This sub-project investigates the influence of translocal social networks on the ability of rural households to increase their resilience to environmental risks. Particular attention will be placed on structural properties of networks and the nature of flows through the networks.
The relations between social networks and migration are manifold. On the one hand, social networks are a precondition and conduit for migrants (e.g. chain migration). On the other hand, migration changes social structure in the areas of origin and destination. Local social ties are complemented by translocal ties that span across places and facilitate the access and the flow of resources, practices, information, and new ideas between places. While there is a growing number of scientific studies emphasizing that this increasing translocal connectedness bears potential for resilience building, there is little evidence on which networks structures are conducive to social resilience and which might restrict it. This study is considered to be a first attempt in helping to close this research gap.
Aim: The aim of this sub-project is to understand the influence of translocal networks on the ability of households to respond to climatic risks and to create and search for new livelihood pathways. Therefore, a formal social network perspective on translocal resilience in rural Thailand will be applied.
Methods: For assessing and analyzing the structure and dynamics of translocal social networks, methods from the Social Network Analysis (SNA) toolkit will be applied. Particular focus will be on networks of social support, agricultural innovation, and environmental governance, and the way in which they are changing and evolving in the face of migration. In order to gain a deeper understanding of how social structure relates with social resilience, quantitative approaches will be triangulated with qualitative and more participatory approaches to network analysis.
This sub-project is located at the interface of other sub-projects. It draws on insights on risk, vulnerability & resilience and supports a structural understanding of social translocal practices and the governance of translocal resilience.