Heidi Dahles

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Heidi Dahles

Adjunct Professor

Sandy Bay Campus

Professor Heidi Dahles is an adjunct professor at the School of Social Sciences in the College of Arts, Law and Education. An anthropologist by training, she is interested in local livelihood strategies, resilience and social enterprise, in particular in the field of tourism in Southeast Asia


Heidi studied cultural and social anthropology and earned a BA, MSc and PhD in social sciences at Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands). Before joining the University of Tasmania, Heidi held academic leadership positions at Griffith Business School (Brisbane) and VrijeUniversity Amsterdam (Netherlands) where she was the chairholderin organizational anthropology. She was an adjunct professor at the Griffith Institute for Tourism, and a visiting professor at the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, Phnom Penh (Cambodia).  Prior to these appointments, she was a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle an der Saale in Germany (2009) and the Institute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore (2000). Heidi is alumna of the International Institute of Asian Studies in Leiden (Netherlands) where she was a senior fellow in 1998. Early in her career, she taught at the University of Tilburg as an assistant professor and was a postgraduate researcher at the University of Amsterdam (both in the Netherlands).

Career summary



Thesis Title



Date of Award


Men Dressed in Green. An anthropological study of recreational hunting in the Netherlands. (in Dutch)

Radboud University Nijmegen

The Netherlands



Shooters and Poachers. Power relations in an Austrian Village. (in Dutch)

Radboud University Nijmegen

The Netherlands



Social Movements in rural Europe. (in Dutch)

Radboud University Nijmegen

The Netherlands


Administrative expertise

Heidi served as Head of Research (2001-2005), Head of Department (2005-2008) and Program Director (2014-2017) at Vrije University Amsterdam and at Griffith Business School, 2013-2018), and Director of Graduate School at Vrije University Amsterdam (2010-2013). She managed a number of large research projects funded by the Netherlands Research Council.


Teaching expertise

Undergraduate courses in consumer culture, cultural tourism and the sociology of leisure; post-graduate courses in research methodology (qualitative research and ethnography), key-thinkers in social sciences, globalisation, transnational entrepreneurship, international organizations, Asian economies, and knowledge management in Asia

View more on Professor Heidi Dahles in WARP


New tourisms (in particular nature- and community-based) # Small and medium-scale enterprises # Local livelihood strategies # Resilience and vulnerability # Ethnic, migrant and returnee entrepreneurship # Chinese business communities in Southeast Asia # Social entrepreneurship # The political economy of Southeast Asia.

Research Themes

Heidi’s research interests span the following areas:

  1. New tourisms, in particular nature- and community-based, in Southeast Asia (Indonesia and Cambodia).
  2. Small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) and local livelihood strategies, resilience and vulnerability in times of economic growth and crisis in Southeast Asia.
  3. Ethnic, migrant and returnee entrepreneurship, Chinese business communities in Southeast Asia.
  4. Social entrepreneurship (in particular scaling strategies, often in combination with tourism developments, in Southeast Asia and the Netherlands).
  5. The political economy of Southeast Asia.

Heidi collaborates with colleagues at UTAS by engaging in Tasmania-related research (in particular with Professor Can Seng Ooi and Maree Gerke on regenerative tourism in Tasmania), and drawing comparative lessons while maintaining her close connections to Asia. As for the latter, Heidi recently contributed to the project “Realising the Opportunities of Chinese Tourism: A Comparative Study”, a collaborative initiative of UTAS and the Asia Institute Tasmania


Heidi is involved in a number of long-standing international research collaborations:

  1. Her research projects on ‘new tourisms’, small and medium-scale enterprises, resilience and local livelihoods in Southeast Asia are conducted in collaboration with researchers from Satya Wacana Christian University (UKSW), Salatiga, Indonesia, and Kirirom Institute of Technology and CAM Tech University in Cambodia and, recently, the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  2. Her research on social entrepreneurship is a collaborative effort with Vrije University Amsterdam, Netherlands, and the above listed institutes in Cambodia.


2014 - Winner of the Emerald 2014 Highly Commended Paper award of the Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy.

2010 - Faculty Fellowship, awarded by the Centre for Comparative Social Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam

2001 - Senior Fellowship, awarded by the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden, Netherlands.

Fields of Research

  • Impacts of tourism (350801)
  • Studies of Asian society (449901)
  • Political economy and social change (440404)

Research Objectives

  • Economic issues in tourism (110401)
  • International political economy (excl. international trade) (230304)


For Heidi’s publication history please see her Research Gate profile.

Recent peer-reviewed articles:

  1. Lasso, A. & H. Dahles (2021). A community perspective on local ecotourism development, Lessons from Komodo National Park. Tourism Geographies.
  2. Dahles, H., T. Susilowati& J. Koning (2020). Local tourism businesses in Indonesia. A pathway to crisis-resilient development? Austrian Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 13(1), 17-33.
  3. Dahles, H., S. Khieng, M. Verver& I. Manders (2020). Social Entrepreneurship & Tourism in Cambodia: advancing community engagement. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28(6), 816-833.
  4. Dahles, H., M. Verver, S. Khieng, I. Manders& N. Schellens (2020). Scaling Up Social Enterprise: Predicament or Prospect in a Comparative Perspective. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 317-342.
  5. Lasso, A. & H. Dahles (2018). Are tourism livelihoods sustainable? Tourism development and economic transformation on Komodo Island, Indonesia, Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 473-485.

Heidi is a regular contributor to East Asia Forum since 2013. Her most recent contributions:

  • Heidi Dahles, Cambodia’s uncertain economic rebound in 2021. East Asia Forum. Economics, Politics and Public Policy in East Asia and the Pacific. 7 January 2021.
  • Heidi Dahles, China’s post-COVID-19 woes to flow through the Mekong. East Asia Forum. Economics, Politics and Public Policy in East Asia and the Pacific.15 April 2020.

Total publications


Journal Article

(10 outputs)
2021Dahles H, 'Cambodia's uncertain economic rebound in 2021', East Asia Forum, (7 January 2021) pp. 1-2. (2021) [Professional, Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2021Lasso AH, Dahles H, 'A community perspective on local ecotourism development: lessons from Komodo National Park', Tourism Geographies pp. 1-20. ISSN 1461-6688 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2021.1953123 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1


2020Dahles H, Khieng S, Verver M, Manders I, 'Social entrepreneurship and tourism in Cambodia: advancing community engagement', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28, (6) pp. 816-833. ISSN 0966-9582 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2019.1706544 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 11Web of Science - 9


2020Dahles H, Prabawa TS, Koning J, 'Local tourism businesses in Indonesia: a pathway to crisis resilient development? ', ASEAS: Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 13, (1) pp. 17-33. ISSN 1999-253X (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.14764/10.ASEAS-0027 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3


2020Dahles H, Verver M, Khieng S, Manders I, Schellens N, 'Scaling up social enterprise: predicament or prospect in a comparative perspective', Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 11, (3) pp. 317-342. ISSN 1942-0676 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/19420676.2019.1641136 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3


2018Lasso A, Dahles H, 'Are tourism livelihoods sustainable? Tourism development and economic transformation on Komodo Island, Indonesia', Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 23, (5) pp. 473-485. ISSN 1094-1665 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/10941665.2018.1467939 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 25Web of Science - 18


2017Ferguson JE, Dahles H, Prabawa TS, 'The Indonesian tourism industry under crisis: a Bourdieuan perspective on social boundaries among small-scale business owners', Asia Pacific Business Review, 23, (2) pp. 171-191. ISSN 1360-2381 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/10941665.2017.1308397 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 34Web of Science - 28


2017Movono A, Dahles H, 'Female empowerment and tourism: a focus on businesses in a Fijian village', Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 22, (6) pp. 681-692. ISSN 1094-1665 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/10941665.2017.1308397 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 34Web of Science - 28


2017Movono A, Dahles H, Becken S, 'Fijian culture and the environment: a focus on the ecological and social interconnectedness of tourism development', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 26, (3) pp. 451-469. ISSN 0966-9582 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2017.1359280 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 35Web of Science - 31


2017Sam C, Dahles H, 'Stakeholder involvement in the higher education sector in Cambodia', Studies in Higher Education, 42, (9) pp. 1764-1784. ISSN 0307-5079 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2015.1124851 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 8


Chapter in Book

(3 outputs)
2020Lasso A, Dahles H, 'Fishermen Into Tour Boat Operators: Tourism Development in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia', Tourism and Development in Southeast Asia, Routledge, C Dolezal, A Trupp and HT Bui (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 133-146. ISBN 978 0 367 20925 4 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2018Dahles H, 'The Sustainability of Small Business Resilience: The Local Tourism Industry of Yogyakarta, Indonesia a Decade After The Crisis', Tourism, Resilience and Sustainability : Adapting to Social, Political and Economic Change, Routledge, J M Cheer and AA Lew (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 1-13. ISBN 978-1-138-20678-6 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2016Dahles H, 'Chinese Capitalisms in Southeast Asia: Diverging Institutional Legacies of Southeast Asian Chinese Business Communities', Business Networks in East Asian Capitalisms: Enduring Trends, Emerging Patterns, Elsevier Ltd, J Nolan, C Rowley and M Warner (ed), Netherlands, pp. 191-209. ISBN 9780081006559 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]


Throughout her career, Heidi was awarded about 1 million Euros by the Dutch Research Council (NWO: Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). Her most important project ran for 5 years and delivered 6 PhD completions and many publications in peer reviewed journals. Title of the project: “Competing Hegemonies. Foreign-dominated processes of modernization in Cambodia”. NWO/WOTRO Integrated Program, ID: W 01.67.2008.122, 2009-2015 (€ 700,000);

Smaller research grants were secured from, among others, the Amsterdam Institute for International Development; the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies; the European Science Foundation and the Netherlands Ministry of Education

Heidi supervised over 50 M.A. theses while teaching at Tilburg University and Vrije University Amsterdam. In addition, she was the principal supervisor of 19 completed PhD theses at Tilburg University (1), Vrije University Amsterdam (16) and Griffith University (2).

She was privileged to be appointed the honorary supervisor of Professor Joanne Martin from Stanford Business School (USA) who received an Honorary Doctorate at Vrije University Amsterdam on 20 October 2005.

Heidi would welcome the opportunity to engage in HDR supervision at UTAS in the areas of her research interest.