: village change in a rice-growing region”, in Jytte Agergaard, Niels Fold and Katherine V. Gough (edits) Rural-urban dynamics: livelihoods, mobility and markets in African and Asian frontiers, London: Routledge, pp. 134-150.
- Rigg, Jonathan Suriya Veeravongs, Piyawadee Rohitarachoon and Lalida Veeravongs (2010) “A revolution in the Thai handicraft industry? Handicrafts, integration and rural development in northern Thailand”, in Jytte Agergaard, Niels Fold and Katherine V. Gough (edits) Rural-urban dynamics: livelihoods, mobility and markets in African and Asian frontiers, London: Routledge, pp 116-132.
- Gough, Kate and Rigg, Jonathan (2010) “Handicraft and manufacturing frontier: transforming livelihoods, re-shaping settlements”, in Jytte Agergaard, Niels Fold and Katherine V. Gough (edits) Rural-urban dynamics: livelihoods, mobility and markets in African and Asian frontiers, London: Routledge, pp. 151-157.
- Rigg, Jonathan and Chusak Wittayapak (2009) “Spatial integration and human transformations in the Greater Mekong Sub-region”, in: Yukon Huang and Alessandro Magnoli Bocchi (edits.) Re-shaping economic geography in East Asia, Washington DC: World Bank. EAP companion volume to the WDR 2009, pp 79-99.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2008) Southeast Asian development: an introductory essay”, in Jonathan Rigg (edit.) Southeast Asian development: critical concepts in the social sciences, Volume 1, London: Routledge, pp. 1-57.
EDITORIAL WORK ON BOOKS
- Rigg, Jonathan and Vandergeest, Peter (edits) (2012) Revisiting rural places: pathways to poverty and prosperity in Southeast Asia, Singapore: National University of Singapore Press and Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, 351pp.
- Wong, Tai-Chee and Rigg, Jonathan (edits) (2011) Asian cities, migrant labor and contested spaces, London: Routledge, 295pp.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2008) Southeast Asian development: critical concepts in the social sciences, London: Routledge. (Three volume reader [504pp., 292pp. and 529pp.]).
ARTICLES IN JOURNALS
- Rigg, Jonathan and Salamanca, Albert (2015) “The devil in the detail: interpreting livelihood turbulence from a 25-year panel study from Thailand”, Area.
- Rigg, Jonathan and K Oven (2015) "Building liberal resilience? A critical review from developing rural Asia". Global Environmental Change, 32, no. May: 175-186.
- Le Mare, A., B. Promphaking and Jonathan Rigg (2014) "Returning home: the middle- income trap and gendered norms in Thailand". Journal of International Development, 27, no. 2: 285-306.
- Rigg, Jonathan, Nguyen Tuan Anh and Huong Thi Thu Luong (2014) ‘The texture of livelihoods: migration and making a living in Hanoi’, The Journal of Development Studies 50(3): 368-382
- Rigg, Jonathan, Buapun Promphaking and Le Mare, Ann (2014) ‘Personalizing the middle-income trap: an inter-generational migrant view from rural Thailand’, World Development 59(7): 184-198
- Rigg, Jonathan (2013) “From rural to urban: a geography of boundary crossing in Southeast Asia”, TRaNS: transnational and national studies of Southeast Asia, 1(1): 5-26.
- Button, Cat, Maria Adelaida Antonette Mias-Mamonong, Bernhard Barth and Jonathan Rigg (2013) “Vulnerability and resilience to climate change in Sorsogon City, the Philippines: Learning from an ordinary city?”, Local Environment 18(6): 705-722.
- Rigg, Jonathan, Albert Salamanca and Michael J.G. Parnwell (2012) “Joining the dots of agrarian change in Asia: a 25 year view from Thailand”, World Development 40(7): 1469-1481.
- Nguyen Tuan Anh, Jonathan Rigg, Luong Thi Thu Huong and Dinh Thi Dieu (2012) “Becoming and being urban in Hanoi: Rural-urban migration and relations in Viet Nam”, Journal of Peasant Studies 39(5): 1103-1131
- Gough, Katherine and Rigg, Jonathan (2012) “Re-territorialising rural handicrafts in Thailand and Vietnam: a view from the margins of the miracle”, accepted for publication in Environment and Planning A 44: 169-186.
- Rigg, Jonathan and Salamanca, Albert (2011) “Connecting lives and places: mobility and spatial signatures in Northeast Thailand, 1982-2009”, Critical Asian Studies 43(4): 551-575.
- Hewage, P., Kumara, Chaminda and Rigg, Jonathan (2010) “Connection, disconnection and reconnection: migrants and migration in Sri Lanka”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101(1): 202-219
- Rigg, Jonathan and Salamanca, Albert (2009) “Managing risk and vulnerability in Asia: a 25-year village study from Thailand”, Asia Pacific Viewpoint 50(3): 255-270.
- Rigg, Jonathan, Anthony Bebbington, Katherine V. Gough, Deborah F. Bryceson, Jytte Agergaard, Niels Fold and Cecilia Tacoli (2009) “The World Development Report 2009 ‘re-shapes economic geography: geographical reflections”, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 34(2): 128-136.
- Bryceson, Deborah, Katherine Gough, Jonathan Rigg and Jytte Agergaard (2009) “Critical commentary: the World Development Report 2009, Urban Studies 46(4): 723-738.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2009) “Grand narrative or modest comparison? Reflecting on the ‘lessons’ of East Asian development and growth”, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 30(1): 29-34.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2009) “A particular place? Laos and its incorporation into the development mainstream”, Environment & Planning A 41: 703-721.
- Rigg, Jonathan, May Tan-Mullins, Lisa Law and Carl Grundy-Warr (2008) “Grounding a natural disaster: Thailand and the 2004 tsunami”, Asia Pacific Viewpoint 49(2): 137-154.
- Rigg, Jonathan, Suriya Veeravongs, Lalida Veeravongs and Piyawadee Rohitarachoon (2008) “Reconfiguring rural spaces and remaking rural lives in Central Thailand”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 39(3): 355-381.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2007) “McGee on Eurocentrism in geography”, Asia Pacific Viewpoint 48(2): 264-5.
- Tan-Mullins, May, Jonathan Rigg, Lisa Law and Carl Grundy-Warr (2007) “Mapping the local politics of aid: structures, networks and capitals in post-tsunami Thailand”, Progress in Development Studies 7(4): 327-344.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2007) “Moving lives: migration and livelihoods in the Lao PDR”, Population, Space and Place 13(3): 163-178.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2006) “Land, farming, livelihoods and poverty: rethinking the links in the Rural South”, World Development 34(1): 180-202.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2006) “Forests, marketisation, livelihoods and the poor in the Lao PDR”, Land Degradation & Development 17: 123-133.
- Rigg, Jonathan, Lisa Law, May Tan-Mullins, Carl Grundy-Warr (2005) “The Indian Ocean tsunami: socio-economic impacts in Thailand”, The Geographical Journal 171(4): 374-79.
- Buranakul, S., Grundy-Warr, K., Horton, B., Law, L., Rigg, J. and Tan-Mullins, M. (2005) “The Asian tsunami, academics and academic research”, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 26(2): 244-48.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2005) “Poverty and livelihoods after full-time farming: a Southeast Asian view”, Asia Pacific Viewpoint 46(2): 173-184.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2014) “The politics behind ‘natural disasters’, Straits Times, 10th November, A20.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2014) “When growth outstrips development”, Straits Times, 11th September, A30.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2014) “Ideal of the S-E Asian family unlikely to endure”, Straits Times 21st August, A25.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2014) “Environmental costs of growth in SE Asia”, Straits Times 17th July, A27.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2014) “Precarious jobs, precarious living in South East Asia”, Straits Times, 12th June, A29.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2014) “The four faces of poverty in the Southeast Asian region”, Straits Times, 13th March 2014, Singapore, P. A29.
- Rigg, Jonathan, Buapun Promphaking and Le Mare, Ann (2014) “The middle-income trap in three stories”, Bangkok Post, 12th February. Op-Ed.
- Rigg, Jonathan (2013). Prosperity and poverty in affluent states. Straits Times, 18th October 2013, Singapore, p. A29.