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The Australian National University
Nicholas Loubere

Dr Nicholas Loubere

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD (East Asian Studies), University of Leeds, UK, 2015
MA (Asia-Pacific International Relations), Xiamen University, PRC, 2011
BA (English Literature), Northern Illinois University, USA, 2006

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Nicholas Loubere is a contemporary Sinologist and a Development Studies scholar interested in the political economy of local socio-economic development in China. His research is interdisciplinary in nature, and draws on the theories and methods associated with Social Anthropology, Sociology and Human Geography, and can be divided into three main strands. Currently, his main area of research explores the ways in which microcredit programmes are implemented at the township and village levels in rural China, and the roles that these programmes play in local development strategies and livelihoods. Nicholas’ second strand of research examines the co-operative management of collectively owned resources, particularly with regard to the co-operative acquisition and organisation of financial resources in order to scale-up agricultural production and to develop/utilise renewable energy technologies. Underpinning these two areas of inquiry, his third strand of research critically reflects on the methodological techniques used to collect and analyse data in local China and other ‘developing’ contexts, especially with regard to in-depth empirical fieldwork based on grounded, ethnographic and/or participatory approaches. Before taking up a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Australian Centre on China in the World, Nicholas completed his Ph.D. in East Asian Studies at the University of Leeds (UK), an M.A. in International Relations at Xiamen University (PRC) and a B.A. in English Literature at Northern Illinois University (USA).

Other Languages

  • Chinese
  • Spanish

Research Interests

  • Rural socio-economic development
  • Local implementation of development programmes, projects and policies
  • Rural financial services, microcredit and the discourse of financial inclusion
  • Co-operative finance and co-operative organisation of resources
  • Grounded ethnographic and participatory fieldwork methods
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Current Projects

  • The implementation and outcomes of microcredit programmes in rural Jiangxi Province
  • The organisation and management of collectively owned resources by rural co-operatives — including land, agricultural technologies and renewable energy technologies
  • Return migration of Chinese miners in Africa
  • Understanding socioeconomic development through ethnographic and participatory fieldwork
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Selected Publications

Contributions to The China Story

‘Inside Out: Owen Lattimore on China’, The China Story Journal, 8 January 2016, online at:


Understanding Global Development: Reflections on Fieldwork Experiences, with Gordon Crawford, Lena Kruckenberg and Rosemary Morgan, London and Thousand Oaks: SAGE (Forthcoming 2016).

‘Liberating Development Inquiry: Freedom, Openness and Participation in Fieldwork’, with Robert Chambers, in Gordon Crawford et al. (eds.), Understanding Global Development: Reflections on Fieldwork Experiences. London and Thousand Oaks: SAGE (Forthcoming 2016).

‘Under Threat: Working in Dangerous Environments’, with Jenny Pearce, in Gordon Crawford et al. (eds.), Understanding Global Development: Reflections on Fieldwork Experiences. London and Thousand Oaks: SAGE (Forthcoming 2016).

‘Co-operative Financial Institutions and Local Development in China’, with Heather Xiaoquan Zhang, Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management Vol. 3 No. 1 (2015): 32-39.

‘Rural Finance and Development in China: The State of the Art and Ways Forward’, with Heather Xiaoquan Zhang, in Heather Xiaoquan Zhang (ed.), Rural Livelihoods in China: Political Economy in Transition, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 151–174 (2015).

‘Social Support and the ‘Left Behind’ Elderly in Rural China: A Case Study from Jiangxi Province’, with Ka Lin and Pingjun Yin, Journal of Community Health, Vol. 39 No. 4 (2014): 674-681.

Rice Wine and Fieldwork in China: Some Reflections on Practicalities, Positionality and Ethical Issues’, The London School of Economics and Political Science - Field Research Method Lab (2014).

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Related Websites

Updated:  11 February 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director, China in the World /Page Contact:  China in the World