Professor Philip Hirsch

Room 472
Professor of Human Geography

F09 - Madsen Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone 61-(0)2-93513355

Biographical details

Philip Hirsch is Professor of Human Geography in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney. He specialises innatural resource management, rural change and the politics of environment in Southeast Asia. Phil leads the Mekong Research Group, which carries out engaged and collaborative research on a range of natural resource governance, livelihood and development themes in the Mekong region. He has been working on and in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia since the early 1980s. Phil is fluent in Thai and Lao, and also speaks and reads passable Vietnamese and some Khmer.

Research interests

Philip Hirsch has research interests in a range of natural resource management themes and their relationship with rural change and the politics of environment in Southeast Asia. He has written extensively on land, forest, water and fisheries in the Mekong region. He is also an area studies specialist on Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the wider Mekong Region. Phil has been involved with collaborative field projects in each country for many years.

More specific interests include river basin management, deforestation, environmental impact of development, rural social differentiation and agrarian change, the role of NGOs in development, resource tenure, changing relations between village and state, and community-based natural resource management. Phil's research work includes projects supported by the Australian Research Council, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research,Australian Agency for International Development, International Development Research Centre, Australian Water Research Facility, Asia Research Centre and Danish International Development Assistance.

Selected grants

2014

  • Data analysis training on the natural resource, livelihood and food security nexus; Lagerqvist (nee Fujita) Y, Hirsch P; Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID)/Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships.

2013

  • TRAPPED - Identifying the location and extent of populations trapped by environmental change in the Mekong Delta: An agent-based modelling approach; Hirsch P, Smith C; European Commission (Belgium)/Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowship.
  • 12th International Conference on Thai Studies; Hirsch P; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Federal)/Research Support.

2012

  • Facilitating livelihood adaptation to hydrological change and natural resource pressures in Lao PDR; Hirsch P, Dibley M, Lagerqvist (nee Fujita) Y, Scurrah N; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)/Research and Development Programs.

2011

  • Mekong Laws: Scales, Sites and Impacts of 'Hard' and 'Soft' Law in Mekong River Basin Governance; Johns F, Saul B, Hirsch P, Boer B; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).
  • Mekong Laws: Scales, Sites and Impacts of ‘Hard’ and ‘Soft’ Law in Mekong River Basin Governance; Johns F, Saul B, Hirsch P, Boer B; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2010

  • Change and adaptation in smallholder fisheries livelihoods in Lao PDR; Hirsch P; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)/Research and Development Programs.

2008

  • Towards Policy Relevant Knowledge in the Mekong: Exploring the Links Between Sustainability Research; Hirsch P, Fisher R; Stockholm Environment Institute (Thailand)/Sustainable Mekong Research Network (Sumernet).
  • The Welfare Impacts of Land Titling in Laos; Santos P, Hirsch P; Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID)/Australian Development Research Awards.

2006

  • Water Resource Management Research Capacity Development Programme; Hirsch P; AusAID/Research Grants Program.

2005

  • Mekong Learning Initiative; Hirsch P; Oxfam America (USA)/East Asia Regional Program Grant.
  • The Challenges Of The Agrarian Transition In Southeast Asia; Hirsch P; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Counil of Canada/Major Collaborative Research Initiatives Program.
  • National Interests and Transboundary Water Governance: The Mekong River.; Hirsch P; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (Denmark)/Asia Department Research Grant.
  • Property Rights and Land Titling Project; Burns T, Hirsch P; Land Equity International Pty Ltd/BLO Project.

2004

  • Appropriate Water Regulatory Systems Design Research Project; Heard K, Hirsch P; AusAID/BLO Project.

2003

  • Toward a political ecology of risk in river basin development: The case of the Mekong; Hirsch P; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2002

  • River basin management: A negotiated approach; Langeveld S, Hirsch P; Both Ends/BLO Project.

2001

  • Small scale wetland indigenous fisheries management, Laos (SWIM); Hirsch P; International Development Research Centre (Canada)/Grant.

2000

  • Australian Mekong Resource Centre; Hirsch P; Rockefeller Foundation (USA)/Program Grant.
  • Small-scale wetland indigenous fisheries management in Lao PDR; Hirsch P; Foreign Affairs and Trade/Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • Boer, B., Hirsch, P., Johns, F., Saul, B., Scurrah, N. (2015). The Mekong: A Socio-legal Approach to River Basin Development (Forthcoming). United Kingdom: Routledge.
  • Hall, D., Hirsch, P., Murray Li, T. (2011). Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia. Singapore: NUS (National University of Singapore) Press.

Edited Books

  • Hirsch, P., Tapp, N. (2010). Tracks and Traces: Thailand and the Work of Andrew Turton. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Hirsch, P. (2012). IWRM as a Participatory Governance: Framework for the Mekong River Basin? In Joakim Ojendal, Stina Hansson and Sofie Hellberg (Eds.), Politics and Development in a Transboundary Watershed: The Case of the Lower Mekong Basin, (pp. 155-170). London, United Kingdom: Springer.
  • Hirsch, P. (2012). Nong Nae Revisited: Continuity and Change in a Post-frontier Community. In Jonathan Rigg and Peter Vandergeest (Eds.), Revisiting Rural Places: Pathways to Poverty and Prosperity in Southeast Asia, (pp. 112-134). Singapore: NUS (National University of Singapore) Press.
  • Hirsch, P. (2012). River Hardware and Software: Perspectives on National Interest and Water Governance in the Mekong River Basin. In David Higgitt (Eds.), Perspectives on Environmental Management and Technology in Asian River Basins. Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Hirsch, P., Sciortino, R. (2011). Climate Change and the Resource Politics of the Greater Mekong Subregion. In Kobkun Rayanakorn (Eds.), Climate Change Challenges in the Mekong Region, (pp. 223-248). Chiang Mai, Thailand: Chiang Mai University Press.
  • Hirsch, P., Wilson, K. (2011). Ebbs and Flows: Megaproject Politics on the Mekong. In Stanley D Brunn (Eds.), Engineering Earth: The Impacts of Megaengineering Projects, (pp. 1633-1650). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Ganjanapan, A., Hirsch, P. (2010). Transforming Agrarian Transformation in a Globalizing Thailand. In Philip Hirsch and Nicholas Tapp (Eds.), Tracks and Traces: Thailand and the Work of Andrew Turton, (pp. 29-38). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • Hirsch, P. (2009). Issues of scale in governing water as a common good: the Mekong River Basin. In Devleena Ghosh, Heather Goodall and Stephanie Hemelryk Donald (Eds.), Water, Sovereignty and Borders in Asia and Oceania, (pp. 125-133). Oxon, UK: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Kakonen, M., Hirsch, P. (2009). The Anti-Politics of Mekong Knowledge Production. In Molle, Francois~Foran, Tira~Kakonen, Mira~ (Eds.), Contested Waterscapes in the Mekong Region: Hydropower, Livelihoods and Governance, (pp. 333-355). London: Earthscan.
  • Leksakundilok, A., Hirsch, P. (2008). Community-based ecotourism in Thailand. In John Connell and Barbara Rugendyke (Eds.), Tourism at the Grassroots: Villagers and visitors in the Asia-Pacific, (pp. 214-235). 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX144RN: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Hirsch, P. (2007). Advocacy,civil society and the state in the Mekong Region. In Barbara Rugendyke (Eds.), NGOs as Advocates for development in a gobalising world, (pp. 185-199). Abington, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Hirsch, P. (2007). Civil Society and interdependencies: towards a regional political ecology of Mekong development. In John Connell and Eric Waddell (Eds.), Environment, Development and Change in Rural Asia-Pacific: Between Local and Global, (pp. 226-246). London: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Molle, F., Wester, P., Hirsch, P., Jensen, J., Murray-Rust, H., Paranjpye, V., Pollard, S., Van der Zaag, P. (2007). River Basin Development and Management. In David Molden (Eds.), Water for Food, Water for Life: the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agiriculture, (pp. 585-625). London: Earthscan.
  • Hirsch, P. (2002). Global Norms, Local Compliance and the Human Rights-Environment Nexus: A Case Study of the Nam Theun II Dam in Laos. In Lyuba Zarsky (Eds.), Human Rights And The Environment: Conflicts And Norms In A Globalising World, (pp. 147-171). United Kingdom: Earthscan/James & James.

Journals

  • Lyu, X., Hirsch, P., Kimkong, H., Manorom, K., Tubtim, T. (2013). Cross-Boundary Peer Learning in the Mekong: A Case of Field-Based Education in Natural Resources Management. Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, 150(1), 41-52. [More Information]
  • Hirsch, P. (2013). Emerging Issues In Southeast Asian Geography: Local, Non-Local and Collaborative Scholarship. TRaNS: Trans Regional and National Studies of Southeast Asia, 1(01), 105-119. [More Information]
  • Hirsch, P. (2012). Reviving Agrarian Studies in South-East Asia: Geography on the Ascendancy. Geographical Research, 50(4), 393-403. [More Information]
  • Hirsch, P. (2011). China and the Cascading Geopolitics of Lower Mekong Dams. The Asia-Pacific Journal, 9(20), unknown-unknown.
  • Johns, F., Saul, B., Hirsch, P., Stephens, T., Boer, B. (2010). Law and the Mekong River Basin: A Socio-Legal Research Agenda on the Role of Hard and Soft Law in Regulating Transboundary Water Resources. Melbourne Journal of International Law, 11(1), 154-174.
  • Molle, F., Wester, P., Hirsch, P. (2010). River basin closure: Processes, implications and responses. Agricultural Water Management, 97(4), 569-577. [More Information]
  • Hirsch, P. (2010). The Changing Political Dynamics of Dam Building on the Mekong. Water Alternatives, 3(2), 312-323.
  • Hirsch, P., Fold, N. (2009). Re-thinking frontiers in Southeast Asia . Geographical Journal, 175(2), 95-97.
  • Hirsch, P. (2009). Revisiting frontiers as transitional spaces in Thailand. Geographical Journal, 175(2), 124-132.
  • Fisher, R., Hirsch, P. (2008). Poverty and Agrarian-Forest Interactions in Thailand. Geographical Research, 46(1), 74-84.
  • Hirsch, P. (2007). Managing a transboundary resource: Catchment management and dams in the Mekong River Basin. Geodate, 1(1), 5-8.
  • Hirsch, P. (2006). Governing water as a common good in the Mekong River Basin: issues of scale. Transforming Cultures eJournal, 1(2), 104-113.
  • Hirsch, P. (2006). Water Governance Reform and Catchment Management in the Mekong Region. Journal of Environment and Development: a review of international policy, 15(2), 184-201.
  • Hirsch, P., Tubtim, N. (2005). Common property as enclosure: A case study of a backswamp in southern Laos. Society and Natural Resources, 18(1), 41-60.
  • Bush, S., Hirsch, P. (2005). Framing fishery decline. Aquatic Resources Culture and Development, 1(2), 79-90.
  • Hirsch, P., Lloyd, K. (2005). Real and virtual experiential learning on the Mekong: Field schools, e-Sims and cultural challenge. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 29(3), 321-337.
  • Hirsch, P., Wyatt, A. (2004). Negotiating Local Livelihoods: Scales Of Conflict In The Se San River Basin. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 45(1), 51-68.
  • Vandergeest, P., Phanvilay, K., Fujita, Y., Fox, J., Hirsch, P., Van Esterik, P., Withayapak, C., Tyler, S. (2003). Flexible networking in research capacity building at the National University of Laos: lessons for north-south collaboration. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 24(1), 119-135.
  • Hirsch, P. (2001). Globalisation, regionalisation and local voices: the Asian Development Bank and re-scaled politics of environment in the Mekong region. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 22(3), 237-251.

Conferences

  • Hirsch, P. (2004). Development Assistance In A Transboundary River Basin Setting: The Role Of Institutional Mechanisms In Safeguarding Poor People'S Livelihoods To And Rights To Land And Water In The Mekong Region. From Water 'Wars' to Water 'Riots' - Lessons from Transboundary Water Management, Strandgade 56, DK-1401 Copenhagen, Denmark: Danish Institute for International Studies.
  • Hirsch, P. (2004). The Politics of Fisheries Knowledge in the Mekong River Basin. Second International Symposium on Large Rivers for Fisheries, Thailand: RAP Publication.
  • Hirsch, P., McLaughlan,, R., Kirkpatrick, D., Maier, H. (2001). Academic and Institutional Issues related to the planning and implementation of a multi-disciplinary role-play simulation involoving collaboration across institutions. 18th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society of Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, : UNSW Australian Defence Force Academy.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Hirsch, P. (2011). A New Geopolitics of Mekong Dams? Bangkok Post.
  • Hirsch, P. (2011). Mekong mainstream dams: a revival? Asian Currents.

Working Paper Internal

  • Chem, P., Hirsch, P., Someth, P. (2011). Hydrological Analysis in Support of Irrigation Management: A Case Study of Stung Chrey Bak Catchment, Cambodia.
  • Nang, P., Khiev, D., Hirsch, P., Whitehead, I. (2011). Improving the governance of water resources in Cambodia: A Stakeholder Analysis Understanding Stakeholders' Roles, Perceptions and Constraints for Effective Irrigation and Catchment Management and Development.

Other

  • Hirsch, P. (2013), Laos mutes opposition to controversial Mekong dam.
  • Hirsch, P. (2013), Thailand's colliding mountains and conflicting values.
  • Hirsch, P. (2011), Cascade Effect.

2015

  • Boer, B., Hirsch, P., Johns, F., Saul, B., Scurrah, N. (2015). The Mekong: A Socio-legal Approach to River Basin Development (Forthcoming). United Kingdom: Routledge.

2013

  • Lyu, X., Hirsch, P., Kimkong, H., Manorom, K., Tubtim, T. (2013). Cross-Boundary Peer Learning in the Mekong: A Case of Field-Based Education in Natural Resources Management. Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, 150(1), 41-52. [More Information]
  • Hirsch, P. (2013). Emerging Issues In Southeast Asian Geography: Local, Non-Local and Collaborative Scholarship. TRaNS: Trans Regional and National Studies of Southeast Asia, 1(01), 105-119. [More Information]
  • Hirsch, P. (2013), Laos mutes opposition to controversial Mekong dam.
  • Hirsch, P. (2013), Thailand's colliding mountains and conflicting values.

2012

  • Hirsch, P. (2012). IWRM as a Participatory Governance: Framework for the Mekong River Basin? In Joakim Ojendal, Stina Hansson and Sofie Hellberg (Eds.), Politics and Development in a Transboundary Watershed: The Case of the Lower Mekong Basin, (pp. 155-170). London, United Kingdom: Springer.
  • Hirsch, P. (2012). Nong Nae Revisited: Continuity and Change in a Post-frontier Community. In Jonathan Rigg and Peter Vandergeest (Eds.), Revisiting Rural Places: Pathways to Poverty and Prosperity in Southeast Asia, (pp. 112-134). Singapore: NUS (National University of Singapore) Press.
  • Hirsch, P. (2012). Reviving Agrarian Studies in South-East Asia: Geography on the Ascendancy. Geographical Research, 50(4), 393-403. [More Information]
  • Hirsch, P. (2012). River Hardware and Software: Perspectives on National Interest and Water Governance in the Mekong River Basin. In David Higgitt (Eds.), Perspectives on Environmental Management and Technology in Asian River Basins. Heidelberg: Springer.

2011

  • Hirsch, P. (2011). A New Geopolitics of Mekong Dams? Bangkok Post.
  • Hirsch, P. (2011), Cascade Effect.
  • Hirsch, P. (2011). China and the Cascading Geopolitics of Lower Mekong Dams. The Asia-Pacific Journal, 9(20), unknown-unknown.
  • Hirsch, P., Sciortino, R. (2011). Climate Change and the Resource Politics of the Greater Mekong Subregion. In Kobkun Rayanakorn (Eds.), Climate Change Challenges in the Mekong Region, (pp. 223-248). Chiang Mai, Thailand: Chiang Mai University Press.
  • Hirsch, P., Wilson, K. (2011). Ebbs and Flows: Megaproject Politics on the Mekong. In Stanley D Brunn (Eds.), Engineering Earth: The Impacts of Megaengineering Projects, (pp. 1633-1650). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Chem, P., Hirsch, P., Someth, P. (2011). Hydrological Analysis in Support of Irrigation Management: A Case Study of Stung Chrey Bak Catchment, Cambodia.
  • Nang, P., Khiev, D., Hirsch, P., Whitehead, I. (2011). Improving the governance of water resources in Cambodia: A Stakeholder Analysis Understanding Stakeholders' Roles, Perceptions and Constraints for Effective Irrigation and Catchment Management and Development.
  • Hirsch, P. (2011). Mekong mainstream dams: a revival? Asian Currents.
  • Hall, D., Hirsch, P., Murray Li, T. (2011). Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia. Singapore: NUS (National University of Singapore) Press.

2010

  • Johns, F., Saul, B., Hirsch, P., Stephens, T., Boer, B. (2010). Law and the Mekong River Basin: A Socio-Legal Research Agenda on the Role of Hard and Soft Law in Regulating Transboundary Water Resources. Melbourne Journal of International Law, 11(1), 154-174.
  • Molle, F., Wester, P., Hirsch, P. (2010). River basin closure: Processes, implications and responses. Agricultural Water Management, 97(4), 569-577. [More Information]
  • Hirsch, P. (2010). The Changing Political Dynamics of Dam Building on the Mekong. Water Alternatives, 3(2), 312-323.
  • Hirsch, P., Tapp, N. (2010). Tracks and Traces: Thailand and the Work of Andrew Turton. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • Ganjanapan, A., Hirsch, P. (2010). Transforming Agrarian Transformation in a Globalizing Thailand. In Philip Hirsch and Nicholas Tapp (Eds.), Tracks and Traces: Thailand and the Work of Andrew Turton, (pp. 29-38). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

2009

  • Hirsch, P. (2009). Issues of scale in governing water as a common good: the Mekong River Basin. In Devleena Ghosh, Heather Goodall and Stephanie Hemelryk Donald (Eds.), Water, Sovereignty and Borders in Asia and Oceania, (pp. 125-133). Oxon, UK: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Hirsch, P., Fold, N. (2009). Re-thinking frontiers in Southeast Asia . Geographical Journal, 175(2), 95-97.
  • Hirsch, P. (2009). Revisiting frontiers as transitional spaces in Thailand. Geographical Journal, 175(2), 124-132.
  • Kakonen, M., Hirsch, P. (2009). The Anti-Politics of Mekong Knowledge Production. In Molle, Francois~Foran, Tira~Kakonen, Mira~ (Eds.), Contested Waterscapes in the Mekong Region: Hydropower, Livelihoods and Governance, (pp. 333-355). London: Earthscan.

2008

  • Leksakundilok, A., Hirsch, P. (2008). Community-based ecotourism in Thailand. In John Connell and Barbara Rugendyke (Eds.), Tourism at the Grassroots: Villagers and visitors in the Asia-Pacific, (pp. 214-235). 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX144RN: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Fisher, R., Hirsch, P. (2008). Poverty and Agrarian-Forest Interactions in Thailand. Geographical Research, 46(1), 74-84.

2007

  • Hirsch, P. (2007). Advocacy,civil society and the state in the Mekong Region. In Barbara Rugendyke (Eds.), NGOs as Advocates for development in a gobalising world, (pp. 185-199). Abington, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Hirsch, P. (2007). Civil Society and interdependencies: towards a regional political ecology of Mekong development. In John Connell and Eric Waddell (Eds.), Environment, Development and Change in Rural Asia-Pacific: Between Local and Global, (pp. 226-246). London: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Hirsch, P. (2007). Managing a transboundary resource: Catchment management and dams in the Mekong River Basin. Geodate, 1(1), 5-8.
  • Molle, F., Wester, P., Hirsch, P., Jensen, J., Murray-Rust, H., Paranjpye, V., Pollard, S., Van der Zaag, P. (2007). River Basin Development and Management. In David Molden (Eds.), Water for Food, Water for Life: the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agiriculture, (pp. 585-625). London: Earthscan.

2006

  • Hirsch, P. (2006). Governing water as a common good in the Mekong River Basin: issues of scale. Transforming Cultures eJournal, 1(2), 104-113.
  • Hirsch, P. (2006). Water Governance Reform and Catchment Management in the Mekong Region. Journal of Environment and Development: a review of international policy, 15(2), 184-201.

2005

  • Hirsch, P., Tubtim, N. (2005). Common property as enclosure: A case study of a backswamp in southern Laos. Society and Natural Resources, 18(1), 41-60.
  • Bush, S., Hirsch, P. (2005). Framing fishery decline. Aquatic Resources Culture and Development, 1(2), 79-90.
  • Hirsch, P., Lloyd, K. (2005). Real and virtual experiential learning on the Mekong: Field schools, e-Sims and cultural challenge. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 29(3), 321-337.

2004

  • Hirsch, P. (2004). Development Assistance In A Transboundary River Basin Setting: The Role Of Institutional Mechanisms In Safeguarding Poor People'S Livelihoods To And Rights To Land And Water In The Mekong Region. From Water 'Wars' to Water 'Riots' - Lessons from Transboundary Water Management, Strandgade 56, DK-1401 Copenhagen, Denmark: Danish Institute for International Studies.
  • Hirsch, P., Wyatt, A. (2004). Negotiating Local Livelihoods: Scales Of Conflict In The Se San River Basin. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 45(1), 51-68.
  • Hirsch, P. (2004). The Politics of Fisheries Knowledge in the Mekong River Basin. Second International Symposium on Large Rivers for Fisheries, Thailand: RAP Publication.

2003

  • Vandergeest, P., Phanvilay, K., Fujita, Y., Fox, J., Hirsch, P., Van Esterik, P., Withayapak, C., Tyler, S. (2003). Flexible networking in research capacity building at the National University of Laos: lessons for north-south collaboration. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 24(1), 119-135.

2002

  • Hirsch, P. (2002). Global Norms, Local Compliance and the Human Rights-Environment Nexus: A Case Study of the Nam Theun II Dam in Laos. In Lyuba Zarsky (Eds.), Human Rights And The Environment: Conflicts And Norms In A Globalising World, (pp. 147-171). United Kingdom: Earthscan/James & James.

2001

  • Hirsch, P., McLaughlan,, R., Kirkpatrick, D., Maier, H. (2001). Academic and Institutional Issues related to the planning and implementation of a multi-disciplinary role-play simulation involoving collaboration across institutions. 18th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society of Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, : UNSW Australian Defence Force Academy.
  • Hirsch, P. (2001). Globalisation, regionalisation and local voices: the Asian Development Bank and re-scaled politics of environment in the Mekong region. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 22(3), 237-251.

To update your profile click here. For support on your academic profile contact .