The Indian Ocean World Centre at McGill University.


The Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC) is a research initiative and resource base established to promote the study of the history, economy, and cultures of the lands and peoples of the Indian Ocean world (IOW) – from China to Southeast and South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


The Indian Ocean World Centre is led by Professor Gwyn Campbell and a team of highly accomplished academics.

The Appraising Risk Project

Appraising Risk is an international collaboration based at the Indian Ocean World Centre with academic partners across the world.


Established in 2017, the Journal of Indian Ocean World Studies is an open-access journal, published twice annually by the McGill University Library.

Latest from the IOWC

The IOWC 10th Anniversary Report

To celebrate 10 years of the IOWC’s existence, we have published a report that looks back on its past activities and successes and looks forward to the future. Download the report here.

The IOWC’s history in three points:

  • The Indian Ocean Project (IOP) was established by Gwyn Campbell in 1993 at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

  • The IOP was reborn in 1999 as the Association pour l’étude de l’Afrique et les pays de l’Océan Indian (AAOI) at the University of Avignon, France.

  • The AAOI officially becomes the Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC) based at McGill University in 2011.

Our most recent podcast:

Micro-Financing Rural Cambodia: Loans, Debt, and Climate Change The Indian Ocean World Podcast

What does it mean when we talk about micro-financing the rural economy? And how does micro-financing apply to Cambodia? These questions are explored by Professor W. Nathan Green, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore.  Prof. Green’s research critically examines the political ecologies of agrarian finance and infrastructure in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Cambodia. By combining his economic, geographical, and ethnographic study of rural Cambodia, Prof. Green paints us a vivid picture of the development of Cambodian loan and borrowing structures, while delving into the risks associated with having one’s land in collateral. Since the 1980s, micro-financing has been essential to Cambodia’s rise out of the economic and humanitarian turmoil inflicted by the Pol Pot regime. But, as climate change continues to impact the stability of Cambodia and the rest of the world, vulnerabilities amongst those dwelling in this ‘borrowers’ economy have become increasingly noticeable. As is stated by Prof. Green, vulnerability to climate change goes beyond the natural environment to encapsulate structural drivers of vulnerability like political empowerment, the ability to make decisions over one’s own land, entitlements to resources, etc. Rising household indebtedness in Cambodia due to its micro-financing scheme is a major driver of household vulnerability. To learn more about Prof Green, check out his academic page here: This podcast was produced with the help of Renée Manderville (Project Manager, IOWC; English Common Law, University of Ottawa) and Philip Gooding (postdoctoral fellow, IOWC, McGill).