CALL FOR PAPERS | Transboundary Environmental Governance in Southeast Asia

Minghua Tay Announcement
Subject Fields
Environmental History / Studies, Southeast Asian History / Studies, Urban History / Studies, Urban Design and Planning, Humanities

DATE OF EVENT : 4 December 2020
VENUE : National University of Singapore


Organised by the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore; supported by SSRC grant on Sustainable Governance of Transboundary Environmental Commons in Southeast Asia (MOE2016-SSRTG-068).

Southeast Asia is among the most rapidly developing and globally connected parts of the world. The pace and scale of regional integration has accelerated and expanded alongside the megatrends of population growth, urbanisation, capitalism and industrialisation. Cross-border governance regimes have mobilised around the conservation or sustainable commodification of regional environmental goods such as biodiversity, food and water security, and carbon sequestration. There have also been coordinated transboundary efforts to build resilience to regional and global shocks including extreme weather events linked to human-induced climate change (for example, floods, droughts and biomass wildfires), air and water pollution, and the emergence and spread of infectious diseases. These complex environmental issues require cross-border environmental governance, both because they cannot be addressed within the boundaries of administrations or individual countries and also because they generate cascading and far-reaching impacts such as market fluctuations, livelihood transformations and human displacement and resettlement.

The purpose of this inter-disciplinary workshop is to explore how, why, when and what forms of transboundary environmental governance are emerging in Southeast Asia. We are interested in the submission of papers that examine the creation, operation and maintenance of transboundary governance regimes that are designed to address one of two generalizable sets of issues. These are: (a) conserving or sustainably utilising natural resources; and/or (b) strengthening resilience to regional or global shocks that connect place-based governance systems with wider socioeconomic and ecological processes.

We encourage the submission of papers from across the social and natural sciences and particularly welcome interdisciplinary engagements. The overall premise of this workshop is that transboundary forms of governance comprising multiple stakeholders are required to address environmental issues that cannot be settled at a single organisational scale of human interest. Questions that will guide the workshop discussions include:

  • What transboundary forms of governance exist in Southeast Asia to sustain resources and habitats and/or to deal with emerging environmental threats and crises?
  • To what extent do transboundary environmental governance systems complement or bridge gaps in formal state policy regimes?
  • Can theorising the transboundary dimensions of environmental governance lend insights into more effective and inclusive pathways to conservation practice, sustainable resource management and disaster mitigation?
  • How has the expanding role of markets in governance systems in Southeast Asia informed the priorities of transboundary environmental governance regimes, and to what effect?


Paper proposals should include a title, an abstract (250-300 words) and a brief personal biography of 150 words for submission by 30 June 2020. Please submit your proposal using the provided submission form to Mr Marcel Bandur at Successful applicants will be notified by 7 July 2020 and will be required to submit an original and unpublished draft paper (5,000-8,000 words) by 15 November 2020 for restricted circulation and discussion among the workshop participants to be eligible for financial support.


Dr Michelle Miller
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Prof David Taylor
Department of Geography, National University of Singapore

Prof Jonathan Rigg
University of Bristol, UK


Contact Information

Ms Tay Minghua
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
AS8 Level 7, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
Tel: (65) 6516 4224
Fax: (65) 6779 1428