Simon A. Peth

Post-Doctoral Researcher & Lecturer


I am a social and development geographer. I studied human geography, development economics, and anthropology at the University of Bonn and have over ten years research experience on human development, climate change adaptation, human mobility and migration with projects in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore and Germany. Besides my passion for empirical research I am involved in science communication and implemented several #SciComm projects such as the photo project Work Men on the Move.


Office Location

Location: Bruno-Sander-Haus, 7th floor, room 60736a



you can book an appointment online: click here


Phone: +43-512-507-54058
Fax: +43-512-507-54199

Postal address

Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Platforms & Social Media

Research Foci

At a Glance


South- and South-East Asia (Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore)
Horn of Africa (Ethiopia)


Social geography & inequalities
Rural-urban geographies
Migration and mobility research
Labor geographies

Concepts & Theories

Transnationalism and translocality
Social theories of action
Vulnerability and social resilience
Entitlement approaches
Transient urbanism


Qualitative social research
Multi-sited ethnography;
Praticipatory research;
Mixed-methods (MMR),
Visual methods

Academic Career



2019 – present → Research Associate and Lecturer at the Department of Geography, Innsbruck University

2013 – 2018 → Research Associate / PhD Candidate | Translocal Resilience Project (TransRe), Department of Geography, Bonn University

2015 → Visiting Researcher| National University of Singapore (NUS), Asia Research Institute

2013 → Consultant | United Nation University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU EHS), Bonn: fundraising & project development

2013 → Explorer | cycling 3500 km through Europe

2013 → Consultant | Department of Geography, University of Bonn, writing of a project proposal (TransRe ), with Prof. Dr. P. Sakdapolrak (principle investigator), sucessfull (3 million euro granted)

2012 → PRA Trainer | Implementation of a methodological workshop, Introduction to the methods of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), potentials and pitfalls of participatory approaches, United Nation University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU EHS), Bonn

2011 → Consultant |Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network HoA REC/N), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2009 – 2010 → Internship | German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ; former GTZ), Sustainable Land Management Project (GTZ SLM), Ethiopia

2008 – 2012 → Student assistant |University of Bonn working group of development geography, lead by Prof. Dr. S. Tröger , Prof. Dr. Chr. Dittrich, and Prof. Dr. E. Rothfuß





2013 – present → Member of the Arbeitskreis “Geographisches Migrationsforschung”

2019 – present → Member of the German Research Foundation’s (DFG) Network “Digitale Geographien”



2012 → Diploma (Geography), Universities of Bonn.

Title of thesis (in German): “Migrationspfade und Arbeitsräume in Bangladesch Translokale
Lebenssicherung in einer sich wandelnden (Um)Welt“, passed with distinction (1,0)

Awards & Honors:

2019 → EU ERASMUS plus Scholarship, visiting researcher (Mahidoln University, Bangkok)

2015 – 2016 → Grant for science communication, “Neue Vermittlungsräume” (Leibnitzinstitut für Länderkunde, project: Work Men on the Move


My Publications

Recent PublicationsNew

Journal Articles (peer-reviewed):


Bork-Hüffer, T. & S. A. Peth (2020): Arrival or Transient Spaces? Differentiated Politics of Mobilities, Socio-Technological Orderings and Migrants’ Socio-Spatial Embeddedness. Urban Planning, DOI: 10.17645/up.v5i3.2988

Peth, S. A. & P. Sakdapolrak (2020): Resilient family meshwork. Thai–German migrations, translocal ties, and their impact on social resilience. Geoforum, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2020.05.019.

Peth, S. A. & P. Sakdapolrak (2019): When the origin becomes the destination: Lost remittances and social resilience of return labour migrants in Thailand. Area,  in press, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12598.

Peth, S. A.; Sterly, H. & P. Sakdapolrak (2018): Between the village and the global city: the production and decay of translocal spaces of Thai migrant workers in Singapore. Mobilities, 13, DOI:10.1080/17450101.2018.1449785. 

Sakdapolrak, P., Naruchaikosol, S., Ober, K., Peth, S. A., Porst, L., Rockenbauch, T., Tolo, V. (2016): Migration in a changing climate. Towards a translocal social resilience approach. DIE ERDE, 147(2), 81-94.


Journal Articles (reviewed):


Sterly, H, Etzold, B. & S. A. Peth (2019): Bangladesch – Beweggründe für Binnenmigration und translokale Lebensrealitäten , in: Geographische Rundschau 3/2019 (März), p. 18-23.

Steinbrink, M & S. A. Peth (2014): Hier, dort und dazwischen – Translokale Livelihoods in Südafrika, in: Geographische Rundschau 66(11), S.32-38.


Contributions to Volumes & Books:

Peth, S. A. (2020): Migration and translocal resilience = Migration und translokale Resilienz : A multi-sited analysis in/between Thailand, Singapore and Germany = Eine multilokale Analyse zwischen Thailand, Singapur und Deutschland. – Bonn, 2020. – Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. Online in bonndoc: https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:hbz:5-60582 

Peth, S. A. & S. Birtel (2015): Translocal livelihoods and labor migration in Bangladesh – migration decisions in the context of multiple insecurities and a changing environment, In: Mallick, B. & Etzold, B. (Eds.): Environment, Migration and Adaptation. Evidence and Politics of Climate Change in Bangladesh. Dhaka: AHDPH. ISBN: 978-984-91037-9-0



Other Publications:


Peth, S. A. (2019): Vom Mensch zum Inputfaktor – Einblicke in das Leben der Arbeitsmigranten in Singapur, in Südostasien 1(2019).

TransRe (2018): Migration for Adaptation. A Guidebook for Integrating Migration and Translocality into Community-Based Adaptaiton. Bonn

Peth, S. A. (2015): Migrationspfade und Arbeitsräume in Bangladesch – Translokale Lebenssicherung in einer sich wandelnden (Um)Welt, TransRe Working Paper No. 4, Department of Geography, University of Bonn, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1951.9840, Bonn.

Greiner, C., Peth, S. A. & P. Sakdapolrak (2015): Deciphering migration in the age of climate change – Towards an understanding of translocal relations in social-ecological systems. TransRe Working Paper No 2. Department of Geography, University of Bonn. Bonn. DOI: 10.13140/2.1.4402.9765  

Hornung, M. & S. A. Peth (2014): Alltag im Hier und Dort – Heiratsmigration und translokale Verflechtungen zwischen Thailand und Deutschland, in Südostasien 4(2014).

Tröger et al. (2011): Failing Seasons, Ailing Societies – Climate Change and the Meaning of Adaptation in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.



Peth, S. A. (2019) How to write a great blog post on your research topic? A brief guide in 9 steps. Blog: Medium, Aug. 2019.

Peth, S. A. (2018) “We are trained like soldiers” The inhumane mechanisms of international labor migration and its impact on translocal connectedness. Blog: Connecting the spots – Notes on migration and environment from a geographical perspective, May. 2018.

Peth, S. A. (2016) “I will never return.” The drudgery of Thai farm workers in Israel Blog: Connecting the spots – Notes on migration and environment from a geographical perspective, Dec. 2016.

Peth, S. A. (2016): New connectedness of people on the move, Blog: Migration Systems, Aug. 2016.

Peth, S. A.(2015) Bangladesh: Prime Example of Climate Migration? Blog: Connecting the spots – Notes on migration and environment from a geographical perspective, Oct. 2015.

Peth, S. A.(2015) “I call several times per day.” How new communication tools shape the connectedness of people on the move. , Blog: Connecting the spots – Notes on migration and environment from a geographical perspective, Jul. 2015.

Peth, S. A.(2015) From Science to Action, through Co-Production of Knowledge [VIDEO BLOG], Blog: Connecting the spots – Notes on migration and environment from a geographical perspective, May 2015.

Peth, S. A.(2015) Are we all translocal now? Blog: Connecting the spots – Notes on migration and environment from a geographical perspective, Feb. 2015.

Peth, S. A.(2014) What is translocality? A refined understanding of place and space in a globalized world, Blog: Connecting the spots – Notes on migration and environment from a geographical perspective, Nov. 2014.

Presentations and Talks:

Invited Talks and Presentations

Peth, S. A. (2019): Klimafolgen, Migration und Anpassung am Fallbeispiel Thailands, Seminarreihe Klimagerechtigkeit. Ethische Reflexionen und transformatives Handeln  2019 – Donau-Universität Krems, Wien, 08.11.2019.

Other Talks and Presentations

Peth, S. A. (2019): Singapurs Dormitories: Translokale Stadtfragmente im Kontext sozialer Segregationspolitik, Congress: DKG 2019 – Geographentag, Kiel, 29.09.2019.

Peth, S. A. (2019): Shades of Migration. Entwicklung und die ungleichen Lebenswelten von Migrant*innen aus dem ländlichen Raum, Congress: DKG 2019 – Geographentag, Kiel, 28.09.2019.

Peth, S. A. und P. Sakdapolrak (2018): Leben in permanenter Flexibilität: Translokale Beziehungen Thailändischer Arbeitsmigranten in Singapur im Kontext sozialer Segregation, 5te ÖAW Jahrestagung: Migrations- und Integrationsforschung, Wien, 05-07.12.2018

Peth, S. A. (2018): Transnational Labour Migration and Lost Remittances in South East Asia: Thai Migrant Workers Returning Home, Rural Futures Southeast Asia Conference – ruralSEA, Bangkok, 01.-02.08.2018.

Peth, S. A. (2017): Strukturelle Segregation und Translokalität thailändischer Arbeitsmigranten in Singapur, Congress: DKG 2017 – Geographentag, Tübingen, 30.09.-05.10.2017.

Peth, S. A. (2017): “Good (wo)men take care”. The gendered mobility and translocal embeddedness of migrants in-between Thailand and Germany, Conference: EuroSEAS 2017, Oxford, 16-18.08.2017.

Peth, S. A. (2017): Strukturelle Segregation und die Vergänglichkeit translokaler Orte Thailändischer Arbeitsmigranten in der Global City Singapur, Conference: AK Geogr. Stadtforschung im Entwicklungskontext, Cologne, 08-09.07.2017.

Peth, S. A. (2016): Living between the village and the global city: Translocal connections and social resilience of Thai migrant workers in Singapore, Workshop: Connecting the Dots, Bonn, 29.09.2016.

Peth, S. A. (2013): Lost in space and fluidity? Gedanken zu den Herausforderungen translokaler Geographien, Workshop: Grundfragen geographischen Arbeitens, Bayreuth, 22.11.2013.

Peth, S. A. (2013): Migration in the age of Climate Change: Moving beyond the geo-determinist agenda, Workshop: Denaturalizing climate change: migration, mobilities and space, Bremen, 01.11.2013

Peth, S. A. (2013): Arbeit im System: Migration und translokale Lebenssicherung in Bangladesch, Deutscher Geographentag 2013, Passau, 22.11.2013.

Peth, S. A. (2013): Doppelt sesshaft oder völlig losgelöst? Arbeitsmigration, Translokalität und soziale Einbettung im ländlichen Bangladesch, Deutscher Geographentag 2013, Passau, 22.11.2013.

Film & Multimedia:


Peth, S. A. (2018) Background Video on the Migration for Adaptation Guidebook (A Production for the TransRe Project and the Raks Thai Foundation / CARE)

Peth, S. A. (2016) Climate Change, Migration and Resilience in Thailand (short video on the Trans|Re Research Project)

Peth, S. A. & C. Sefrin (2010-2011) Grenzgänger – Ein Weg durch Äthiopien, Sudan und Ägypten (Live-Multivisionsvortrag)

Peth, S. A. & C. Sefrin (2008) Wax and Gold – Äthiopien ein Land auf dem Weg in die Zukunft.




Online Exhibition: Work Men on the Move

There are 257.7 million international migrants around the world and the vast majority of them are labour migrants. Behind this number there are millions of untold stories and this is one of them. This is the story of Thai migrant workers leaving their villages to work in Singapore. They work as construction workers on one of the countless construction sites or in the shipyards to keep the world trade running.


Podcast GEOpod: Thailand am Scheideweg zwischen ‘smarter Diktatur’ und Demokratie

Am 24. März 2019 wurde in Thailand gewählt. Nach 5 Jahren Militärdiktatur stellt sich die Frage, wie es weiter geht in dem südostasiatischen Schwellenland, das sowohl ökonomisch als auch politisch an einer Schwelle steht. Für viele Beobachter steht Thailand an einem Scheideweg zwischen der Verfestigung eines autoritären Regimes mit modernistischem Deckmäntelchen und einer pluralistischen Demokratie. Die vorläufigen Ergebnisse der Wahl machen nachdenklich. In diesen Podcast geht darum was geschehen ist und er wirft die Frage auf, wie es nun weiter geht.

About Me

In my research I focus on issues related to social inequality, human-environment relations and social resilience in the context of global change and diversifying patterns of human mobility and migration. My theoretical approach is inspired by Bourdieu’s theory of action, the new mobilities paradigm, the translocality debate as well as concepts of social resilience. In my point of view good geographical research should not only be theoretically profound but also empirically grounded. There is no good theory without proper empirical research and vice versa.

I have over 10 years research experience in different continents. I have gained my first research experience in Ethiopia, where I was involved in research projects on social adaptation to climate change in cooperation with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center (HoAREC/N). Later I joined a research project of the United Nations University (UNU-EHS) researching the complex nexus between climate change and migration in Bangladesh focusing on domestic migration. During my research in Bangladesh I understood the importance of a multi-sited research approach especially when researching the impacts of migration. During the last five years I took the opportunity to continue with multi-sited research in the frame of my dissertation research. From a translocal perspective I compared two very different migration systems: (a) transnational labour migration from Thailand to Singapore as well as (b) love and marriage migration between Thailand and Germany.

During all the years talking to farmers, migrants, families of migrants, agents, politicians, employers and many other actors I realized two things: First, not only a multi-sited but also a mixed method approach is probably the best way to examine the complex realities of transient spaces and societies. Second, in times of big data qualitative research has become even more important to make sense of all possible correlations which can be found in today’s flood of data.

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Research Group Transient Spaces & Societies

Geographisches Institut Innsbruck
Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck



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