Univ.-Prof. Dr. Patrick Sakdapolrak

Research Group Leader

Department of Geography and Regional Research
Universitätsstraße 7/5
1010 Vienna, Austria

Hours: Tuesday, 09:30 to 10:30 – please register under population.geographie@univie.ac.at (not during the semester breaks)

Tel.: +43-1-4277-48730

E-Mail: patrick.sakdapolrak@univie.ac.at


My research field is at the interface of population dynamics, environmental change and development processes, with a focus on the topics of migration and displacement as well as health and disease. The central theme of my research is the question of how vulnerable groups live with risk. My Ph.D. thesis is based on field research in slum settlements in India, where the inhabitants have significant higher mortality and morbidity rates than the rest of the urban population. I have investigated how these poor urban groups cope with and adapt to environmental and social stresses. My current research on migration-environment relationships in Kenya and Thailand addresses the question how migration alters the way people at places of origin deal with the environment and climate change. I have the aim to pursue sound theoretical and empirical research which is relevant for wider society. I have studied Geography and Development Research in Heidelberg and Wollongong, Australia, and received my doctorate degree at Bonn University.

Research interests

Conceptual: vulnerability, resilience, livelihoods, translocality, Bourdieu's Practice-Theory

Thematic: human-environment-relations, migration and displacement, health and disease

Regional: South Asia (India), South-East Asia (Thailand), East Africa (Kenia)



Sakdapolrak, P. (2010): Orte und Räume der Health Vulnerability. Bourdieus Theorie der Praxis für die Analyse von Krankheit und Gesundheit in megaurbanen Slums von Chennai, Südindien. Verlag für Entwicklungspolitik, Saarbrücken.

Scientific journals

Peth, S. and Sakdapolrak, R. (2019): When the originbecomes the destination: Lost remittances and social resilience of return labor migrants in Thailand. In: AREA, 51 (4), https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12598

Boas, I., Farbotko, C., Adams, H., Sterly, H., Bush, S., van der Geest, K., Wiegel, H., Ashraf, H., Baldwin, A., Bettini, G., Blondin, S., de Bruijn, M., Durand-Delacre, D., Fröhlich, C., Gioli, G., Guaita, L., Hut, E., Jarawura, F. X., Lamers, M., Lietaer, S., Nash, S. L., Piguet, E., Rothe, D., Sakdapolrak, P., Smith, L., Furlong, B. T., Turhan, E., Warner, J., Zickgraf, C., Black, R. and Hulme M. (2019): Climate migration myths. In: Nature Climate Change, 9, 901-903, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0633-3

Rockenbauch, T., Sakdapolrak, P. and Sterly, H. (2019): Beyond the local - Exploring the socio-spatial patterns of translocal network capital and its role in household resilience in Northeast Thailand. In: Geoforum, Available online 28 October 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.09.009.

Porst, L. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2018): Advancing adaptation or producing precarity? The role of rural-urban migration and translocal embeddedness in navigating household resilience in Thailand. In: Geoforum, 97 (2018), 35-45, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.10.011.

Peth, S., Sterly, H., and Sakdapolrak, P. (2018): Between the village and the global city: the production and decay of transloval spaces of Thai migrant workers in Singapore. In: Mobilities, https://doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2018.1449785.

Ober, K. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2017): How do social practices shape policy? Analysing the field of 'migration as adaptation' with Bourdieu's 'Theory of Practice'. In: The Geographical Journal, 183 (4), 359-369.

Porst, L. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2017): How scale matters in translocality: uses and potentials of scale in translocal research. In: Erdkunde, 71 (2), 111-126.

Rockenbauch, T. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2017): Social networks and the resilience of rural communities in the Global South: a critical review and conceptual reflections. In: Ecology and Society, 22 (1):10, https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-09009-220110

Etzold, B. and and Sakdapolrak, P. (2016): Socio-spatialities of vulnerability: towards a polymorphic perspective in vulnerability research. In: Die Erde, 147 (4), 53-70.

Sakdapolrak, P. and Etzold, B. (2016): Editorial to the special section “Geographies of Vulnerability and Resilience – Critical Explorations”. In: Die Erde, 147 (4), 230-233.

Sterly, H., Ober, K., and Sakdapolrak, P. (2016): Migration for Human Security? The Contribution of Translocality to Social Resilience. In: The Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs, 3 (1), 57-66.

Sakdapolrak, P., Naruchaikusol, S., Ober, K., Peth, S., Porst, L., Rockenbauch, T., and Tolo, V. (2016): Migration in a changing climate. Towards a translocal social resilience approach. In: Die Erde, 147 (2), 81-94.

Afifi, T., Milan, A., Etzold, B., Schraven, B., Rademacher-Schulz, C., Sakdapolrak, P., Reif, A., van der Geest, K., and Warner, K. (2016): Human mobility in response to rainfall variability: opportunities for migration as a successful adaptation strategy in eight case studies. In: Migration and Development, 5 (2), 1–21.

Wrathall, D.J., Oliver-Smith, A., Fekete, A., Gencer, E. Reyes, M.L., and Sakdapolrak, P. (2015): Problematising loss and damage. In: International Journal of Global Warming, 8 (2), 274-294.

Lang, B. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2015): Violent place making: How Kenya’s post-election violence transforms a worker’s settlement at Lake Naivasha. In: Political Geography, 45, 67-78.

Fekete, A. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2014): Loss and Damage as an Alternative to Resilience and Vulnerability? Preliminary Reflections on an Emerging Climate Change Adaptation Discourse. In: International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 5, 88-93.

Lang, B. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2014): Belonging and recognition after the post-election violence: A case study on labour migrants in Naivasha, Kenya. In: Erdkunde, 68 (3), 185-196.

Deffner, V., Haferburg, C., Sakdapolrak, P., Eichholz, M., Etzold, B., and Michel, B. (2014): Relational denken, Ungleichheiten refektieren – Bourdieus Theorie der Praxis in der deutschsprachingen Geographischen Entwicklungsforschung. Editorial. In: Geographica Helvetica, 69, 3–6.

Sakdapolrak, P. (2014): Livelihoods as social practices. Re-energising livelihoods research with Bourdieu's theory of practice. In: Geographica Helvetica, 69, 19–28.

Greiner, C. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2013): Rural-urban migration, agricultural change and the environment in Kenya. A literature review. In: Population and Environment, 34 (4), 524-553.

Greiner, C. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2013): Translocality: Concepts, applications and emerging research perspectives. In: Geography Compass, 7/5, 373-384.

Keck, M. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2013): What is social resilience? Lessons learned and ways forward. In: Erdkunde, 67 (1), 5-18.

Sakdapolrak, P., Ergler, C., and Seyler, T. (2013): Burdens of direct and indirect costs of illness: Empirical findings from slum settlements in Chennai, South India. In: Progress in Development Studies, 13, 135-151.

Sakdapolrak, P., Promburom, P., and Reif, A. (2013): Why successful in-situ adaptation with environmental stress does not prevent people from migrating? Empirical evidence from Northern Thailand. In: Climate and Development, 6 (1), 38-45.

Zimmer, A. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2012): The social practices of governing. Analysing waste water governance in a Delhi slum. In: Environment and Urbanization ASIA, 3, 325-341.

Butsch, C., Sakdapolrak, P., and Saravanan, S. V. (2012): Urban health in India. In: Internationales Asienforum, 43 (1-2), 13-32.

Etzold, B., Jülich, S., Keck, M., Sakdapolrak, P., Schmitt, T., and Zimmer, A. (2012): Doing institutions. New trends in institutional theory and their relevance for development geography. In: Erdkunde, 66 (3), 185-195.

Saravanan, S. V., Butsch, C., and Sakdapolrak, P. (2012): Editorial. Urban health in South Asia. In: Internationales Asienforum, 43 (1-2), 7-12.

Seyler, T. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2012): A Chikungunya outbreak in the metropolis of Chennai, India, 2006. In: Journal of Environmental Health, 1-2, 8-12.

Ergler, R. C., Sakdapolrak, P., Bohle, H.-G., and Kearns, R. (2011): Entitlements to health care: Why is there a preference for private facilities among poorer residents of Chennai, India? In: Social Science & Medicine, 72 (3), 327-337.

Butsch, C. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2010): Geographien von Gesundheit in Entwicklungsländern. In: Geographische Rundschau, 7-8, 12-17.

Sakdapolrak, P. and Butsch, C. (2010): Sonne, Strand und Skalpell. Neue Dimensionen des medizinischen Tourismus. In: Geographische Rundschau, 7-8, 47.

Bohle, H.-G. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2009): Chennai. Alltagskampf um Wasser, Nahrung und Gesundheit. In: Geographie und Schule, 31 (181), 4-9.

Sakdapolrak, P. (2008): Jenseits von "Push and Pull". Internationale Arbeitsmigration als Strategie der Lebenssicherung in Thailand. In: Internationales Asienforum, 39 (1/2), 81-105.

Bohle, H.-G. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2008): Leben mit der Krise. Vertreibung von Slumbewohnern in der Megacity Chennai, Indien. In: Geographische Rundschau, 60 (12), 12-21.

Seyler, T., Sakdapolrak, P., Prasad, S., and Danraj, E. (2007): Domestic unsealed water sources and malaria incidence: A case study from Chennai, South India. In: The Indian Geographical Journal, 82 (2), 117-126.

Sakdapolrak, P. (2005): Internationale Arbeitsmigration aus Thailand. Eine Fallstudie. In: Pacific News, 23, 5-8.

Book chapters

Sterly, H., Etzold, B., Wirkus, L., Sakdapolrak, P., Schewe, J., Schleussner, C.-F. und B. Hennig (2019): AROMA_CoDa: Assessing Refugees’ Onward Mobility through the Analysis of Communication Data. In: Ali Salah A., Pentland, A., Lepri, B., Letouzé, E., de Montjoye, Y.-A., Dong, X. und P. Vinck (Hg.): Your Voice, Your Data, Your Future. Proceedings of the Data for Refugees Challenge Workshop. Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey, 21 January 2019, S. 70–82 –http://d4r.turktelekom.com.tr/Content/Documents/d4r-proceedings.pdf

Mattissek, A. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2016): Gesellschaft und Umwelt. In: Freytag, T. et al. (Eds.): Humangeographie kompakt. Heidelberg: Springer, 13-37.

Greiner, C. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2015): Migration, Environment and Inequality: Perspectives of a Political Ecology of Translocal Relations. In: R. McLeman, J. Schade and T. Faist (Eds.): Environmental Migration and Social Inequality. Heidelberg: Springer, 151-163.

Ergler, R. C., Sakdapolrak, P., Bohle, H.-G., and Kearns, R. (2015): From Effective Cure to Affective Care: Access Barriers and Entitlements to Health Care Among Urban Poor in Chennai, India. In: Luginaah, I. und R. Bezner-Kerr (Eds.): Geographies of Development and Health. Farnham: Ashgate, 93-114.

Etzold, B. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2013): Globale Arbeit – lokale Verwundbarkeit: Internationale Arbeitsmigration aus der Perspektive der geographischen Verwundbarkeitsforschung. In: Steinbrink, M. und M. Geiger (Eds.): Migration und Entwicklung aus geographischer Perspektive. Osnabrück: IMIS (= IMIS-Beiträge, 42), 131-163.

Sakdapolrak, P., Raupp, S., and Fabian, T. (2012): Armut, Nahrung und Gesundheit. Alltägliche Herausforderungen verwundbarer Gruppen in Indiens Städten. In: Gamerith, W. (Ed.): Zukunftsregion China und Indien. Passau: Universität Passau, Fachbereich Geographie (= Passauer Kontaktstudium Geographie, 12), 109-125.

Sakdapolrak, P., Seyler, T., and Sanjeevi Prasad, S. (2011): Measuring the local burden of diarrhoeal disease among slum dwellers in the megacity Chennai, South India. In: Krämer, A., Khan, M.H., and F. Kraas (Eds.): Health in megacities and urban areas. Heidelberg: Springer, 87-100.

Sakdapolrak, P. (2010): Vom Überlebenskampf zur kulturellen Praktik. Eine Fallstudie zur internationalen Arbeitsmigration aus Thailand. In: Reese, N. et al. (Eds.): Das Echo der Migration. Wie Auslandsmigration die Gesellschaft im globalen Süden verändert. Angermünde: Horlemann, 50-59.

Glaser, R., Lechner, M., Bohle, H.-G., Sauerborn, R., Louis V., and Sakdapolrak, P. (2007): Wasserkrisen in der Megacity Chennai in Südindien. In: Gebhardt, H., Glaser, R., Radtke, U., and P. Reuber (Eds.): Geographie – Physische Geographie und Humangeographie. Heidelberg: Spektrum, 1009-1014.

Nestle, M., Sakdapolrak, P., Bohle, H.-G., Glaser, R., Louis, V., Mistelbacher, J., Sauerborn, R., Gans, P., and Lechner, M. (2007): Chennai. Umweltkrise und Gesundheitsrisiken in einer indischen Megacity. In: Glaser, R. and K. Kremb (Eds.): Planet Erde, Band Asien. Darmstadt: WGB, 209-214.

UNU-EHS Publications

Promburom, P. and Sakdapolrak, P. (2012): "Where the Rain Falls" Project. Case study: Thailand – Results from Thung Hua Chang District, Northern Thailand. UNU-EHS Report No. 7. Bonn.

Rademacher-Schulz, C., Afifi, T., Warner, K., Rosenfeld, T., Milan, A., Etzold, B., and Sakdapolrak, P. (2012): Rainfall variability, food security and human mobility. An approach for generating empirical evidence. UNU-EHS Intersections No. 10. Bonn.

Afifi, T., Govil, R., Sakdapolrak, P., and Warner, K. (2012): Climate change, vulnerability and human mobility. Perspectives of refugees from the Horn of Africa. UNHCR and UNU-EHS Report No. 1, Bonn.

Butsch, C., Etzold, B., and Sakdapolrak, P. (2009): The megacity resilience framework. UNU-EHS Policy Brief, Bonn.

Sakdapolrak, P., Butsch, C., Carter, R. L., Cojocaru, M.-D., Etzold, B., Kishor, N., Lacambra, C., Reyes, M. L., and Sagala, S. (2008): The megacity resilience framework. UNU-EHS Source No. 10, 10-19, Bonn.

Sakdapolrak, P. (2007): Water related health risks, social vulnerability and Pierre Bourdieu. UNU-EHS Source No. 6, 50-59, Bonn.

Policy Brief, Working Paper

Sakdapolrak, P. (2019): Migration im Kontext des Klimawandels – Indikator für Verwundbarkeit oder Resilienz?. In: bpd – Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Kurzdossiers, Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl: Aktuelle Themen, 21.01.2019 - http://www.bpb.de/gesellschaft/migration/kurzdossiers/282323/indikator-fuer-verwundbarkeit-oder-resilienz

Borderon, M., Sakdapolrak, P., Muttarak, R., Kebede, E., Pagogna, R. und Sporer, E. (2018). A systematic review of empirical evidence on migration influenced by environmental change in Africa. IIASA Working Paper. Laxenburg, Austria: WP-18-003.

Greiner, C., Peth, S. A., and Sakdapolrak, P. (2015): Deciphering migration in the age of climate change. Towards an understanding of translocal relations in social-ecological systems. In TransRe-Projekt Working Paper No. 2.

Greiner, C., Peth, S. A., and Sakdapolrak, P. (2014): Deciphering migration in the age of climate change. Towards an understanding of translocal relations in social-ecological systems. In: Gesing, F., Herbeck, J., and Klepp, S. (Eds.): Denaturalizing Climate Change: Migration, Mobilities and Space. Artec-Paper Nr. 200, Bremen, 23-33.

Wrathall, D.J., Oliver-Smith, A., Sakdapolrak, P., Gencer, Fekete, A., and E. Reyes, M.L. (2013): Conceptual and operational problems for Loss and Damage. Loss & Damage Working Paper, October 2013

Bohle, H.-G., Etzold, B., Keck, M., and Sakdapolrak, P. (2009): Adaptive food governance. In: IHDP-Update 3, 53-58.

Sakdapolrak, P. (2009): Alltagskampf um Gesundheit urbaner Armutsgruppen in Indien. In: DED Brief, 46 (3), 36-37.

Sakdapolrak, P. and Seyler, T. (2006): Water and Health: Struggling for survival in a South Indian Megacity. In: WHOCC Newsletter, 10, 1-4.

Sakdapolrak, P. (2002): Protection of women migrant workers. Policies of selected sending and receiving countries. World Bank, Jakarta.

Sakdapolrak, P. (2000): Labour Diary 2001. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Bangkok.