Dr Dorothea Kleine is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography and Director of the ICT4D Centre, a part of the ICT4D Collective/UNESCO Chair in ICT4D at RHUL, which brings together researchers working in the field of information and communication and development. She also directs the MSc in Practising Sustainable Development, including the specialism in ICT4D.
Her research interests include: information and communication technologies and development; development theories, in particular the capabilities approach; Fair Trade; ethical consumption; and sustainable regional and local economic development. Themes such as gender and justice run throughout her work. Dorothea has mainly worked in Latin America (Chile, Brazil), with recent research also taking place in India and Kenya.
Before joining Royal Holloway, she was a Research Associate at Cambridge University and a Lecturer at Bonn University. Parallel to her studies at LMU Munich, Oxford and the London School of Economics, she trained as a journalist and has worked freelance for print, radio and TV media.
Globalisation and ethical trade
Discourses of development, environment, aid, trade and globalisation and how they intersect; global value chains and ethical consumerism in the UK and Germany; the perspective of producer cooperatives in Chile and India; the Fair Trade movement as a multi-level model. Critical perspectives on corporate social responsibility, environmental impacts and social marketing.
Information and Communication Technology and Development (ICT4D)
Here I am particularly interested in operationalising Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach for the area of ICT4D. I have developed a specific framework, the Choice Framework which can be used as a malleable “living tool” to this end. Sectorally, I have worked on the effects of e-business, e-procurement and e-government initiatives on local and regional economies as well as on E-Learning opportunities and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The focus here is particularly on the more disadvantaged actors, asking what factors co-define their ability to use the technology to expand their freedom to lead the lives they themselves value.
Local and regional economic development
Local and regional governance and participatory processes; negotiations around economic, social and ecological concerns and their implications for different groups of actors; economic empowerment and constructions of difference (e.g. gender, ethnicity); the role of social capital; cooperation and competition amongst micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The research traces different globalisation processes at several levels in Latin America, Europe, and most recently India. Linking the various projects is an interest in the construction and negotiation of difference (e.g. in terms of gender, ethnicity or spatial distance) and how this relates to economic, social and political power relationships.
Research projects include:
Undergraduate supervision – recent themes have included:
- Social Auditing- Making a difference or convenient whitewash?
- The motivations of Oxfam Unwrapped customers
- Consumer understandings of the carbon footprint of wine
- The relationship between Starbucks and Fair Trade
- Food price fluctuations of rice in Bangladesh
- Effects of L’Oreal’s taking over The Body Shop
MSc supervision – recent themes have included:
- The Sufficiency Economy Philosophy and Policymaking in Thailand
- Sustainable Consumption in Bermuda
- Fundraising strategies of charities and NGOs in the health sector
- The role of mobile technology in eco-tourism in Scotland
For current PhD projects, please see "Supervision" tab
I am interested in supervising PhD students on a wide range of topics in ICT4D, development theory, Fair Trade and ethical consumption.
Particularly, in the following areas:
I have done consultancy/advisory work for EuropeAid, DFID, the German Development Agency (GIZ), InWent and to NGOs, on e-business, e-governance, e-learning and on ethical consumption.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Conference contribution
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article