Dissertation topic and title

I’m getting closer to the finishing line of this PhD project and I am currently writing the introduction to my collection of papers. I’m trying to find a good title for the work, that is both catchy and informative, but it is difficult enough to come up with titles for these blog posts. I have one title for my dissertation, that I think sounds good, but I don’t find it reflecting my work well enough:

“Global change, local moves: Population-Environment dynamics in Iraqi Kurdistan”

I’d say that it’s not completely out of topic, I base my work on the local moves/local migration patterns in the Duhok governorate, and P-E dynamics certainly play an important role in the dissertation. Global-local denotes the scale aspect that I have included in three of the papers, especially the last one that is a methodological reflection of scale. The word that bothers me is “global”. Sure, there are many global aspects of P-E dynamics in Kurdistan, for example environmental change, economy and trade, globalization, international conflicts, oil… Although these are present in my study area they are not really central, they are more framing the topic but not really at the heart of it.

I decided to try and figure out which key words are really at the heard of it, so I decided to make a Wordle of what I had written so far in my introduction.

This was the result:

Wordle of my introduction

As you can see, MIGRATION is the most common word, followed by DATA, KURDISTAN, DROUGHT and IRAQ. I’m assuming this means that migration is central, even though I wouldn’t really say that I do migration research. Kurdistan, Iraq and Duhok are situating the study, which I intend to do in my title. Data is such a common word that I should perhaps have removed it, but it also represents my data issues and my discussion of data and methods of data collection. ENVIRONMENTAL is an important word, POPULATION another one. DROUGHT relates to mainly one of the papers, but is connected to ENVIRONMENT(AL). AGRICULTURE is an important word, that represents the connection between people and their biophysical environment.

But where does that leave me? No better titles so far, I have to think more about it. Suggestions are welcome!

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