Locating Climate Change Research: The Privileges and Pitfalls of Choosing Over- and Under-Researched Places


Where one does research is a critical yet less-discussed aspect of research methodology. This focus on place is particularly critical in climate change vulnerability and adaptation studies, where risks and the strategies people use to manage them are deeply contextual. The ‘research site’ has tremendous bearing on what one finds and the recommendations one draws out. In this chapter, I use examples of climate change adaptation studies across rural and urban India to highlight the pros and cons of both over- and under-researched places. There is no one ‘right’ place to conduct research; however, recognising the biases and benefits that a location signifies is critical for more reflexive research to not only build upon existing work but also give voice to silences in places that are under-researched. This, I argue, is especially important for climate change research in rapidly changing and highly vulnerable countries such as India.