Professor Nina Laurie
Prof of Dev & the Environment

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6346
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 5421
  • Address: Room: 4.22
    Daysh Building
    University of Newcastle
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU



I have been at Newcastle University since 1992 when I joined as a lecturer in Geography. In 2002 I became a senior lecturer and then Professor of Development and the Environment in 2005. Prior to this I taught geography and history in a British School in Lima, Peru for three years.

Through British Council/DFID exchange programs I was able to teach in universities in Bolivia, Peru and Chile for more than a decade and on a separate fellowship at the University of Illinois in the USA. I have found these international experiences to be very enriching and am firmly committed to global forms of University education and knowledge exchange.

Roles and Responsibilities

Director Developing Areas Research Network (Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham Universities) (2005-2010)


  • BA  Geography, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.
  • MA Geography, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
  • PhD Geography, UCL, London, U.K.


  • Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG)
  • Association of American Geographers
  • Society of Latin American Studies
  • Development Studies Association
  • Secretary of the Women in Geography Study Group of the RGS-IBG (1995-9)
  • Member of the RGS-IBG Slawson Postgraduate Award Panel (2005)

Honours and Awards

Queens University, Kingston, Canada. University Female Scholar Fellowship (2003)

University of Illinois University, Urbana-Champaign, USA. International Council Distinguished Scholar’s Programme, Visiting Professor of Development Geography (2002-3)


Research Interests

Gender and development, Latin America, social movements, neoliberalism, international volunteering.

I am a feminist development geographer concerned with the social inclusions and exclusions associated with development. I am interested in the relationship between culture and development in the broadest sense. My work conceptualises the relationship between identity formation and development policy in the context of shifting transnational donor and social movement networks and geographies. For some years now this work has involved examining neoliberalisation through a focus on professionalization, social movements and knowledge production. Part of this analysis explores how citizenship demands are mobilised when identity and development agendas intersect in diverse geographical and policy contexts. Empirically these interests have centred on four topics: gender and development, indigenous development, water privatisation and international volunteering.

Current Work

Most of my time is currently taken up with an ESRC research project ‘‘Post Trafficking Livelihoods in Nepal: Women, Sexuality and Citizenship” where I am collaborating with Newcastle colleagues, Diane Richardson and Janet Townsend, and Meena Poudel from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This is a challenging project in many ways. With our project partners Shakti Samuha, an anti-trafficking NGO run by returnee trafficked women, we are working with policy makers locally and internationally to ensure that our project findings on livelihoods post trafficking feed into current citizenship debates and anti-trafficking strategies in Nepal and the wider South Asia region. (

I also have three other areas of on-going interest:

International volunteering: with Matt Baillie Smith at Northumbria University I have developed a portfolio of work building on a joint ESRC seminar series ‘Activism Volunteering and Citizneship’ with other colleagues at Northumbria, Newcastle and Edinburgh. This also includes a recently completed AHRC project on young Christian volunteers to Latin America also with Newcastle colleague Peter Hopkins and Besty Olson at Edinburgh ( Matt and I collaborate with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and are jointly supervising a PhD studentship at Northumbria on Diaspora Volunteering with VSO.

Negotiating new political spaces: exploring geographies of civil society politics in Latin America: This project with colleagues at Bergen University, Norway (Arnt Fløysand and Håvard Haarstad) and the Catholic University in Santiago, Chile (Jonathan Barton) funded by the Norwegian research council, examines the social movement demands around specific foreign direct investment industries, notably mining and gas in Bolivia and salmon and forestry in Chile. It builds on my interests in ethno-development, indigenous politics and natural resources in the Andess. (

Forging identity under fire: Quechua music festivals and evangelical indigenous identities in Peru in the 1980/90s: researchers of ethno-development have traditionally focused on the politicisation of indigenous identities in the Andes in the 1990s through a focus on Bolivia and Ecuador, bypassing Peru where indigenous organising was seen to be weaker. This project examines the construction of indigenous Quechua identities in Apurimac, Peru an area greatly affected by the civil war. Archive work and oral histories form the basis of the research (see ‘finding yourself in the archives’ a commentary piece for the journal 'Geoforum').

Future Research

International volunteering in changing geopolitical and economic times

Research Roles

I have been/am on the editorial boards for:

  • Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (2004-2007)
  • Annals of the Association of American Geographers (2004-2011)
  • Geoforum (from 2001 - present)

Postgraduate Supervision

Robert Ogle “The role of the church in the integration of Ecuadorian migrants to Spain” (MPhil)

Gisela Zapata "Migration, Remittances and Development: Constructing Colombian Migrants as Transnational Financial Subjects”


Youba Luintel "The political economy of the deepening food crisis in Nepal: a study on the nexus of global forces and local processes". PhD. Awarded 2011

Julián Perez "Water privatization and social resistance in Bolivia". MPhil. Awarded 2011

Jane Carnaffan "Gender, indigeneity and homestay tourism in Peru". PhD ESRC competition. Awarded 2010

Sa-Ngiam Boonpat "Tourism and local development: The case of Chiang Saen, Chiangrai, Thailand". PhD. Awarded 2010

Claire Furlong "How safe is our water: Perceived versus actual water quality as a barrier for the adoption of new water treatment technologies and water sources within communities in developing countries". PhD. Awarded 2010

Pablo Regalsky "Indigenous Territoriality and Decentralisation in Bolivia (1994-2003): Autonomies, municipalities, social differentiation and access to resources". PhD. Awarded 2008

Patricia Oliart “State reform and the resilient powers: teachers, school culture and the neoliberal education reform in Peru”. PhD. Awarded 2007 

Katherine Jenkins “Professional health promoters? Reconceptualising urban women's organising in Peru”. PhD ESRC competition. Awarded 2006

Patrcia Ocampo-Thomason “The use of local knowledge for the defence and sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems: the case of Ecuador”. PhD ESRC competition. Awarded 2006

Kate Simpson, “Broad horizons? Geographies and pedagogies of the gap year”. PhD ESRC competition. Awarded 2005

Ergül Ergün "Atölye Kizlari (workshop girls): a study of women’s labour in the export-oriented garment industry in Turkey". PhD. Awarded 2004 

Pablo Regalsky "Ethnicity and Class: the Bolivian state and Andean space management". MPhil. Awarded 2000

Victoria Buchanan “Gender and water in South Africa”. MPhil. Awarded 2000

Justine Coulson "Embodying development : a study of female flower workers in Ecuador". PhD. Awarded 1999

Maggie Anderson Torrico "Gender and neoliberalism in Bolivia with reference to street girls in Cochabamba". MPhil. Awarded 1997



Undergraduate Teaching

Current courses
GEO3061: Ethno-development: Development with Identity

Past courses
GEO106: World Development?
GEO222: Introduction to Geographical Thought
GEO238: Cities & Social Change
GEO350: Latin America Social Movements