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Personal profile

Research interests

My 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. Much of my 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. My disciplinary background is in human geography, but my work has largely been interdisciplinary in its approach, drawing principally upon anthropology and politics/political economy.

In pursuing my research, I have developed strong international links with a wide range of institutions in Africa, including Fourah Bay College (Sierra Leone), Bayero University Kano (Nigeria) and Makerere University (Uganda). Before joining the International Development Group at Bath, I was a post-doctoral fellow at IDPM, University of Manchester (2007-2009) and IDS Sussex (2005-2007).

Current and recent research themes:

  • Socio-economic dimensions of small-scale mining in West Africa
  • Natural resource governance and the extractive industries
  • Community-based resource management, livelihoods and institution building in post-conflict states
  • Youth identity politics and rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Urban and peri-urban food production and resource management in West Africa

Find out more about my research on natural resources in West Africa here

PhD Supervison

I am interested in supervising PhD students working on topics related to:

  • The environmental and socio-economic dimensions of artisanal and small-scale mining.
  • The dynamics of conflict and competition over natural resources in developing countries.
  • Community based resource management and livelihoods in post conflict states.

I am particularly committed to working with students whose research interests lie in West Africa.



Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sussex

Master of Economics, University of Sussex

Bachelor of Arts, Queen's University, Kingston

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Sierra Leone Social Sciences
diamond Earth & Environmental Sciences
livelihood Social Sciences
small scale mining Earth & Environmental Sciences
biofuel Social Sciences
food Social Sciences
sustainability Social Sciences
resources Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2009 2021

Research Output 2003 2019

Artisanal mining and the rationalization of informality: Critical reflections from Liberia

Maconachie, R. & Conteh, F., 7 Jul 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Canadian Journal of Development Studies.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Downloads (Pure)

Green grabs and rural development: How sustainable is biofuel production in post-war Sierra Leone?

Maconachie, R., 1 Feb 2019, In : Land Use Policy. 81, p. 871-877 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Sierra Leone
rural development

Spaces for contestation: the politics of community development agreements in Sierra Leone

Conteh, F. & Maconachie, R., 1 Jun 2019, In : Resources Policy. 61, p. 231-240 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Diversify or Die? The Response of Ghanaian Non-Governmental Development Organisations (NGDOs) to a Changing Aid Landscape

Author: Kumi, E., 7 Dec 2017

Supervisor: Copestake, J. (Supervisor) & Maconachie, R. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Multi-criteria energy system optimisation considering social and political sustainability objectives - Cases in sub-Saharan Africa

Author: Trotter, P., 4 Sep 2019

Supervisor: Maconachie, R. (Supervisor) & McManus, M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Oil Governance in the Niger Delta: Exploring the role of the Militias

Author: Tantua, B., 9 Dec 2015

Supervisor: Devine, J. (Supervisor) & Maconachie, R. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD