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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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Research Output

For the Environment: An Assessment of Recent Military Intervention in Informal Gold Mining Communities in Ghana

Hilson, G. & Maconachie, R., 5 May 2020, In : Land Use Policy. 96, 104706.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Bloomfield, M. J. & Maconachie, R., 3 Apr 2020, (Accepted/In press) U. K.: Polity Press. (Resources Series)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    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
  • 73 Downloads (Pure)


    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