BA (Cambridge), PhD (ANU)


Professor Michael Webber studies the impact of large-scale social changes on work, people and communities. Until about the year 2000, this program of research was focussed on the effects of industrial restructuring and economic change, and culminated in a series of studies of the textiles and clothing industry in Australia. More recently, this program shifted its orientation towards tracing the implications of the emergence of new forms of economic and social organisation in China, particularly the development of markets for labour, the expansion of capitalist forms of organisation into the countryside, and the developing environmental crisis.

1968 1972 Australian National University, Lecturer (Geography)

1973 1974 McMaster University, Assistant Professor (Geography)

1974 1978 McMaster University, Associate Professor (Geography)

1978 1985 McMaster University, Professor (Geography)

1985 2003 University of Melbourne, Professor (Geography)

2004 2005 Melbourne University Private, Professor (International Development), Vice-President and Provost

2006 University of Melbourne, Professorial Fellow (Geography)

2007 2013 University of Melbourne, Professorial Fellow Honorary (Geography)

2014- University of Melbourne, Professor Emeritus

[since 2012]

Webber M, Barnett J, Finlayson B and Wang M 2018 Water Supply in a Mega-City: A Political Ecology Analysis of Shanghai Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Webber M 2012 Making Capitalism in Rural China Cheltenham UK: Elgar

Wilmsen B and Webber M 2017 Mega Dams and Resistance: The Case of the Three Gorges Dam, China, in Grugel J, Singh J N, Fontana L B and Uhlin A (eds) Demanding Justice in the Global South: Claiming Rights Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature: 69-98

Zhu Y and Webber M 2016 Impact of western economics on China’s reforms from the late 1970s to the present: an overview, In Warner M (ed) The Diffusion of Western Economic Ideas in East Asia London: Routledge: 348-359

Wilmsen B and Webber M 2015 Displacement and resettlement as a mode of capitalist transformation: Evidence from the People's Republic of China, in Price S and Singer J (eds) Global implications of development, disasters and climate change: Responses to displacement from Asia Pacific London: Routledge: 59-73

Chen D, Bi B, Luo Z H, Yang Y W, Webber M, Finlayson B. 2018 A scientometric review of water research on the Yangtze River Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 16: 7969-7987

Miao Z, Sheng J C, Webber M, Balezentis T, Geng Y, Zhou W H 2018 Measuring water use performance in the cities along China’s South-North Transfer Project Applied Geography 98: 184-200

Sheng J C and Webber M 2018 Using incentives to coordinate responses to a system of payments for watershed services: The middle route of South-North Water Transfer Project, China Ecosystem Services 32: 1-8

Zhen N H, Barnett J and Webber M 2017 Trust and the risk of consuming polluted water in Shanghai, China Journal of Risk Research 1-12 doi: 10.1080/13669877.2017.1351469

Crow-Miller B and Webber M 2017 Of maps and eating bitterness: The politics of scaling in China's South-North Water Transfer Project Political Geography 61: 19-30

Sheng JC and Webber M 2017 Incentive-compatible payments for watershed services along the Eastern Route of China's South-North Water Transfer Project Ecosystem Services 25: 213-226

Webber M and Han X 2017 Corporations, Governments, and Socioenvironmental Policy in China: China's Water Machine as Assemblage Annals of the American Association of Geographers DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2017.1320211

Crow-Miller B, Webber M and Rogers S 2017 The technopolitics of big infrastructure and the Chinese water machine Water Alternatives 10(2): 233-249

Crow-Miller B, Webber M and Molle F 2017 The (re)turn to infrastructure for water management? Water Alternatives 10(2): 195-207

Li M T, Finlayson B, Webber M, Barnett J, Webber S, Rogers S, Chen Z Y, Wei T Y, Chen J, Wu X D and Wang M 2017 Estimating urban water demand under conditions of rapid growth: the case of Shanghai Regional Environmental Change 17: 1153-1161

Webber M, Crow-Miller B and Rogers S 2017 The South–North Water Transfer Project: remaking the geography of China Regional Studies doi: 10.1080/00343404.2016.1265647

Webber M 2016 Market power and the rate of profit Environment and Planning A 48: 2529-2531

Rogers S, Barnett J, Webber M, Finlayson B and Wang M 2016 Governmentality and the conduct of water: China's South–North Water Transfer Project Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41: 429-441

Chen J, Finlayson B L, Wei T Y, Sun Q L, Webber M, Li M T and Chen Z Y 2016 Changes in monthly flows in the Yangtze River, China – With special reference to the Three Gorges Dam Journal of Hydrology 536: 293 – 301

Barnett J, Rogers S, Webber M, Finlayson B and Wang M 2015 Sustainability:Transfer project cannot meet China's water needs Nature 527: 295–297 (19 November 2015) doi:10.1038/527295a

Webber M, Barnett J, Chen Z Y, Finlayson B, Wang M, Chen D, Chen J, Li M T, Wei T Y, Wu S and Xu H 2015 Constructing Water Shortages on a Huge River: The Case of Shanghai Geographical Research 53: 406–418

Webber M, Li M T, Chen J, Finlayson B, Chen D, Chen Z Y, Wang M and Barnett J 2015 Impact of Three Gorges Dam, South-North Water Transfer Project and water abstractions on the duration and intensity of salt intrusions in the Yangtze River estuary Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 19: 4411-4425

Wilmsen B and Webber M 2015 What can we learn from the practice of development-forced displacement and resettlement for organised resettlements in response to climate change? Geoforum 58: 76-85

Chen J, Wu X D, Finlayson B L, Webber M, Wei T Y, Li M T and Chen Z Y 2015 Variability and trend in the hydrology of the Yangtze River, China: annual precipitation and runoff Journal of Hydrology 513: 403-412

Li M, Chen Z, Finlayson B, Wei T, Chen J, Wu X, Xu H, Webber M, Barnett J, Wang M 2015 Water diversion and sea-level rise: potential threats to freshwater supplies in the Changjiang River estuary Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 156: 52-60

Chen D, Luo Z H, Webber M, Chen J, Wang W G 2014 Emergy evaluation of a pumping irrigation water production system in China Frontiers of Earth Science 8: 131-141

Chen D, Luo Z H, Webber M, Chen J, Wang W G 2014 Emergy evaluation of the contribution of irrigation water, and its utilization, in three agricultural systems in China Frontiers of Earth Science 8: 325-337

Chen D, Webber M, Finlayson B, Barnett J, Chen Z Y and Wang M 2013 Impact of water transfers from the lower Yangtze River on water security in Shanghai Applied Geography 45: 303-310

Dang X H, Webber M, Chen D, Wang M Y L 2013 Evolution of water management in Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces since the Ming and Qing dynasties of China Water 5: 643-658

Chen D, Wang MY, Luo Z, Webber M, Chen J 2013 Performance evaluation of a safe drinking water project in rural China from the perspective of farmers Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment 11: 1878-1881

Xu H, Chen Z Y, Finlayson B, Webber M, Wu X D, Li M T, Chen J, Wei T Y, Barnett J, Wang M 2013 Assessing dissolved inorganic nitrogen flux in the Yangtze River, China: sources and scenarios Global and Planetary Change 106: 84-89 doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2013.03.005

Finlayson B L, Barnett J, Wei T Y, Webber M, Li M T, Wang M Y, Chen J, Xu H and Chen Z Y 2013 The drivers of risk to water security in Shanghai Regional Environmental Change 13: 329-340

Webber M 2012 The political economy of the Three Gorges Project Geographical Research 50: 154-165

Webber M J 2012 The dynamics of primitive accumulation: with application to rural China Environment and Planning A 44 560-579