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Dr Pojanath Bhatanacharoen

Research Associate of Work Package 4 in Tipping Points Research Project


 Pojanath’s background is in political science. Her thesis, completed at Newcastle University, explored the relationships and dynamics between influence, power, decision-making, negotiation strategies and institutional designs of the European Union and World Trade Organization.

Current research

Her current appointment is researcher for Work Package 4 which is a part of the wider project on Tipping Point, encompassing different disciplines across the University. This part of the project looks at the term tipping point as a metaphor. The term ‘tipping point’ is generally understood as a point where the increase in small and incremental changes have exceeded a certain threshold and ‘tipped’ the system out of balance leading to radical changes. The use of this term has been evolved and spread across many disciplines ranging from sociology, and health sciences to environmental sciences, in particular on the study of climate change.

The Work Package 4 team aims to establish the discursive evolution of the term tipping point as a metaphor to describe rapid discontinuous changes. To assess the rise in popularity of the term tipping point, we begin with examining the use of the term ‘tipping point’ in the academia. Then, a network analysis of academic citations is conducted to see who cited who to build up a picture of how the use of the term tipping point has cascaded in the academia and how the term has been transmitted across the disciplines. We then move on to the discursive analysis of the term tipping point in the texts to unpack the meaning of the term for different users. This would enable us to examine the different stages during which a tipping point of term usage occurs, the conditions under which an idea reaches its tipping point, and how the term is actually being used and for what purposes, and explain why and how certain ideas become popularized and others abandoned. The term ‘tipping point’ is thus a self reflecting tool: understanding the emergence of the term tipping point enables us to understand how tipping points emerge.

Other research interests

Pojanath has particular expertise in European Union Studies and International Relations. Many of her past research papers have revolved around aspects of the EU as an international actor. Her thesis is a comparative analysis of small EU states, Denmark and Ireland, focusing on the agricultural policy reforms in the on-going World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round (2000 - ?). It adopts the multi-level game approach to explore the relationships between the negotiation processes that occur simultaneously on the different levels (drawing on the multi-level game approach as proposed by Putnam and neo-institutionalism). It examines how both domestic and external factors determine the bargaining positions and strategies of small states and the EU. The empirical findings suggest that the EU norm of consensus-seeking has enabled the small states to enjoy the extent of influence disproportionate to their relative powers in the international system.

Mini Biography

Pojanath Bhatanacharoen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience and Durham Business School and working on a multidisciplinary project ‘Tipping Points’ with particular focus on the diffusion of popular ideas and management fashion.


Chapter in book

Newspaper/Magazine Article