PhD Projects


(Affiliations in brackets: People with no affiliation indicated are member of GIUZ)

Bitzi Barbara
Living in uncertain situations: Everyday lives of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers in Switzerland.
PhD Committee: Ulrike Müller-Böker (chair), Sara Landolt (supervisor), Gianni D'Amato (UNINE), Benedikt Korf (GIUZ)
Karki Darshan
State restructuring and the politics of development in Nepal: contestations and aspirations of the Madhes.
PhD Committee: Ulrike Müller-Böker (chair), Miriam Wenner (supervisor), David Gellner (Oxford, Anthropology)
Mabele Mathew Bukhi
Rethinking sustainability under neoliberal environmental policy: Political ecology, deforestation discourses and conservation practices in Tanzania. 
PhD Committee: Ulrike Müller-Böker (chair, supervisor), Benedikt Korf (GIUZ), Dan Brockington (University of Sheffield)
Müller Stefanie
Mapping meaningful places as a tool for participatory planning of renewable energy projects.
PhD Committee: Norman Backhaus (chair, supervisor), Matthias Buchecker (WSL), Sara Fabrikant (GIUZ)
Shokirov Qobiljon An expanded role for eco-tourism in the protected areas of Afghan and Tajik Badakhshan
PhD Committee: Norman Backhaus (chair, supervisor), Ulrike Müller-Böker, Till Mostowlanski (UNI Singapore)
Speck Sarah
Life in Old Age: Challenges and Changing Conditions in Post-Conflict Rural Nepal.
PhD Committee: Ulrike Müller-Böker (chair, supervisor), Norman Backhaus, Miriam Wenner, Bhim Subedi (Tribhuvan University, Nepal)
Thurairajah Tanuja Shifting spaces - Swiss Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora engagement and agency PhD Committee: Ulrike Müller-Böker (chair), Pia Hollenbach (supervisor), Rina Alluri, N.N
Willemin Rémi
Images and imaginations of global changes and biodiversity

PhD Committee: Norman Backhaus (chair, supervisor), Benedikt Korf (GIUZ), Antje Schlottmann (Uni Frankfurt)


Park Moralities
Social and Political Negotiations in Parc Adula, Switzerland (2018)

Contzen Sandra 'The PRS is out but Poor People are still there'. The Honduran Poverty Reduction Strategy and Campesino Livelihoods in Western Honduras (2013)
Ejderyan Olivier Une renaturation en béton! Comprendre la participation et la nature dans les renaturations de cours d'eau suisses au regard d'une théorie de la pratique (2008)
Graf Samuel Belonging in a Translocal Field: A Case Study on Second-Generation Eritreans Living in Switzerland (2018)
Grünenfelder Julia Development policies and livelihood realities in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Pakistan (2012)
Gurung Ghana Shyam Reconciling biodiversity conservation priorities with livelihood needs in Kangchenjunga Conservation Area, Nepal (2006)
Hatcher Craig Law, Space and the City: A Legal Geography of Urban Change in Post-Socialist Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (2014)
Herzig Pascale Gender and generation in diaspora - changing identities and shifting social boundaries among South Asians in Kenya (2006)
Huber Andreas Heimat in der Postmoderne (1997)
Junker Berit The social perspective on river restorations – Understanding a neglected aspect of sustainable river management (2008)
Keller Roger Ökosystemleistungen in der Schweiz: Chancen und Risiken für die Anwendung in Politik und Praxis (2016)
Kianicka Susanne Perceiving the Swiss Alpine landscape - a qualitative study of landscape meanings and people-place relations among residents and tourists (2007)
Ksenofontov Stanislav No fish, no nimat’: Arctic social-ecological systems in the context of global change (2018)
Landolt Sara Trinkräume und Treffpunkte Jugendlicher. Aushandlungsprozesse im öffentlichen Raum der Stadt Zürich (2011)
Lieberherr Silva Living on farming in a globalizing world: The role of social movements in Maharashtra, India (2016)
Locher Martina The 'Global Land Rush', Local Land Rights and Power Relations: European Forestry Investments in Tanzania (2015)
Meier Thomas Mini Hydropower for rural development – drawing lessons from the Indonesian example (2001)
Meyer Heidi Sitzplätze statt Parkplätze – Selbst?-Beschränkung bei der Nutzung öffentlicher Räume (1998)
Michel Annina Park Moralities – Social and Political Negitiations in Parc Adula, Switzerland (2018)
Müller Urs Die Kraft der Bilder in der nachhaltigen Entwicklung. Die Fallbeispiele UNESCO Biosphäre Entlebuch und UNESCO Weltnaturerbe Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn (2006)
Pörtner Ephraim Re-Cording Lives. Governing Asylum in Switzerland and the Need to Resolve (2018)
Soliva Reto Die Entwicklung des Naturschutzes in Nepal (2002)
Steimann Bernd Making a living in uncertainty - Agro-pastoral livelihoods and institutional transformations in post-socialist rural Kyrgyzstan (2010)
Strasser Balz 'We are as flexible as rubber!' – Livelihood strategies, diversity and the local institutional setting of rubber small holders in Kerala, South India (2007)
Thieme Susan Urban Immigrants: The Nepalese Community in Delhi/India (2005)
Truong Jasmine Networked Nightlife – Mobile Internet Technologies in Swiss Youth’s Contemporary Nights Out (2018)
Véron René Cultivators, markets, and sustainable development in South India (1999)
Wenner Miriam Monopolising a Statehood Movement - Gorkhaland Between Authoritarian Parties and 'Aware Citizens' (2015)
Zaugg Stern Marc 'Mehr Raum den Fliessgewässern!' Eine strukturationstheoretische Analyse des institutionellen Wandels im schweizerischen Hochwasserschutz seit den 1970er Jahren (2005)

Co-supervised PhD Theses outside the Unit - Ongoing

Cornea, Natasha (UNIL) Urban environmental governance in small cities in West Bengal.
PhD Committee: René Véron (UNIL, chair, supervisor), Anna Zimmer (UNIL), Urs Geiser (GIUZ)
Herrigel, Johanna (GIUZ) Pro-poor market and value chain development in Tanzania
PhD Committee: Christian Berndt (chair/supervisor), Timothy Raeymaekers (GIUZ), Urs Geiser (GIUZ)
Horgan, Katherine 
Measurements of the key ecosystem services in a global perspectives.
PhD Committee: Owen Petchey (chair) UZH), Norman Backhaus (GIUZ), Aletta Bonn (German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, Halle-Jena-Leipzig)
Kelegama, Thiruni
Contested spaces: The politics of state sponsored colonisation schemes in Sri Lanka
PhD Committee: Benedikt Korf (chair) (GIUZ), Norman Backhaus (GIUZ), Shalini Randeria (Graduate Institute Geneva); Jonathan Spencer (University of Edinburgh)
Parreño, Alejandra
Ecosystem services meta analysis
PhD Committee: Owen Petchey (chair) (UZH), Norman Backhaus (GIUZ), Michael Schaepman (GIUZ), Bernhard Schmid (UZH)
Rossi, Christian (GIUZ)

Quantifizierung von Ökosystemleistungen mit Fernerkundungssystemen im Schweizer Nationalpark und der umgebenden Kulturlandschaft.

PhD Committee: Michael Schaepman (chair, UZH), Norman Backhaus (UZH), Martin Schütz (WSL), Antia Risch (WSL), Rudolf Haller (Nationalpark)

Sigdel, Tulasi (KU, Nepal) Exploring the Transition to Democracy: The Cultural Politics of Democracy and Governance in Nepal (NCCR North-South).
PhD Committee: Sagar Sharma (chair, supervisor, KU, Nepal), Bishnu Upreti (NCCR Nepal), Ulrike Müller-Böker (GIUZ)
Winterberger, Georg

Beyond Livelihood Strategies: Change, Decision-making Process, and Innovation in Myanmar Society.

PhD Committee: Peter Finke (chair, ISEK), Ulrike Müller-Böker (GIUZ), Tobias Haller (UB)

Wirth, Manuel (GIUZ)

Impact investing and the shift towards measurement and behaviourism in the United Kingdom’s social policy making;

PhD Committee: Christian Berndt (chair, UZH), Norman Backhaus (UZH), Jane Pollard (University of Newcastle)

Co-supervised PhD Theses outside the Unit - Completed

Bartmess, Jennifer (GIUZ) Political ecology of environmental conflicts: who owns the tropical rainforests?
PhD Committee: Benedikt Korf (chair, supervision), Norman Backhaus (GIUZ), Christian Lund (Prof., Dept. of food and agriculture, University of Copenhagen) (2017)
Byrne, Sarah (GIUZ) Living with Violence: rural livelihoods in Mid-Western Nepal during and after the Maoist conflict (SNF).
PhD Committee: Benedikt Korf (chair, supervisor), Bishnu Upreti (NCCR Nepal), Ulrike Müller-Böker (GIUZ), Andrea Nightingale (University of Edinburgh) (2016)
Hollenbach, Pia (GIUZ) Moral Geographies and the Tsunami Gift in Sri Lanka (URPP Asia Europe).
PhD Committee: Benedikt Korf (chair, supervisor), Jonathan Spencer (University of Edinburgh), Christoph Uehlinger (UZH), Urs Geiser (GIUZ)
Klem, Bart (GIUZ) In the wake of war: The political geography of transition in eastern Sri Lanka
PhD Committee: Benedikt Korf (chair, supervision), Jonathan Spencer, University of Edinburgh), Georg Frerks (Wageningen University), Urs Geiser (GIUZ)
Kumar, Awanish (TISS, India) Land and Dalits in Maharashtra. A study with special reference to the Dalit land movement in Marathwada.
PhD Committee: R. Ramakumar (TISS, India), Urs Geiser (GIUZ) (2018)
Kumar, Nirmal (KU, Nepal)

Livelihoods futures in resource scarce areas and the quest for inclusion of marginal groups (NCCR North-South).
PhD Committee: Sagar Sharma (KU, Nepal), Ulrike Müller-Böker (GIUZ), Babar Shahbaz (AUF, Pakistan) (2017)

Luqman, Muhammad (AUF, Pakistan) Rural development visions and practices of culturally rooted social movements in North-West Pakistan (NCCR North-South).
PhD Committee: Tanvir Ali, Babar Shahbaz (AUF, Pakistan), Urs Geiser (GIUZ)
Nepali, Purna (KU, Nepal) Landlessness, Livelihood Insecurity and Social Conflict in Far-West Nepal with special focus on Dalit Community (NCCR North-South)
PhD Committee: Sagar Sharma (KU, Nepal), Kailash Pyakuryal (KU), Ulrike Müller-Böker (GIUZ) (2016)
Rana, Amir Muhammad (AUF, Pakistan) Food Security in Resource Scarce Area: The Quest of Inclusion of Marginal Groups in Far Western Region of Nepal
PhD Committee: Babar Shahbaz (AUF, Pakistan), Sagar Sharma (KU, Nepal), Ulrike Müller-Böker (GIUZ) (2017)
Rest, Matthäus (UZH) Water Power. Discourses on Modernity and Development around the Nepalese Arun-3 Hydropower Project (URPP Asia Europe).
PhD Committee: Shalini Randeria (IHEID), Ulrike Müller-Böker (GIUZ)
Rohrbach, Benjamin (GIUZ) Ecosystem services in protected areas.
PhD Committee: Robert Weibel (chair), Patrick Laube (supervisor), Norman Backhaus (GIUZ), Monika Messmer (FibL), Ruedi Haller (SNP) (2016)
Samanchina, Jarkyn (Bishkek Humanities University, Kyrgyzstan) Migration, knowledge and skills exchange as a factor of development of the Kyrgyz-Turkish relations (NCCR North-South).
PhD Committee: Ainur Elebaeva (chair, supervisor, Academy of Management under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic), Susan Thieme (GIUZ)
Sapkota, Mahendra (KU, Nepal)

Rise of ethnic movements and contested rural development in Nepal: Case study of the Tharu Movement

PhD Committee: Sagar Sharma (chair, supervisor, KU, Nepal), Prabin Manandhar (KU Nepal), Urs Geiser (GIUZ) (2017)

Vinod, C (Kannur University, Kerala, India) Ethnicity and livelihood practices at the confluence of the Local and the Global: a Study of Paniyas in Wyanad
PhD Committee: V. Menon (chair, supervisor), NN, Urs Geiser (GIUZ)
Wartmann, Flurina (GIUZ) From Space to Place in the Bolivian Amazon - Representing landscape perceptions with ethnographic and GIS approaches.
PhD Committee: Ross Purves (chair, supervisor), Norman Backhaus (GIUZ), Tobias Haller (UB) (2016)