Karsten Paerregaard


School of Global
Visiting address
Konstepidemins väg 2
41314 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 700
40530 Göteborg

About Karsten Paerregaard

Danish Doctoral Degree (Doc. Scient. Ant.) 2008

  • Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Huancayo (Peru) 2005
  • Ph.D. Anthropology 1990
  • Magister Anthropology (Mag. Scient. Ant.) 1980

Areas of interest For the past 30 years, my research has focused on rural-urban migration in Peru and Peruvian transnational migration in the United States, Spain, Italy, Japan, Argentina and Chile. This work includes studies in migrant networks, remittances, illegality, fiestas, religious practices, political mobilization, family organization, social conflict, and other themes. Analytically, my research is inspired by recent theories of transnationalism and diaspora and, methodologically, I have used a multi-sited research strategy. Theoretically, I want to understand how physical and social mobility are conceived and practiced in a globalized world.

Current research My current research is focused on climate change and its environmental effect on Peru's rural and urban population. Of particular interest is how Peru's growing water scarcity due to global warming and the melting glaciers generate new conflicts and how local, regional and national institutions respond to these conflicts. I also explore how rural and urban communities create new strategies and forge new alliances to adapt to the changing environment and examine the role that family households, communal organizations, migrant associations, international tourists, development agencies, small-scale industries, mining companies and state institutions play in the struggle to adjust to the growing water scarcity. My ambition is to create a comparative anthropology of mountain areas and to explore how mountain people use mobility as a strategy to adapt to climate change. This is the topic of a big interdisciplinary research project in which I work together with climatologists, human ecologist, geographers and peace and development researchers in the Himalayas, the Andes and the Ethiopian highlands to develop new method to understand how climate change affects migration processes.

Field experience I have conducted fieldwork in Peru for more than 8 years both in mountain villages and in the cities (Lima, Arequipa etc.). I have also conducted fieldwork among Peruvian migrants in Miami, Los Angeles, Paterson (NJ), Barcelona, Milan, Buenos Aires, Santiago and Japan. Finally, I have conducted fieldwork among descendants of Danish immigrants in Argentina.