‘Locked in Space’: Rurality and the Politics of Location

  • Alexandra GartrellEmail author
  • Elizabeth Hoban
Part of the International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice book series (IPSPAP)


Despite rapid urbanisation, developing countries are predominantly rural, with more than 55 per cent of the world’s population living in rural areas (IFAD 2011: 3). At least 70 per cent of the world’s very poor people—that is, those living on less than US$1.25 a day—and those with the most insecure livelihoods are rural people (IFAD 2011: 3). While the structural disadvantages associated with rural spaces, such as disparities in access to basic health, education and other services, are widely documented (Sen 1999), insufficient attention is given to how and why these disadvantages are amplified once disability is brought into the picture. Limited research examines the intersections between rurality and disability, and the diversities and forms of disadvantage that emerge with this spatial relationship.


Rurality Poverty Development Disability inclusive development Spatial patterns of poverty Politics of location Urbanisation Spatial inequalities Geographies of disability 


  1. Bezemer, D., & Headly, D. (2008). Agriculture, development and urban Bias. World Development, 36(8), 1342–1364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR). (2014). Workers rights are human rights: Policy brief: The garment industry in Cambodia. Phnom Penh: Cambodian Centre for Human Rights.Google Scholar
  3. Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation. (2013). Accessible elections for persons with disabilities in Cambodia. Phnom Penh: Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation.Google Scholar
  4. Chammartin, G. M. F. (2002). The feminization of international migration. International Labour Organisation, unpublished report.Google Scholar
  5. Chandler, D. P. (1993). A history of Cambodia. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  6. Chimhowu, A. (2013). Aid for agriculture and rural development in the global South. A changing landscape with new players and challenges. Working Paper No. 2013/14. Helsinki: United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research.Google Scholar
  7. Davis, E. W. (2011). Imagined parasites: Flows of monies and spirits. In C. Hughes & K. Un (Eds.), Cambodia’s economic transformation (pp. 310–329). Copenhagen: NIAS Press.Google Scholar
  8. Economic Institute of Cambodia. (2008). Cambodia country economic memorandum: Sustaining rapid growth in a challenging environment. Cambodia’s labour market and employment. Phnom Penh: World Bank.Google Scholar
  9. Eide, A. H., & Ingstad, B. (Eds.). (2011). Disability and poverty. A global challenge. Bristol: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  10. Fitzgerald, I., & Sovannarith, S. (2007). Moving out of poverty? Trends in community well-being and household mobility in nine Cambodian villages. Phnom Penh: Cambodia Development Research Institute.Google Scholar
  11. Frank, G. (1966, September 17–30). The development of underdevelopment. Monthly Review.Google Scholar
  12. Friedmann, J. (1966). Regional development policy: A case study of Venezuela. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Gartrell, A. (2004). Flying on hope: The lived experience of disability in rural Cambodia. Doctoral thesis, University of Melbourne.Google Scholar
  14. Gartrell, A. (2010). ‘A frog in a well’: The exclusion of people with disability from work in Cambodia. Disability & Society, 25(3), 289–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gartrell, A., & Hoban, E. (2013). Structural vulnerability, disability and access to non-governmental organization services in rural Cambodia. Journal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation, 12(3), 194–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gleeson, B. (1999). Geographies of disability. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hanson, S., & Pratt, G. (1995). Gender, work and space. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harvey, D. (1996). Justice, nature and the geography of difference. Cambridge, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  19. Hegde, S., Hoban, E., & Nevill, A. (2012). Unsafe abortion as a birth control method: Maternal mortality risks among unmarried Cambodian migrant women on the Thai-Cambodia border. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 24(6), 989–1001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hettne, B. (1995). Development theory and the three worlds. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  21. Hirschman, A. O. (1958). The strategy of economic development. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Hughes, C., & Un, K. (2011). Cambodia’s economic transformation. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.Google Scholar
  23. Imrie, R. (1996). Disability and the city. International perspectives. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.Google Scholar
  24. Ingstad, B., & Whyte, S. R. (2007). Disability in local and global worlds. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  25. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). (2011). Rural poverty report. Italy: IFAD.Google Scholar
  26. International Organization for Migration. (2013). World migration report 2013: Migrant wellbeing and development. Geneva: IOM.Google Scholar
  27. Jones, G. A., & Corbridge, S. (2010). The continuing debate about urban bais. The thesis, its critics, its influence and its implications for poverty-reduction strategies. Progress in Development Studies, 10(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Khan, M. H. (2001). Rural poverty in developing countries—Implications for public policy. Economic Issues No 26. Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund.Google Scholar
  29. Kitchin, R. (1998). ‘Out of place’, ‘knowing one’s place’: Space, power and the exclusion of disabled people. Disability & Society, 13(3), 343–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ledgerwood, J. (1992). Analysis of the situation of women in Cambodia. Research on women in Khmer society. Phnom Penh: Consultancy for UNICEF.Google Scholar
  31. Lipton, M. (1977). Why poor people stay poor: Urban bias in world development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Lipton, M. (2005). Urban bias. In T. Forsyth (Ed.), Encyclopedia of international development. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Massey, M., Allen, J., & Sarre, P. (Eds.). (1999). Human geography today. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  34. McLaughlin, D., & Wickeri, E. (2012). Mental health and human rights in Cambodia. New York: Leitner Centre.Google Scholar
  35. Mellor, J. W. (1990). Agriculture on the road to industrialization. In C. K. Eicher & J. M. Staatz (Eds.), Agricultural development in the third world (pp. 70–88). Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Mills, C., & Davar, B. (2016). A local critique of global mental health. In S. Grech & K. Soldatic (Eds.), Disability in the global South: The critical handbook (pp. xx–xx). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  37. Myrdal, G. (1957). Economic theory and underdeveloped areas. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  38. National Institute of Statistics (NIS). (2004). Cambodia socio-economic survey 2004. Phnom Penh: Ministry of Planning.Google Scholar
  39. Norman, D. J. (2011). Neoliberal strategies of poverty reduction in Cambodia: The case of Microfinance. In C. Hughes & K. Un (Eds.), Cambodia’s economic transformation (pp. 161–181). Copenhagen: NIAS Press.Google Scholar
  40. Oliver, M. (1993). Disability and dependency: A creation of industrial societies? In J. Swain, V. Finkelstein, S. French, & M. Oliver (Eds.), Disabling barriers—Enabling environments (pp. 49–60). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  41. Potter, R. B., Binns, T., Elliott, J. A., & Smith, D. (2008). Geographies of development. An introduction to development studies. Essex, UK: Pearson, Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  42. Potter, R. B., & Unwin, T. (Eds.). (1989). The geography of urban-rural interaction in developing countries. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Rigg, J. (2006). Land, farming, livelihoods, and poverty: Rethinking the links in the rural South. World Development, 34(1), 180–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sen, A. (1999). Development as freedom. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  45. Smith, N. (1984). Uneven development: Nature, capital and the production of space. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  46. Taksdal, M. (2011). ‘My story started with food shortage and hunger’: Living with landmines in Cambodia. In A. H. Eide & B. Ingstad (Eds.), Disability and poverty. A global challenge (pp. 189–205). Bristol: The Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Thomas, P. (2005). Poverty reduction and development in Cambodia: Enabling disabled people to play a role. London: Disability KAR Knowledge and Research.Google Scholar
  48. UN Habitat. (2006). Report on the third session of the World Urban Forum, Vancouver, Canada, June 19–23. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from
  49. Wilton, R., & Schuer, S. (2006). Towards socio-spatial inclusion? Disabled people, neoliberalism and the contemporary labour market. Area, 38(2), 186–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. World Bank. (1999). Cambodia poverty assessment. Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Sector Unit and Human Development Sector Unit. East Asia and Pacific Region: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  51. World Bank. (2007). World development report 2008. Agriculture for development. Washington, DC: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. World Bank. (2013). Where have all the poor gone? Cambodia poverty assessment 2013. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  53. World Health Organization (WHO). (2011). World report on disability. Geneva: WHO and the World Bank.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesCentre for Geography and Environmental Sciences, Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.School of Health and Social DevelopmentDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

Personalised recommendations