Development Studies students published in Human Rights Defender magazine

10 Jul 2017

Human Rights Defender

For a rising academic or someone wanting to develop a career in International Development, this is huge achievement.

We are very proud to announce that three of our students Blake Lambert, Michael Thai and Ming En Chin, are authors of articles featured in the Human Rights Defender magazine Issue 1, Volume 26.

Blake and Michael’s research looks into the growing phenomenon in the mega-cities of Southeast Asia, where rural and urban spaces have collided, resulting in an array of socio-political and environmental problems. This complex relationship is played out through the criss-crossing waterways of peri-urban Hanoi in Vietnam.

Ming investigates the development of environmental activism in China against the backdrop of its new suite of laws aimed tightening state security and counter-terrorism. He considers activists success in securing concessions from government within the wider context of the country’s questionable approach to human rights and freedom of speech as well as its traditional Confucian ideals.

Dr Pichamon Yeophantong, UNSW Lecturer in International Relations and Development was guest editor for this issue of the Human Rights Defender. As Blake, Michael and Ming’s tutor and mentor Pichamon, emphasises how pleased she is that the magazine features contributions from three of the many young, dynamic minds that make up UNSW in this HRD issue, and to nurture the passion of these talented students for making positive change. Of course, this wouldn't have been possible without the HRD editorial committee who supported this issue and the inclusion of a diversity of voices.

All three students—Blake, Michael and Ming—have previously taken undergraduate courses on International Development and Development in Asia, and had demonstrated strong promise and passion for finding sustainable solutions to the environmental and human rights challenges prevalent in the region. They have done exceptionally well in conducting thorough research for their articles and writing up these timely pieces, which deal with two of the most pressing problems facing China and Vietnam: air pollution and clean water access. Pichamon was particularly impressed with their work ethic and responsibility in going through the multiple rounds of revision, and addressing comments from senior academic reviewers that were always constructive, but never sugar-coated.

Studying Development Studies at UNSW involves a variety of different disciplines - from anthropology to forestry, social work to international relations, economics to public health. From these disciplinary bases we interact around current debates in the field of development, examining the underlying processes, objectives, and the impact they have on the lives of many of the world's people.

It's great to see our students hard work has paid off. Such a huge achievement to have published work in such a recognised publication – well done Blake, Michael and Ming!