My research aims to illuminate how processes of migration and mobility transform, and are shaped by, human actors. I explore the opportunities and challenges that arise from interstitial spaces between places and cultures, what they make visible about global inequalities and power differentials, and the ethics of interventions. In this context, I pay particular attention to privileged mobilities, as a complement to mainstream migration research, and in order to contribute to its theorising.

My current project, based on research funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is concerned with 'Citizen Aid'. This broadly refers to small-scale initiatives set by individuals which are aimed at supporting others. These often operate on the margins of the more formal aid and development sector. Through fieldwork with a range of these initiatives in Cambodia, I am asking what, if anything, makes citizen aid distinct from 'conventional' development. I am also interested in how initiatives that are fundamentally based on a person-to-person approach can be understood as forms of solidarity.

I am also involved in establishing a research network on 'Inter-Asian Aid' with colleagues at the Asia Research Institute in Singapore:


Key Areas of Research

Migration, Mobility and Social Change; Ethnography of Aid and Development; Aid as Work; Everyday Ethics and Morality; Childhood and Youth; Gender, Kinship and the Body

Regional Focus: Southeast Asia  (Cambodia, Indonesia)

PhD Supervision

I welcome enquiries from potential Phd students, including but not limited to issues of mobilities and migration, aid work, development, humanitarianism, gender, and Southeast Asia.


Gemma Houldey- Stress, Burnout and Self-Care among Development Workers

Ireena Ibnu- Malaysian women migrants in the UK

Piayarat Panlee- Material cultures of protest in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Yu, Chu-Chun -Indonesian Domestic Workers in Taiwan

Clelia Compas - Queer Migrants in Bangkok, Thailand


2017 Katia Taela- Southern Encounters and Aid Relationships: Ethnography of Brazilian development workers in Mozambique  (Commonwealth Scholarship)

2016  Kamonwan Roengsumran- Migrant Child Labour in Thailand

2015  Wen-Ching Ting - Struggling in between: The Everyday Practices of Weaving Shan Home Territory Along the Thai-Burma Border

2014  Kaland, Ole Johannes - Negotiating educational desire: migrant youths and aspirations in Shanghai, China.

2014 Barbara Johnston - Making and unmaking difference: a study of expatriate women’s relationship with domestic workers in Singapore

2014  Kwangwoo Park - Migration and integration in ‘borderless village’: social capital among Indonesian migrant workers in South Korea

2013  Dorothea Mueller - Middling transnationalism and translocal lives: young Germans in the UK

2012  Amich Alhumami - Political power, corruption, and witchcraft in modern Indonesia

2012  Simone Hary- ‘Kyopo’ daughters in Germany: the construction of identity among second-generation German-Korean women in Germany