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Roy Maconachie

Professor of Natural Resources and Development

Roy Maconachie is Professor of Natural Resources and Development in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. His research in Sub-Saharan Africa explores the social, political and economic aspects of food production and natural resource management, and their relationships to wider societal change. Roy’s recent work has been concerned with the politics of natural resource management in West Africa, with a particular focus on the extractive industries, livelihood change and social conflict. He has been carrying out field-based research in West Africa for the past 20 years, and has spent much of this time working with artisanal gold and diamond miners.

Roy’s current work focuses on the role that artisanal mining plays in ‘green energy transitions’, exploring key governance challenges in critical mineral supply chains in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Roy’s disciplinary background is in human geography, but his work has largely been interdisciplinary in its approach, drawing principally upon anthropology, politics and political ecology. He holds a PhD in Geography and Masters degree in Rural Development from the University of Sussex.

Voices From the Mine: Artisanal Diamonds and Resource Governance in Sierra Leone

A film by Dr Roy Maconachie from the Centre for Development Studies, and Simon Wharf from the Audio Visual Unit at the University of Bath, United Kingdom.

Produced with funding from Humanity United, the film shines a light on the realities of life for some of the workers involved in artisanal diamond mining in Sierra Leone and the challenges to effective governance of the sector.

Recent Publications

(2021) Re-thinking 'harm' in relation to children's work: a 'situated', multi-disciplinary perspective. Oxford Development Studies.

(2021) Artisanal mining, mechanization and human (in)security in Sierra LeoneThe Extractive Industries and Society.

(2021) Exploring local content in Guinea's bauxite sector: Obstacles, opportunities and future trajectoriesResources Policy, 71 (2021) 101935. 

(2021) Artisanal mining policy reforms, informality and challenges to the Sustainable Development Goals in Sierra LeoneEnvironmental Science and Policy, 116: 38-46.

(2021) Theorising 'harm' in relation to children's work. ACHA Working Paper 4. Brighton: Action on Children's Harmful Work in African Agriculture, IDS, DOI: 10.19088/ACHA.2020.003 (Open access).

(2021) Children’s Work in West African Cocoa Production: Drivers, Contestations and Critical Reflections. ACHA Working Paper 10, Brighton: Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture, IDS, DOI: 10.19088/ACHA.2021.005 (Open access).

(2020) Gold. Polity Press (Resources Series): Cambridge. ISBN-13: 978-1-5095-3410-4. 

(2020) Entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa's artisanal and small-scale mining sector: Developments and trajectoriesJournal of Rural Studies, 78: 149-162.

(2020) For the Environment: An Assessment of Recent Military Intervention in Informal Gold Mining Communities in GhanaLand Use Policy, Volume 96, July 2020.

(2020) Artisanal and small-scale mining and the Sustainable Development Goals: Opportunities and new directions for sub-Saharan AfricaGeoforum, 111, pp. 125-141.

(2019) Artisanal mining and the rationalisation of informality: Critical reflections from Liberia. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 41:3, pp. 432--449.

(2019) Spaces for contestation: The politics of community development agreements in Sierra Leone. Resources Policy, 61, pp. 231-240.

(2019) Green grabs and rural development: How sustainable is biofuel production in post-war Sierra Leone? Land Use Policy, 81, pp. 871-877.

Gender and Fairtrade - The stories of women cocoa farmers in Ghana

The Centre for Development Studies at the University of Bath presents a film examining the impact of Fairtrade initiatives on women cocoa farmers in Ghana.

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