Projects per year
My research interests relate to the political economy of economic transformation in the global South, with a regional focus on Central Africa and a particular concern with resource-based industrialisation, green transitions, and labour dynamics. This interest was sparked in the early 2010s, when living in-between Burundi, Rwanda, and the DR Congo, through my work documenting the local impacts of the Northern-led ‘conflict minerals’ campaign, designed to help end the conflict in the DR Congo but with several adverse labour and economic consequences on the ground (see We Will Win Peace, a feature-length documentary I co-produced from 2013 to 2015).
From the mid-2010s onwards, while residing in Kinshasa and pursuing my PhD, I shifted focus to investigating the solidity of the theoretical foundations underpinning the consensus position – shared by international financial institutions, African governments, development agencies, and various strands of the academic literature – that mining industrialization led by transnational corporations can drive transformative processes of social and economic development in low-income African countries, through a case study of the DR Congo (see Disrupted Development in the Congo, a monograph published by Oxford University Press in 2023; spoiler alert, the foundations were found to stand on fragile ground). In 2019, I returned to the UK after around a decade away, since which time I have been developing a new line of research related to understanding how and to what extent green transitions promote or undermine economic transformation and the prospects of prosperity in the global South.
Currently, I’m involved as a collaborator on African Extractivism and the Green Transition, a six-year project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to investigate the political economy dynamics of critical transition metal and mineral extraction in the DR Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. I'm a member of the Editorial Working Group for the Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE), and an affiliated member of the Centre of Mining Research at the Catholic University of Bukavu, DR Congo.
I’m interested in supervising PhD students working on economic transformation in the global South, and in particular (but not only) on topics related to:
- The social, economic, and/or political implications of the increased demand the global renewable energy transition places on Southern minerals and metals needed for low-carbon technologies and infrastructure;
- The developmental implications of the dependence of renewable energy transitions in the global South on the diffusion of green technologies from North American, European, and East Asian corporations.
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
Editorial Board Member, Review of African Political Economy
20 Jul 2021 → …
Council Member, Development Studies Association
1 Sept 2020 → 31 Aug 2023
Affiliated Member, Catholic University of Bukavu
3 May 2016 → …
Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years
Dive into details
Select a country/territory to view shared publications and projects
Radley, B. & Kamwengo, C.
1/10/21 → 1/04/22
Project: Research-related funding
Common Challenges for All? A Critical Engagement with the Emerging Vision for Post-pandemic Development StudiesWiegratz, J., Behuria, P., Laskaridis, C., Liepollo Pheko, L., Radley, B. & Stevano, S., 2 Sept 2023, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Development and Change. 33 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile2 Downloads (Pure)
Class formation and capital accumulation in the countryside: Artisanal and small-scale gold mining in South Kivu, DR CongoRadley, B., 24 Mar 2022, In: Journal of Agrarian Change. 22, 2, p. 398-414 17 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review4 Citations (SciVal)
Off-grid solar expansion and economic development in the global South: A critical review and research agendaRadley, B. & Lehmann-Grube, P., 31 Jul 2022, In: Energy Research and Social Science. 89, p. 1-15 15 p., 102673.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review article › peer-reviewOpen Access3 Citations (SciVal)
Productivity and profitability: Investigating the economic impact of gold mining mechanisation in Kamituga, DR CongoBikubanya, D-L. & Radley, B., 5 Dec 2022, In: Extractive Industries and Society. 12, p. 1-9 9 p., 101162.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access1 Citation (SciVal)
Geenen, S., Nkuba, B. & Radley, B., 5 Dec 2022, In: Extractive Industries and Society. 12, p. 1-7 7 p., 101184.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review