I am currently working on two inter-related projects, both funded by the Australian Research Council. The first project, titled In the Shadow of Singapore: The Limits of Transnationalism in Insular Riau, is a collaborative project with Dr Michele Ford from the University of Sydney. This project examines how understandings of national identity and the ‘nation' are constructed and negotiated by individuals who live and work on the Riau islands of Batam, Bintan and Karimun, which form the ‘borderlands' between Singapore and Indonesia. Our interest is in the ways in which those who live within the border zone, as well as those who cross the border for work and/or pleasure, engage in the dual processes of reconstructing the boundaries of the nation-state and establishing their own sense of national identity and belonging. This research project contributes to the broader scholarly interest in borders by problematizing the relationship between citizenship, nationality, territory and sovereignty.

The second project, titled Trans/national Activism: Organizing for Domestic Worker Rights in Southeast Asia, examines the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local and transnational advocacy networks (TANs) that have developed in Singapore and Malaysia to address the rights of female migrant domestic workers. The project has three aims: 1) examining the meanings of terms such as ‘local', ‘transnational', ‘international' and ‘NGO' in the context of global activism (as a way of addressing the question: ‘what does it mean to organize transnationally'?); 2) identifying the factors that support and/or inhibit transnational activities; and 3) documenting the activities and strategies that migrant worker groups use to undertake transnational projects. By making a conceptual distinction between cross-border organizing on one hand and a transnational frame of reference on the other, this project contributes to greater conceptual clarity regarding the meanings associated with transnational activism.