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ProfessorEtienne Nel image
Head of School
Chief Course Adviser and Senior Arts Adviser

BA(Hons)(Rhodes)
MA(Witw)
PhD(Rhodes)

 

Richardson Building, room 4C8
Office Hours: See Reception (Rm 4C9) to make an appointment.
Tel +64 3 479 8548
Email etienne.nel@otago.ac.nz

Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Etienne's Inaugural Professorial Lecture "Dealing With Difference: Responses to uneven geographical development" is available as an audio and video file.

IPL Video Podcast (mp4)

PL Audio Podcast (mp3)

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Teaching

  • GEOG 214 Economic Geography of the Post-World War II Era
  • GEOG 374 Economic Geography of the Post-World War II Era
  • GEOG 457 Advanced Urban Geography

Etienne also contributes to:

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Research interests

Etienne's research interests are as follows:

  • Local Economic Development
  • Urban Entrepreneurialism/Urban Economic Developments
  • Community Economic Development
  • Small Towns
  • Economic Policy
  • Marginality
  • Regional Development
  • Local Government

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Current research

Etienne is currently undertaking research in the economic and urban history and development in South Africa, local development and urban agriculture in Zambia and regional, local and small town development in New Zealand. He is currently leading a National Sciences Challenge investigation of rural and small town New Zealand.

View previous research projects

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Postgraduate student supervision

Students (current)

  • Fleener, R. Governance in South Africa
  • Uko, E. Urban Farming in Nigeria
  • Floyd, A. Place based development – New Zealand
  • Forsyth, C. Perceptions of crime - New Zealand
  • Basubas, D. Working for water - South Africa
  • Wither, D. Resilience in New Zealand
  • Soal, E. Water Management - New Zealand
  • Quashie-Harry, R. Childhood poverty - Caribbean

PhD - students (completed)

  • Bateman, J. Rural Development - Sierra Leone
  • Latai, A. Climate Change - Samoa
  • Ross, J. Rural Nursing - New Zealand
  • Smart, J. Urban Agriculture - Zambia
  • Gibb, M. Local Economic Development in South Africa
  • Ironside, J. Land reform - Cambodia
  • Motteux, N. Participatory Rural Appraisal
  • Thornton, A. Urban Agriculture
  • Vista, B. Land reform -  Philippines
  • Tamimi, M. Environmental Education - Palestine
  • Farminer, A. River appreciation - New Zealand

MA/MBA/MPlan/MSoc – Students current and completed

  • Bergen, S. Evolutionary Economic Geography – New Zealand
  • Stirling, S. Christchurch Rebuild
  • Brown, L. Counter-Urbanisation in Canterbury
  • Anderson, C. Development of Dunedin
  • Watson, R. Tourism Development in Niue
  • Alebiosu, O. Integrated Development Planning
  • Buthelezi, S. Response to Economic Change
  • Douma, A. Land reform - Tanzania
  • Gibb, M. Training for Development
  • Goodenough, C. Corporate Social Responsibility/Local Economic Development
  • Goodwin, R. Conservation farming in Zimbabwe
  • Hale, M. Tourism
  • Husband, M. Shrinking Towns - New Zealand
  • Keyse, M. Industrial Development - New Zealand
  • Lefusto, D. Urban Transport
  • Liddle, E. Groundwater - Zambia
  • Maka, E. Regeneration - New Zealand
  • Meyer, S. Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Mkize, N. Urban Agriculture and Entomology
  • Pio, E. Small Town Development
  • Taine, K. Tourism - Samoa
  • Trotter, D. Nature-based Tourism.
  • Anderson, C. Economic Development - New Zealand
  • Baird, S. Local Development - Tauranga
  • Fitchett, R. Urban Agriculture - Lusaka
  • Gilroy, J. Small Town Development
  • McNaughton, C. Small Town Development
  • Price, S. Regional Development - New Zealand
  • Stevenson, T. Strategic Planning - New Zealand
  • White, R. Small Town Development
  • Williams, R. Cycling Policy - New Zealand
  • Topp, F. Sustainability on Campuses

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Publications

Nel, E., & Stevenson, T. (2022). The role of farmers in small-town community development in an age of austerity: Reflections from Australasia. In J. Bański (Ed.), Routledge handbook of small towns. (pp. 283-295). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003094203

Alam, A., Binns, T., Cullen, N., Freeman, C., Nel, E., & Roche, M. (2021). Celebrating 75 years of geography teaching and research at the University of Otago. New Zealand Geographer. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/nzg.12306

Wither, D., Orchiston, C., Cradock-Henry, N. A., & Nel, E. (2021). Advancing practical applications of resilience in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Ecology & Society, 26(3), 1. doi: 10.5751/es-12409-260301

Ryan, A., Connelly, S., Nel, E., & Mackay, M. (2021). The romanticisation of the winescape in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Proceedings of the Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) & New Zealand Geographical Society (NZGS) Combined Conference. Retrieved from https://www.sydney.edu.au/science/news-and-events/events/iagnzgs2021-conference.html

Seethal, C., Nel, E., & Bwalya, J. (2021). From East London to Buffalo City Metropole: Developmental challenges of a South African metro. In A. Lemon, R. Donaldson & G. Visser (Eds.), South African urban change three decades after apartheid: Homes still apart? (pp. 103-116). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-73073-4_6

Potter, R., Binns, T., Elliott, J. A., Nel, E., & Smith, D. W. (2018). Geographies of development: An introduction to development studies (4th ed.). Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 636p.

Authored Book - Research

Binns, T., Dixon, A., & Nel, E. (2012). Africa: Diversity and development. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 414p.

Authored Book - Research

Lester, A., Nel, E., & Binns, T. (2000). South Africa, past, present and future: Gold at the end of the rainbow? Harlow, England: Pearson Education, 374p.

Authored Book - Research

Nel, E., & Pelc, S. (Eds.). (2020). Responses to geographical marginality and marginalization: From social innovation to regional development. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 183p. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-51342-9

Edited Book - Research

Binns, T., Lynch, K., & Nel, E. (Eds.). (2018). The Routledge handbook of African development. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 700p.

Edited Book - Research

Marais, L., Nel, E., & Donaldson, R. (Eds.). (2016). Secondary cities and development. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 188p.

Edited Book - Research

Shackleton, C. M., Shackleton, S. E., Gambiza, J., Nel, E., Rowntree, K., Urquhart, P., … Ainslie, A. (Eds.). (2010). Livelihoods and vulnerability in the arid and semi-arid lands of Southern Africa: Exploring the links between ecosystem services and poverty alleviation. New York: Nova Science, 267p.

Edited Book - Research

Valenca, M. M., Nel, E., & Leimgruber, W. (Eds.). (2008). The global challenge and marginalization. New York: Nova Science, 462p.

Edited Book - Research

Nel, E., & Stevenson, T. (2022). The role of farmers in small-town community development in an age of austerity: Reflections from Australasia. In J. Bański (Ed.), Routledge handbook of small towns. (pp. 283-295). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003094203

Chapter in Book - Research

Seethal, C., Nel, E., & Bwalya, J. (2021). From East London to Buffalo City Metropole: Developmental challenges of a South African metro. In A. Lemon, R. Donaldson & G. Visser (Eds.), South African urban change three decades after apartheid: Homes still apart? (pp. 103-116). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-73073-4_6

Chapter in Book - Research

Binns, T., & Nel, E. (2020). Reconceptualizing urban agriculture in Africa: Issues of scale, class and institutional support in Zambian copperbelt towns. In A. Thornton (Ed.), Urban food democracy and governance in North and South. (pp. 213-229). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-17187-2_13

Chapter in Book - Research

Donaldson, R., Marais, L., & Nel, E. (2020). Secondary cities in South Africa. In R. Massey & A. Gunter (Eds.), Urban geography in South Africa: Perspectives and theory. (pp. 121-137). Cham, Swizterland: Springer Nature. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-25369-1_8

Chapter in Book - Research

Pelc, S., & Nel, E. (2020). Social innovation and geographical marginality. In E. Nel & S. Pelc (Eds.), Responses to geographical marginality and marginalization: From social innovation to regional development. (pp. 11-21). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-51342-9_2

Chapter in Book - Research

Stevenson, T., & Nel, E. (2020). Responding to marginalization: A case study of small towns in Western Australia. In E. Nel & S. Pelc (Eds.), Responses to geographical marginality and marginalization: From social innovation to regional development. (pp. 103-120). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-51342-9_7

Chapter in Book - Research

Binns, T., & Nel, E. (2018). African development: 'Hopeless Africa', 'Africa rising', or somewhere in between? In T. Binns, K. Lynch & E. Nel (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of African development. (pp. 273-285). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Binns, T., Nel, E., & Lynch, K. (2018). Conclusion: Looking forward. In T. Binns, K. Lynch & E. Nel (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of African development. (pp. 665-669). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Binns, T., Nel, E., & Lynch, K. (2018). Introduction. In T. Binns, K. Lynch & E. Nel (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of African development. (pp. 3-9). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Nel, E., & Connelly, S. (2018). Rural health service delivery challenges in an era of neoliberalism in New Zealand. In G. Halseth, S. Markey & L. Ryser (Eds.), Service provision and rural sustainability: Infrastructure and innovation. (pp. 65-79). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Bateman, J., Binns, T., & Nel, E. (2017). Flirting with food security: Resilience in the face of conflict, climate change and communicable disease in rural Sierra Leone. In E. T. H. Hope (Ed.), Climate change and food security: Africa and the Caribbean. (pp. 128-142). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Connelly, S., & Nel, E. (2017). New Zealand: Community responses to restructuring. In G. Halseth (Ed.), Transformation of resource towns and peripheries: Political economy perspectives. (pp. 317-335). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Connelly, S., & Nel, E. (2017). New Zealand: Employment and labor in New Zealand: Recent trends and reflections on developments in the West Coast and Southland regions. In G. Halseth (Ed.), Transformation of resource towns and peripheries: Political economy perspectives. (pp. 221-242). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Connelly, S., & Nel, E. (2017). New Zealand: Restructuring of the New Zealand economy: Global-local links and evidence from the West Coast and Southland regions. In G. Halseth (Ed.), Transformation of resource towns and peripheries: Political economy perspectives. (pp. 112-136). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Jackson, T., Nel, E., & Connelly, S. (2017). Subnational rural governance and development: Case studies of England, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In E. Schoburgh & R. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of research on sub-national governance and development. (pp. 117-149). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1645-3.ch006

Chapter in Book - Research

Marais, L., Nel, E., & Donaldson, R. (2016). Secondary cities in South Africa: National settlement patterns and urban research. In L. Marais, E. Nel & R. Donaldson (Eds.), Secondary cities and development. (pp. 1-26). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Marais, L., Nel, E., & Donaldson, R. (2016). The role of secondary cities in South Africa's development. In L. Marais, E. Nel & R. Donaldson (Eds.), Secondary cities and development. (pp. 159-178). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Nel, E., Marais, L., & Donaldson, R. (2016). The international literature and context. In L. Marais, E. Nel & R. Donaldson (Eds.), Secondary cities and development. (pp. 27-48). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Thornton, A., & Nel, E. (2014). Agrarianism, capitalism or protectionism? Exploring economic restructuring and local responses amidst global change in Samoa. In M. Sakai, E. Jurriëns, J. Zhang & A. Thornton (Eds.), Disaster relief in the Asia Pacific: Agency and resilience. (pp. 171-188). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Nel, E., Binns, T., & Bek, D. (2013). Fair trade and alternative food networks in the internationalization of small-scale rural entrepreneurs in South Africa. In H. Etemad (Ed.), The process of internationalization in emerging SMEs and emerging economies. (pp. 234-259). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Chapter in Book - Research

Hoogendoorn, G., & Nel, E. (2012). Exploring small town development dynamics in rural South Africa's post-productivist landscapes. In R. Donaldson & L. Marais (Eds.), Small town geographies in Africa: Experiences from South Africa and elsewhere. New York: Nova Science.

Chapter in Book - Research

Nel, E., & Binns, J. A. (2008). Evolving economic marginality and local economic development responses in selected South African gold and coal mining areas. In M. M. Valenca, E. Nel & W. Leimgruber (Eds.), The global challenge and marginalization. (pp. 197-208). New York: Nova Science.

Chapter in Book - Research

Nel, E., Valença, M. M., & Leimgruber, W. (2008). Introduction. In M. M. Valenca, E. Nel & W. Leimgruber (Eds.), The global challenge and marginalization. (pp. 1-12). New York: Nova Science.

Chapter in Book - Research

Binns, T., Bek, D., Nel, E., & Ellison, B. (2007). Sidestepping the mainstream: Fairtrade Rooibos tea production in Wupperthal, South Africa. In D. Maye, L. Holloway & M. Kneafsey (Eds.), Alternative food geographies: Representation and practice. (pp. 331-350). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Chapter in Book - Research

Nel, E., & Binns, T. (2005). Putting ¨developmental local government¨ into practice: The experience of South Africa's towns and cities. In E. Nel & C. M. Rogerson (Eds.), The experience of Southern Africa: Local economic development in the developing world. (pp. 37-56). New Brunswick, USA: Transaction.

Chapter in Book - Research

Nel, E., & Pelc, S. (2020). Introduction. In E. Nel & S. Pelc (Eds.), Responses to geographical marginality and marginalization: From social innovation to regional development. (pp. 1-8). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-51342-9_1

Chapter in Book - Other

Alam, A., Binns, T., Cullen, N., Freeman, C., Nel, E., & Roche, M. (2021). Celebrating 75 years of geography teaching and research at the University of Otago. New Zealand Geographer. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/nzg.12306

Journal - Research Article

Wither, D., Orchiston, C., Cradock-Henry, N. A., & Nel, E. (2021). Advancing practical applications of resilience in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Ecology & Society, 26(3), 1. doi: 10.5751/es-12409-260301

Journal - Research Article

Latai-Niusulu, A., Binns, T., & Nel, E. (2020). Climate change and community resilience in Samoa. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 41, 40-60. doi: 10.1111/sjtg.12299

Journal - Research Article

Latai-Niusulu, A., Nel, E., & Binns, T. (2020). Positionality and protocol in field research: Undertaking community-based investigations in Samoa. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 61(1), 71-84. doi: 10.1111/apv.12252

Journal - Research Article

Lynch, K., Nel, E., & Binns, T. (2020). ‘Transforming Freetown’: Dilemmas of planning and development in a West African City. Cities, 101, 102694. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2020.102694

Journal - Research Article

Nel, E., & Connelly, S. (2020). Regional economic transformation: Changing land and resource access on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Land Use Policy, 93, 103947. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.04.008

Journal - Research Article

Watson, R., & Nel, E. (2020). Applying development models to small island states: Is Niue a TOURAB country? Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 61(3), 551-565. doi: 10.1111/apv.12276

Journal - Research Article

Connelly, S., Nel, E., & Bergen, S. (2019). Evolution of new regional development interventions in New Zealand: An analysis of the first year of the Provincial Growth Fund. New Zealand Geographer, 75, 177-193. doi: 10.1111/nzg.12233

Journal - Research Article

Nel, E., Connelly, S., & Stevenson, T. (2019). New Zealand's small town transition: The experience of demographic and economic change and place based responses. New Zealand Geographer, 75, 163-176. doi: 10.1111/nzg.12240

Journal - Research Article

Marais, L., McKenzie, F. H., Deacon, L., Nel, E., van Rooyen, D., & Cloete, J. (2018). The changing nature of mining towns: Reflections from Australia, Canada and South Africa. Land Use Policy, 76, 779-788. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.03.006

Journal - Research Article

Sutherland, C., Scott, D., Nel, E., & Nel, A. (2018). Conceptualizing ‘the Urban’ through the lens of Durban, South Africa. Urban Forum, 29(4), 333-350. doi: 10.1007/s12132-018-9353-4

Journal - Research Article

Bek, D., Nel, E., & Binns, T. (2017). Jobs, water or conservation? Deconstructing the green economy in South Africa’s working for water programme. Environmental Development. doi: 10.1016/j.envdev.2017.07.002

Journal - Research Article

Marais, L., van Rooyen, D., Nel, E., & Lenka, M. (2017). Responses to mine downscaling: Evidence from secondary cities in the South African Goldfields. Extractive Industries & Society, 4(1), 163-171. doi: 10.1016/j.exis.2017.01.004

Journal - Research Article

Nel, E., Smart, J., & Binns, T. (2017). Resilience to economic shocks: Reflections from Zambia's copperbelt. Growth & Change, 48(2), 201-213. doi: 10.1111/grow.12181

Journal - Research Article

Liddle, E. S., Mager, S. M., & Nel, E. L. (2016). The importance of community-based informal water supply systems in the developing world and the need for formal sector support. Geographical Journal, 182(1), 85-96. doi: 10.1111/geoj.12117

Journal - Research Article

Marais, L., & Nel, E. (2016). The dangers of growing on gold: Lessons for mine downscaling from the Free State Goldfields, South Africa. Local Economy, 31, 282-298. doi: 10.1177/0269094215621725

Journal - Research Article

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