Rigan Chakma


Titel des Promotionsprojektes: "Ecological Sustainability in the Age of Neoliberalism: Environmental justice and socioeconomic transformation in the borderland of Bangladesh."

Abstract des Promotionsprojektes

My research is located at the interstices of Indigenous studies, ecological transformation, and environmental vulnerability in a borderland region of South Asia, known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). This area is inhabited by 13 different Indigenous ethnic groups with different languages and cultures (Roy, 2000, p. 19; Ahsan & Chakma, 1989, p. 960), some of whom also reside on both sides of the India/Bangladesh national borders. Like indigenous peoples elsewhere, the indentities, and cultural orientations of these communities are deeply rooted in nature (Jasimuddin & Inoue 2012, p. 121) and their livelihoods and cultures mostly depend on natural subsistence (alam et al. 2019; Baten et al. 2010, p.5 and Rasul 2007). In the last few decades, neoliberal forces have entered and are affecting the ecology of the region, causing changes in the relationship of Indigenous peoples with the nature. This research will attempt to observe the significant effects of neoliberalism on ecology, and as a consequence, on Indigenous peoples' changing perceptions towards the nature. To  understand this phenomenon, I will use a political and ecological lens and engage with a Marxist ecological framework to understand the process of marginalization of Indigenous peoples and environmental justice. My research is mainly based on ethnographic approaches, including observation, focus group discussions, and interviews. Thus, this study will add empirical value on the potential theme on "[environmental] degradation and marginalization" (Benjaminsen, 2015, p. 363) as well as contribute to the theoretical debates on the nexus among neoliberalism, Indigenous peoples, and natural resources. This project aims to expand our understanding of how state and market forces are marginalizing Indigenous peoples of the peripheries by systematically destroying their ecology.




Akademischer Werdegang:

2013-2014: Masters in Development Practices at James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. Dissertation: Importance of social capital; a case study of Gorontalo, Indonesia.

2006-2007: MSS International Relations, Faculty of Social Science University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

2001-2006: BSS Internation Relations, Faculty of Social Science University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

2002: Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) at Dhaka Residential Model College, Dhaka Board

2002: School Secondary Certificate (SSC) at Rangamati Govt. High School, Rangamati, Chittagong Board


  • July 2015 to till date working as Senior LEcturer and Coordinator General Education Department, teaching Global Political Economy, Sociology, Bangladesh Studies at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), Dhaka Bangladesh.
  • August 2010 to 2014 worked as Research Assistant (on study leave 2013-2014) at the Brac Institute of Governance and Development (former Institute of Governance Studies (IGS), Brac University) Adress: SK center, 5-6-th floor, GP. JA-4, TB gate, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh
  • April 2008 to June 2008 worked as Research Assistant UnnayanOnneshan - The Innovators Dhaka, Bangladesh. Responsibilities include: Completed a study on land transactions and agricultural productivity. Responsibilities include the planning and implementation of the field work, interpreting and helping two foreign research associates in the management of a five person research team, data input and analysis of findings, and the write up of the final outputs
  • July 2007 to 2010 worked as Student Associate at the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) Young Researchers' Forum (YRF) (an affiliated organization of Dhaka University)
  • Responsibilities: planning, implementing and managing activities of Young Researchers' Forum (YRF)

Besuchte Kurse:

  • Participated in IUCN world park congress in Sydney and assisted mural preparation and presentation prepared on biodiversity and human relation with nature by Development Practice, James Cook University in Australia from 12-19 November 2014.
  • Completed four week “Introductory Academic Program 2013” offered by Teaching and Learning Development, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia.
  • Successfully completed the 5-day tailored course on “Training of Trainers (ToT) ” from 17-21 June 2012 conducted by MDF South Asia Training and Advisory Dhaka, Bangladesh in collaboration with Bangladesh Public Administration Training centre, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Training workshop on international humanitarian law organized jointly by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security (BIPSS) during 8-9th, 2008, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Successfully completed a three day “Training on Safe Migration to prevent Human Trafficking” supported by the American people through USAID and sponsored by the Action For Combating Trafficking-In-Persons (ACT)Program by WinRock International.
  • Attend the third residential workshop on social Science Research and Migration held at Dhaka on 29 November -1 December, 2008 organise by Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, Dhaka University.
  • Successfully completed a “Training Course on Project Planning, Development and Management (PPDM)” from December 20, 2009 to June 15, 2010, Planning commission, Bangladesh


  • From June 2018, I was nominated as a general body member of  Refugee and Migratory Movements REsearch Unit (RMMRU), Bangladesh
  • Volunteer of The Maleya Foundation an indigenous peoples' organization working on environment, human rights and development in Bangladesh

Auszeichnungen: 2013-2014 Australian Development Award, Australia

Forschungsprojekte: 'The Economy of Indigenous People of Bangladesh' research project is funded by the University of Colorado Colorado Spring (UCCS), USA and partially funded by the lead researcher Dr. Farida Khan, professor and Head of Economics department of UCCS. Rigan Chakma is working as co researcher conducting field work, focus group discussion (FGD), key informant interview (KII), observation and overall planning for the research.

Feldforschung: Two months fieldwork experience in Indonesia. I have worked in Bali, Norht Sulawesi, Manado and Gorontalo province for two months from 8th July to 10th September 2014. I have worked in a group report and in individual project. Part of my responsibility, I have conducted focus group discussion, key informant interviews and observation in various remote areas in Indonesia.

Beginn des Promotionsprojektes: Since October 2021



Prof. Dr.

Eva Gerharz

Soziologie mit Schwerpunkt Globalisierung

Leiterin Fulda Graduate Centre of Social Sciences


Prof. Dr.

Eva Gerharz

Soziologie mit Schwerpunkt Globalisierung

+49 661 9640-4613
+49 661 9640-452
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Di 15:00 - 16:00 Uhr und nach besonderer Vereinbarung per E-Mail.…

Vorträge und Veröffentlichungen

Bevorstehende Publikationen:

2018: Chakma, K. B., Chakma, R. & Chakma, A. (2018). An Impact study on Rural Social Services (RSS) program in socio-economic development of rural people in Chittagong Hill Tracts. National Academy of Social Services (NASS), Department of Social Services. (forthcoming)

2018: Choudhury, Z. U. A. and Chakma, R. (2018). Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Lid (BOESL): policy document for the betterment of migrants. Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU). (forthcoming)


2012: Chakma, R., Hamid, R. and Oldham, T. (2012) A history of urban governance of Dhaka city. State of cities, Dhaka: Institute of Governance studies, Brac University. Link: http://www.igs-bracu.ac.bd/research/state-of-cities
2011: Arifeen, N., Chakma, R. and Haque, K. N. H. (2012). NGO as drivers of policy change: between policy autonomy and external influence. State of governance in Bangladesh 2010-2011, policy, influence, ownership. Institute of Governance studies, Brac university. Link: www.igs-bracu.ac.bd/research/state-of-governance-in-bangladesh-project/58

Working Papers:

2013: Haque, K. N. H., Chowdhury, F. A. & Chakma, R. (2013). Civil Society Organisations in Climate Change Adaptation: Paani Committee’s Movement for Tidal River Management in South-west Bangladesh, Series no-17. Institute of Governance Studies, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh Link: http://www.igs-bracu.ac.bd/research/state-of-governance-in-bangladesh-project/59

Jüngeste Präsentationen von Working Papers:

  • Presented paper on “Transition of rituals and belief system of rivers, small streams and water bodies of Chakma community” at the 8th SSEASR conference titled “ Rivers and religion: connecting cultures of South and Southeast Asia” a regional conference of IAHR organized by the Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS), University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) on June 13-16, 2019.
  • Presented a paper on “Ecology, Sustainability and the question of existence of indigenous people: A Case Study of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT)” on November 30 to December 1, 2018 at The international conference of Language, Literature, Culture and Politics celebrating Karl Marx’s Bicentenary at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Presented a paper on “Case study of Gorontalo, Indonesia” as a group report and “Importance of Social Capital; a case study of three villages of Gorontalo, Indonesia” on 21 October 2014 at Cairns institute, James Cook University, Cairns campus, Australia.
  • Paper presented on “Digital Bangladesh and prospects” in Sri Lanka in 2012.  
  • Paper presented on an international workshop on “the conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts” in “South Asian Youth for Peace “held in Godavari, Nepal between 8th- 14th July 2007. I was awarded full costs for the trip.