Resources, environment and conflict

Natural resources are critical to the current Asian economic powerhouse. We are investigating how political–economic conflict over natural resources and environmental impact can shape resource governance systems in Asia.


Minerals and energy consumption has underpinned the Asian region’s rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, while at the same time the growing affluent classes put pressure on food, water and environmental resources.

At the heart of natural resources politics in Asia lie issues of distributional conflict: how are these resources used, who controls access, and how are their benefits distributed through society?

Our research is examining how political–economic conflict over natural resources and environmental impact is reshaping resource governance systems in Asia, from fisheries management, agrarian politics and land reform, to the impact of natural hazards on socio-economic structure and the international politics of regional resource security.

For more information contact A/Prof. Carol Warren (cluster leader),  C.Warren@murdoch.edu.au, ph 9360 2345.

  • Key researchers

    Dr Joseph Christensen

    Prof. Neil Loneragan (co-cluster leader)

    Prof. Malcolm Tull

    A/Prof. Carol Warren (co-cluster leader)

    Prof. James Warren

    Dr Jeffrey Wilson

  • Selected publications

    Joseph Christensen (with G Bankoff, eds), 2016, Natural Hazards and Peoples in the Indian Ocean World, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Joseph Christensen and Malcolm Tull (eds), 2014, Historical Perspectives on Fisheries Exploitation in the Indo-Pacific, New York: Springer Science.

    Neil Loneragan (with S. Metcalf et al.), 2014, Identifying Key Dynamics and Ideal Governance Structures for Successful Ecological Management, Environmental Science and Policy, 37: 34–49.

    Malcolm Tull et al., 2014, The Future of the Oceans Past: Towards a Global Marine Historical Research Initiative, PLoS ONE, 9,7.

    Carol Warren (with L Visser), 2016, The Local Turn: Revisiting Leadership, Elite Capture and Good Governance in Indonesian Conservation and Development Programs, Human Ecology, 44,3: 277–86.

    James Warren, 2013, A Tale of Two Decades: Typhoons and Floods, Manila and the Provinces, and the Marcos Years, The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 11, 43: 1–11.

    James Warren, 2016, Typhoons and the Inequalities of Philippine Society and History, Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, 63,3: 1–18.

    Jeffrey Wilson, 2017, International Resource Politics in the Asia-Pacific: The Political Economy of Conflict and Cooperation, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

    Jeffrey Wilson, 2013, Governing Global Production: Resource Networks in the Asia-Pacific Steel Industry, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Jeffrey Wilson, 2015, Multilateral Organisations and the Limits to International Energy Cooperation, New Political Economy, 20,1: 85–106.

  • Major projects

    Neil Loneragan and Carol Warren (with N Stacey): Small-scale Fisheries in Indonesia: Benefits to Households, the Roles of Women and Opportunities for Improving Livelihoods, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 2015–2016.

    Neil Loneragan and Malcolm Tull (with M Hughes and J Tweedley): Golden Fish: Evaluating and Optimising the Biological, Social and Economic Returns of Small-scale Fisheries, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, 2016.

     James Warren: Hazards, Tipping Points, Adaptation and Collapse in the Indo-Pacific World, Post-1000 CE, ARC Linkage Project, 2015–2018.

    James Warren: Southeast Asia’s Global Economy, Climate and the Impact of Natural Hazards from the 10th to 21st Centuries, ARC Linkage Project, 2011–2013.

    Carol Warren (with J McCarthy, G Acciaioli, A Lucas and J Schiller): Social Capital, Natural Resources and Local Governance in Indonesia, ARC Discovery Project, 2008–2011.