Tag Archives decolonisation

Grappling with unease – together: collective reflections on Migration Studies and Colonialism by Mayblin and Turner

How can scholars tackle the legacy of colonialism in migration studies? Last year, a small group of critical development studies scholars at ISS sought to reflect on this challenge by collectively reading and discussing the book Migration Studies and Colonialism that explores exactly this issue. In this article, we share our observations and discuss two things that we consider vital in meaningful discussions on the  topic: the need to move beyond simplistic notions of European colonialism and the importance of meaningful engagement with scholars from the ‘Global South’.

Photo Credit: Authors.

While it is difficult to make generalizing claims about the broad field of migration studies that attracts scholars from various disciplines, one can confidently state that we have not yet adequately addressed the colonial legacies that continue to colour research and discussions on migration. It is in light of this that a group of scholars from the ISS got together in November last year to discuss a book that critically explores the issue. We hoped that in discussing colonial histories and migration studies, we could better understand our collective unease with the way in which we may reproduce colonialist harms through our work.

The book we discussed, ‘Migration Studies and Colonialism’ by Lucy Mayblin and Joe Turner (2021), is written as an intervention that is meant to place colonialism and its critique at the centre of discussions in migration studies. Moving beyond a critique of migration studies, the authors echo the call for action to dismantle the field’s contribution to the reproduction of coloniality – one that has been growing louder thanks to contributions by migration scholars engaging with postcolonial and decolonial thought.[1]

Instead of reviewing the book,[2] we chose to highlight our collective reflections on the unease many of us face in trying to engage with decolonial ideals, aspirations, and/or commitments as early-career researchers working on highly polarizing topics. Most of us identify as women of colour who come from the so-called ‘Global South’; we research migration, child sex tourism, or humanitarian intervention within academic institutional structures in the Global North. Coming from these diverse backgrounds, we offer input for the discussion on how to grapple with colonial legacies at the university and beyond through deep, collective, and horizontally organized reading, which is important in itself as a counter-current against fast academia.

These are our insights stemming from our discussions:


  1. We need to acknowledge non-European experiences and legacies of colonialism

 Mayblin and Turner argue in their book that colonial histories should be central to understanding migration praxis. They warn against what they call “sanctioned ignorance of histories of colonialism”, which leaves scholars and practitioners with theories that are inadequate in explaining the present state of migration regimes and moreover normalize the use of dehumanizing terms (such as ‘illegals’) that appear to be objective rather than historically and culturally emergent (p.3).

As they attempt to frame their discussions[3]  in a global manner, the authors rely on intellectual legacies from the Americas (North and South) and engagement with scholars from Asian and African traditions (p.4). They acknowledge that as ‘white’ academics working in British higher education institutions, they write from particular perspectives that may result in readers spotting limitations and omissions.

And we did. In our discussions, the tension between appreciating the thematic discussion of colonial histories and the wide brush used to portray international migration studies was consistently present. As we delved into each chapter, we found that the telling of specific colonial histories still placed Europe at the centre of the discussion. One participant for instance remarked during our conversation about Chapter 3 that “[the authors] make a solid case for why race and colonialism are intertwined with and shape migration. I do, however, feel the perspective adopted is still Eurocentric. It’s important to note that colonialism is not only European.”

We concluded that by emphasizing their critique of Eurocentrism reproduced through coloniality, the book showcased not only a tendency to limit and equate colonialism to Europe but also a limited take on Europe as a monolith. Another participant observed, “One Europe – as if there is one Europe, one type of colonialism, no differentiation.”

While we acknowledged the inclusion of geographical contexts and topics that are not commonly discussed in the historicizing of colonialism and migration, such as the mentioning of former colonized nations in the construction of international refugee regimes (Ch. 5), Mayblin and Turner’s focus on Europe’s colonial history reinforces a lack of acknowledgement of non-European experiences and legacies of colonialism.

To offer a more balanced picture, we feel the need to highlight topics important to the diverse contexts we come from or work with. These include South-South migration, indentured labour, and transnational solidarities that were instrumental in the independence of many formerly colonized nations. Otherwise, by limiting ourselves to a critique on a seemingly monolithic Europe and its (lasting) systems of categorization, the ‘Global South’ continues to be present as an ‘object’ in the retelling of the colonial histories (Quijano 2007). Interestingly, this discussion forced participants to reflect on our roles and commitment as researchers to actively unlearn and challenge the ‘subject-object’ relations between the ‘Global North’ and ‘Global South’ prevalent in knowledge production. By centring colonial histories within migration studies, both the authors and the readers should reflect on their positionality, roles, and choices in the retelling of histories.


  1. We need to be transparent about our inclusion of ‘voices from the Global South’

 Mayblin and Turner acknowledge that literatures problematizing mainstream migration studies exist but are often still inaccessible or unaccounted for, partly due to structural inequalities within higher academic institutions. They write on pages 4 and 5: “This book seeks to showcase some of this work for people who research migration yet never encounter such perspectives… Our aim is not that you cite this book, but that in the future you cite some of the scholars discussed within it.”

We followed their sound advice. The references to perspectives, approaches, and concepts developed mainly by scholars from the Global South required the reading group participants to read and reflect beyond what was presented in the book. For example, in Chapter 5, Mayblin and Turner’s critical discussion on forced migration brought readers’ attention to Vergara-Figueroa’s (2018) elaboration to the notion of ‘deracination’. While the concept of ‘deracination’ has been widely adopted by scholars and activists in the Latin American and the Caribbean contexts, particularly in Colombia in relation to land dispossession, forced migration, violence, and rupture of communal ties caused by the prolonged armed conflict, it was still unfamiliar to most of the participants.

As an Ecuadorian researcher who was very familiar with the Colombian context was able discuss ‘deracination’ in more detail, the collective reading evolved into a space where thought processes and conversations moved from Mayblin and Turner to concepts and ideas developed in particular localities and historical contexts and their potential applicability elsewhere to reflections by participants on their own identities, voices, and research.  Reflecting on these discussions, one participant said: “I’m not doing research at the moment, but this book and discussion has made me more aware about my own internalized Eurocentric ideas, being more conscious about the spaces I am in and realize how we represent ‘the Global South’.”

However, one question remained after completing the collective reading: how did Mayblin and Turner choose what to include and exclude in the book? While the referencing of scholars from the Global South is important and welcomed by group participants, there is a lack of explanation on how they chose whose work to include.

In addition, Mayblin and Turner’s choice to reference these scholars as opposed to inviting them to contribute directly through an edited volume is also worth noting. While they state early on that they hope the book will lead migration researchers to reference some of the work they included, these decisions still positioned them as gatekeepers of knowledge production. Being more transparent about these choices would have allowed more open accountability towards the power hierarchies in knowledge production that they are critical of.


A way forward: the value of collective reading and reflections

We (try to) engage with ‘decoloniality’ and the responsibility to acknowledge the legacies of colonialism in our research to different degrees and in different ways. Most participants are used to applying a critical and historical lens towards the themes raised in the book but are less certain about taking up the responsibility of ‘doing decoloniality’. One participant for example stated that “I often encounter this question [of centring colonialism] in my field when working on development aid. I think we are aware of many of the problems mentioned, such as the topic of race, inequality, etc., but we don’t necessarily know what to do.”

This tension between recognizing ‘problems’ and feeling unsure of what to do and how to position ourselves as researchers from diverse backgrounds is at the heart of our ambivalence and unease when engaging with the book. This tension is also recognized by Mayblin and Turner, who decided against calling their book “Decolonizing Migration Studies”. Instead, they positioned it more broadly to support decolonization agendas within academic institutions. But as we show, tension, ambivalence, and unease can drive critical reflection and prompt change in practice.

While we did not start or end with a common commitment to decolonizing knowledges, there was a general agreement among us, as one participant stated, “… to actively participate and also to allow yourself to listen with discomfort.” Grappling with unease was the starting point for our collective reflections, and we left with concrete clues for conscious historicization and contextualization to avoid the broad brushstrokes that overlook other experiences and legacies.

[1] E.g. Mains et al. 2013; Achiumi 2019; Samaddar 2020; Fiddien-Qasmiyeh 2020

[2] For reviews, see e.g. Favell 2021; Stallone 2022

[3] Mayblin and Turner’s historizing of colonialism provides the starting point to their discussion of migration studies and the thematic exploration of modernity and development (Chapter 2), race and racism (Chapter 3), state sovereignty and citizenship (Chapter 4), asylum seekers and refugee regimes (Chapter 5), national and border security (Chapter 6), and gender and sexuality (Chapter 7).

Opinions expressed in Bliss posts reflect solely the views of the author of the post in question.

About the authors:

Mahardhika Sjamsoe’oed Sadjad is an interdisciplinary scholar in the field of international development and migration. Her research focuses on discursive and affective constructions of identities and belonging in The Netherlands, Indonesia, and broader region of Southeast Asia.


Zeynep Kaşlı is Assistant Professor in Migration and Development at ISS, affiliated with the Governance, Law and Social Justice Research Group. Her research interests include mobility, citizenship, borders, transnationalism, power and sovereignty with regional expertise in Turkey, Middle East and Europe.


Nanneke Winters is an assistant professor in Migration and Development at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research interests include im/mobility, migrant trajectories, and translocal livelihoods in Central America and beyond.



Haya Alfarra is a PhD researcher at ISS-EUR. Her research explores the role of diaspora as non-traditional humanitarian actors in protracted humanitarian situations, looking specifically at the role of Palestinian-German diaspora in humanitarian responses in the Gaza Strip, occupied Palestinian territory.





Mausumi Chetia is a PhD researcher at ISS-EUR. She researches on meanings of home and lived human (in)securities in context of disaster-related displacements in India. Her research is part of the Erasmus Initiative called Vital Cities and Citizens (VCC), under the theme of Resilient Cities.





Xander Creed is a PhD researcher at the ISS. Their work explores migration and asylum governance with a particular focus on the human dimension of (im)mobility, for instance through the lens of human security and feminisms.




Vanessa Ntinu is the Jr. Executive Manager of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Governance of Migration and Diversity. She is interested in notions surrounding race, anti-Blackness, diversity, and migration laws and institutions.





Gabriela Villacis Izquierdo is a Ph.D researcher at the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University Rotterdam in the field of development and humanitarian studies. Her current research is based in Colombia and focuses on the contributions of feminism(s) to humanitarian governance, with an emphasis on the potential of collective action and humanitarian advocacy.

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Transformative Methodologies | On ‘being with’ and ‘holding space’ as transformative research tools in anthropology

Despite advances made in the field of anthropology to address some of its problematic practices, anthropologists still conduct research in the same ways as they always have, their comings and goings based on the amount of data they have acquired. The decolonisation of anthropological studies may benefit from a different approach in which researchers spend time ‘being with’ studied groups, hold space for their stories, and are responsible for the stories they as researchers then put forth, writes Aminata Cairo.

Helicopter anthropologists

“For every Indian, there was an anthropologist.” So joked the Native population with me as I was visiting the Navajo reservation to conduct research. There were plenty more jokes about the scientists who, in the name of science, came and went and excavated their stories, only to misrepresent them and never be heard from again. Similarly, when I went to my first national anthropological conference in the US as a graduate student, I attended a session with the Native American cohort where I learned about the concept of ‘helicopter anthropologist’ – those who come and ‘hover’ to extract what they need and then leave without a trace.

Those jokes and lessons have stayed with me. As an anthropologist, I have always felt strongly that in order to do right, we should heed the guidance of those that have been affected the most by these practices. In American anthropology, that would be the Native American population.

I have been trained as an American anthropologist, and as much as I love the discipline, something never felt right. I switched from clinical psychology to anthropology because it was a different way of dealing with people’s stories. Anthropology allowed me to help people give voice to their own stories.  And yet there was something about it…

Anthropology was born out of a very specific colonial history,[1] after all. Yes, it was about people’s stories, but those stories were studied so people could be dominated, exploited, or classified as ‘less than’ in support of white supremacy. I am well aware of its past. The approach has changed since its early beginnings, but the means to extract the stories have basically remained the same. We are still helicopter anthropologists.

Yet things could be different. At that same anthropology conference, I met a Native American elder who told me that “the community should be better off for the anthropologists having been there.” It is the teaching that has stayed with me and set me on my path to study indigenous approaches to knowledge.

Researchers as stewards of knowledge

After reading the work of Linda Tuhiwai Smith[2] and Shawn Wilson,[3] my approach to knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge changed forever. According to Wilson, we can never be owners of knowledge. Knowledge is all around us, and we stand in relationship to it. Ultimately, we can only be stewards of knowledge. This approach brings with it a certain humility, an understanding that engagement with indigenous peoples and the gaining of insights is a privilege, not an entitlement.  Tuhiwai Smith acknowledges the colonial foundation of research practices and advocates for an approach to research that is decolonising and treats research populations with respect.

Reliable accountability and holding space

My approach to research now is totally different from how I was initially trained. Now, I start with the premise that we are all connected and that for a short period of time, I would ‘be with’ and join a community in order to unearth a story or stories that can be a benefit for all of us. I follow Wilson’s mandate of ‘relational accountability’ represented in the three ‘R’s’: respect, responsibility, and reciprocity. In addition, I use my own concept of ‘holding space’ in which I am not entitled to the story or stories, but must earn the right to experience those stories through being with, displaying care, and building trust. Through joining and collectively being touched and transformed by the story or stories, they will come to light.

The key is that this journey is a respectful collaboration, rather than the standard data extraction pursuit of traditional research. Even in anthropology’s method of participant observation, the ultimate goal is for the researcher to walk away informed and enriched. In this endeavour, the goal is for the researcher and the (research) community to have learned something that will be of benefit to both and potentially useful to transform the space.

In our most recent research project, where we joined a marginalised community within The Hague to explore solidarity in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we engaged in a journey with the community. What started as a pursuit for counternarratives to the existing negative public stories shifted and became an exercise in holding space for all the stories that existed in this community, whether positive or negative. It was the community members, after all, that reminded us that they didn’t have anything to prove, and that in fact they had earned the right to just be. Through joining and ‘being with’, we then shifted course and learned about how people hold space for each other – a far more valuable lesson.

I understand that some of my colleagues might frown upon my approach to research. However, in my world of inclusion, there are many different approaches to knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge. My way of doing knowledge is just fine. What matters is that I can contribute to knowledge and communities and feel good about what I do. All of it. That is the best reward and my incentive to keep going.

[1] Lews, D. (1973) ‘Anthropology and Colonialism’, Current Anthropology 14(5): 581-602.

[2] Tuhiwai Smith, L. (1999). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London and New York: Zed Books Ltd.

[3] Wilson, S. (2008). Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Winnipeg: Fernwood.

Opinions expressed in Bliss posts reflect solely the views of the author of the post in question.

About the author:

Aminata Cairo is the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Team at the International Institute of Social Studies.

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EADI ISS Conference 2021 | Some steps for decolonising international research-for-development partnerships

While partnerships between researchers and practitioners from the Global North and Global South can be and often are intellectually and socially impactful, they remain highly unequal. Coloniality pervades these partnerships, influencing who leads the research projects implemented in the Global South and whose interests are represented. Here, the conveners and panellists of a roundtable discussion on partnerships in academia that formed part of the recent EADI ISS Conference 2021 propose some steps for decolonising international research partnerships. 

Much of the very urgent and timely discussion on decolonising the academe[1] – recognising and changing the colonial relations of power that are embedded in teaching as well as research – has focused on representation, on diversifying the curricula, and on theorising from the Global South. But what about research partnerships and collaborations? This is a slightly overlooked issue in the decolonisation agenda, but one that is no less important.

In the field of international development particularly, but not only, collaborations between academic institutions in the Global North and academic and non-academic institutions in the Global South are often crucial to demonstrate research impact and to generate funding. But these partnerships themselves are fraught by unequal power relations. To truly decolonise research, it is necessary to decolonise every aspect of it – including the way in which we collaborate internationally.

At a recent roundtable at the EADI ISS Conference 2021 called ‘Partnership, participation and power in academia’, we sought answers to questions that included:

  • How do unequal power relations manifest in the design and operation of research?
  • What might we do to challenge these relations?
  • What would it mean to decolonise these research partnerships?

During the roundtable, participants highlighted key issues that arose in how international research collaborations are designed and implemented. These are summarised below. We start with reflections on how coloniality manifests itself through various stages of the collaboration process.

Agenda-setting: whose interests are really represented?

There are a number of programmatic and institutional issues that result in unequal relations between collaborators across the Global North and Global South, both within academic institutions and between academia and practice. Funding sources and structures are obvious culprits here. Not only are funders often situated in the Global North, the criteria for eligibility and affiliation means that these partners need to be the principal or lead investigators. As a result, more often than not, project outcomes and impacts end up being structured and valued by the parameters of funding bodies and university departments in the Global North with little regard for what might be important for partners inhabiting other geographies and institutional environments. So, for example, the inordinate emphasis in projects on high-impact journal publications may be at odds with the priorities of an NGO partner in the Global South.

Constrained research design processes

Moreover, grant applications typically require clearly defined questions, outcomes and outputs – in fact, proposals are often marked down when they demonstrate the slightest sign of tentativeness – and the time between the announcement of grant and submission deadlines can be quite limited. These issues mean that research partnerships do not always have enough time and space to jointly develop a research agenda that accounts equally for interests of partners across the Global North and Global South and to allow for the messy process that robust research often tends to be.

More knowledge is more power (when it comes to agenda setting)

In fact, because researchers in the Global North also have more tacit knowledge and institutional support to make a proposal ‘fundable’, they have more power in setting the research agenda. In such situations, the degree to which partnerships are equitable depends on the discretion and conscience of individual academics. 

Partners in the Global South: mediators or change agents?

There are more fundamental questions that arise from these issues: who is considered a researcher and what does it mean to be a researcher? It is now widely accepted that the ‘lone researcher’ never was – the work of academics has always been enabled by other individuals and networks of support. In the context of many North-South research collaborations, practitioner organisers and local communities based in the Global South often become mediators providing access to field data, data collecting agents and/or passive recipients of research findings. Academics everywhere, but especially in the Global North, need to find ways of sharing power with institutions, communities and individuals in whose name these collaborative grants are often established.

Decolonising international research partnerships: some steps

With these issues and questions in mind, and based on the roundtable discussion, we propose some steps to decolonise international academic collaborations and foster partnerships that are equitable, democratic, and lead to locally relevant impacts.

  1. Decolonise the research ecosystem

First, the research ecosystem of funding bodies, higher education organisations and research institutions needs to be transformed to eliminate systemic biases against research partners from the Global South. More often than not, grant guidelines require that project leadership and budget administration remain with the Northern partners while hiring policies for project staff (e.g. PhD researchers) frequently discriminate against Southern candidates. We propose:

  • Redressing the hierarchies of funding structures: building funding instruments that recognise academic excellence, merit, and local relevance, regardless of researchers’ nationality;
  • Designing funding instruments that prioritise project leadership by Southern partners, both academics and practitioners;
  • Reflecting on the ways in which our own attitudes and practices perpetuate the systemic injustices within the research ecosystem.
  1. Decolonise the research process

Second, it is necessary to think critically about the biases that permeate the research inception process – from articulating the research idea through conceptualisation to funding acquisition. Rarely does it happen that the Northern and Southern co-applicants have the chance to brainstorm the research idea together and articulate their needs and preferences.  For projects to be co-created in an equitable manner, we propose the following:

  • Debunking the myth of research projects as linear and allowing for flexibility, adaptation, and learning throughout the project cycle;
  • Recognising that a certain degree of ‘messiness’ is an indispensable part of collaborative knowledge co-creation and that project priorities, as well as desired outputs and impacts, might change during the project;
  • Creating spaces for informal interaction between researchers and practitioners from institutions in the Global North and Global South where innovative ideas can be developed and discussed prior to grant application submission.
  1. Decolonise the research outputs

Third, research projects in the field of international development are frequently expected to deliver both applied (positive social change on the ground) and scientific (contributions to theory) impacts, but it is only the latter that often determine project ‘success’. This results in a somewhat skewed project logic that prioritises scientific outputs over practical insights.

Research outputs may be decolonised by:

  • Legitimising alternative knowledge systems, recognising the plurality of methodological approaches, and appreciating the indispensability of grounded and localised practitioner experiences;
  • Decoupling academic and non-academic project outputs, as well as recognising their value and complementary nature.

Research partnerships: processes, not actor constellations

North-South partnerships are not an isolated issue – they are part of a complex and dynamic research-for-development system. For this reason, we propose approaching partnerships as a process, as opposed to simply a contract or institutional arrangement. This process starts with decentralised, inclusive, and democratic agenda setting, followed by resource allocation that acknowledges the indispensable and complementary contributions of all partners. Project governance needs to be democratic and fair and, finally, knowledge co-creation must be recognised as leading to both academic and non-academic outputs and impacts. Approaching partnerships as a process can allow us to prioritise locally defined development agendas, to include and appreciate all relevant stakeholders, and to build on their diverse knowledges, skills, and experience

[1] For example, https://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/about/decolonisation/

Opinions expressed in Bliss posts reflect solely the views of the author of the post in question.

About the authors:

Katarzyna Cieslik is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on work, livelihoods and employment in the Global South, in particular in relation to technology/work/environment tradeoffs.

Shreya Sinha is a Lecturer at the University of Reading, working on agrarian political economy, political ecology and critical development studies with a focus on India.

Cees Leeuwis is professor of Knowledge, Technology and Innovation at Wageningen University. He studies processes of socio-technical innovation and transformation in networks, research for development policy, the functioning of innovation support systems and the role of innovation platforms, communication, extension and brokers therein.

Tania Eulalia Martínez-Cruz is an independent researcher and consultant at the Indigenous Peoples Unit at FAO, researching the politics of knowledge, gender and social inclusion/exclusion, climate action, nutrition and traditional food systems.

Nivedita Narain  is Chief Executive Officer, Charities Aid Foundation India, an adjunct faculty member at the Charles Sturt University, Australia and has worked with Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) for over thirty years. She has worked on gender, livelihoods, and human resources management for non-profits and setting-up development practice as an academic discipline.

Bhaskar Vira is a Professor of Political Economy at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on environmental and development economics; political economy, particularly the study of institutions and institutional change; public policy in the developing world.

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Rethinking how we communicate on Bliss – a contribution to the decolonization of science by Lize Swartz

Research institutes are not only spaces in which research and education take place—they play a political role in sharing knowledge that is intended to benefit society directly or indirectly. Who the knowledge is shared with and in which ways is of extreme importance; publishing research findings and learnings in English limits who can benefit from the research. In an effort to contribute to the decolonization of science, ISS Blog Bliss has decided to encourage the publication of blog articles in the native languages of the authors or the communities participating in the research.

The Editorial Board of ISS Blog Bliss meets at quarterly intervals to discuss numerous aspects relating to the blog, including its functioning, successes, and future directions. At such meetings, we always discuss the statistics of the blog, including which articles have the most reads and where the readers come from.

At our recent Board meeting, we noticed that of the top 10 countries in terms of readership, only two are outside the Global North. Moreover, these two countries—South Africa and India—were former British colonies where English is the lingua franca, understood and spoken by a large part of the population. The top 3 countries were the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA, while other countries included Germany and Switzerland. As all blog articles have been published in English, this inevitably means that people who are able to read English texts and do research in English have been able to access our blog site.

In an effort to increase the readership of our blog, we have decided to encourage blog authors to translate their blog articles to their native languages, or to the native language of the communities participating in the research. In the future, English texts will be encouraged to be accompanied by texts in native languages. We hope that in so doing, our audience can be diversified, moving beyond scholars, practitioners and research participants in the Global North to include those in the Global South as well.

Something we also found at Bliss is the importance of researchers sharing their blog articles on social networks. While Google helps to find blog articles, research dissemination on social media is also a form of scholar activism. Our research finds that Facebook is particularly important for finding blog articles, followed by Twitter and Google. We are therefore encouraging authors to share their blog articles on social media (in their native languages) as well.

The good news are that blogs remain a wonderful way to communicate what we are discussing or researching at ISS. The content is more accessible, both in terms of style and in terms of open access, than scientific theses or journal articles. We therefore encourage researchers to make use of this communication channel. If we really wish to live the scholar-activism many of us subscribe to—if we truly want to be scholar activists—we must also think of how and to whom we are disseminating the knowledge we have generated through our research.

Are you also committed to changing academia? Join us by writing for Bliss in your native language and then share it as widely as you can!

16177487_1348685531818526_4418355730312549822_oAbout the author:

Lize Swartz is a PhD researcher at the ISS focusing on water user interactions with sustainability-climate crises in the water sector, in particular the role of water scarcity politics on crisis responses and adaptation processes. She is also the editor of the ISS Blog Bliss.

Image Credit: Chris JL on Flickr