Professor Susanne Schech


College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

place Social Sciences South (218)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia
BA Hons in Geography, University of Durham
PhD in Geography, University of Durham
Research expertise
Human geography
International development
Migrants and refugees
Research interests

My research has focused on two main fields of study:

  • Critical development studies (esp. development volunteering, culture and social change, gender and development, poverty reduction policy making)
  • Social and cultural geographies of migration, ethnicity and race¬†(esp. refugee and migrant settlement, constructions of racial and ethnic identities)

In critical development studies my work has focused on analysing the conceptual premises on which development policies and development scholarship are based. Empirically this work has centred on the role of ICTs in development, the participatory turn, gender and poverty reduction strategies. My current research project examines the impacts of international volunteering on host organisations and volunteers, as well as on constructions of development cooperation as partnership.

In social and cultural geography my research has examined how migrants and refugees reconstruct their identities in Australia within terrains and settlement contexts that are structured by race, class, gender, and underpinned by often implicit notions of modernity and development. Currently my attention is drawn to the ways in which the experiences and impacts of migration manifest differently in different places, and how sub-state regions shape these social transformations through migration.

External grants:

Resilient humanitarianism: the League of the Red Cross Societies, 1919-1991 (ARC DP190101171; 2019-2022 Co-CI)
Cosmopolitan development: the impacts of international volunteering (ARC LP120200085; 2012-2015, Lead CI)
From stranger to citizen: migration, modernisation and racialisation in the making of the new Australian
(ARC DP0665782; 2006-07, Lead CI) 

Teaching interests

I teach broadly in the field of development studies. Special interests lie in gender and development, and culture and development, and I contribute to topics on sustainable development and international work integrated learning.

Topic coordinator
DVST9035 Development Studies International Practicum
DVST9022 Theory and Evidence in International Development
INTR9065A Timor-Leste: Callenges of a new state in the Asian Century
INTR2100 Reimagining the Global South
INTR3104 Global Workplace
Supervisory interests
Contemporary volunteering
Cultural Geography
International development
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: climate change and migration (1)
Associate supervisor: decentralisation (1), international development (1)
Principal supervisor: migration, race & ethnicity (3), international development (3)
Associate supervisor: international development (9), volunteering (1), migration, race & ethnicity (1)
Expert for media contact
Ethnicity and Race Studies
International Development
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Development
  • Migration
  • Refugees
  • Ethnicity and Race Studies
  • International Development

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