I am currently working on two major projects funded by the Australian Research Council. The first, From Migrant to Worker: New Transnational Responses to Temporary Labour Migration in East and Southeast Asia, systematically compares the position of temporary labour migrants with regard to host-country industrial relations systems in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, and examines the nature and impact of civil society initiatives concerning temporary labour migration in those countries. The project, which builds on my earlier work about unions and labour NGOs, seeks to move beyond the scholarly disjuncture between migration studies and labour studies, challenging the way scholars view temporary labour migration.
The second project, In the Shadow of Singapore: The Limits of Transnationalism in Insular Riau, is a collaborative project with Associate Professor Lenore Lyons from the University of Wollongong. This project focuses on Indonesia's Riau islands, 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.