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McNair Scholar 2012Sigin Ojulu

Sigin Ojulu is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in Global Studies and Economics. Her research interests include studies of international political economy, development and global environmental politics and diplomacy. Ms. Ojulu plans on obtaining a Ph.D. in International Affairs.

Sigin Ojulu photo
In all sincerity, I’ve only ever had one legitimate dream in my life; this is to change the world for the better.

Research project

Global Waste Trade:  Informal Economic Practices of Southeast Asia

Abstract: The production of waste ultimately supports a large part of local urban economies, whose structure and operations of waste is impacted by globalization. This study concentrates on urban informal economies in Asia that are involved in the salvage and recycling of various forms of waste. It attempts to trace the geographies of the waste trade by looking at case studies across Asia with attention to their relationship to globalization. It also looks to analyze the structure of informal circuits of trade, the geographies of this trade and the impacts (whether concerning issues of toxicity or macroeconomic effects). Using mixed methods research, the question of informal waste trade is illuminated by showing the complexities of the waste trade. But due to time constraints and paucity of reliable data sources, the research findings must be considered preliminary. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Vinay Gidwani is currently an associate professor in the Department of Geography and the Institute of Global Studies. Dr. Gidwani received his Master’s degree in Forest and Resource Economics from Yale University. He went on to receive his Ph.D. in Environmental Science, from the University of California, Berkeley. His postdoctoral studies were taken at the University of British Columbia in Economics. Dr. Gidwani’s research interests are in agrarian change and labor geography within the informal sectors, particularly within urban areas, as well as a focus on post-colonial studies.