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Deagrarianization & Mining

I have engaged in academic as well as policy-oriented research during my career. My main interest in recent years has been on deagrarianization and mining which includes:

Livelihood, labour, mobility and settlement in processes of transition– notably urbanisation in developing countries, urban economies, urban growth and mobility patterns of the poor, occupational change and deagrarianisation. I was Principal Investigator of the ESRC/DfID funded project entitled ‘Urban Growth and Poverty in Mining Africa’. I coordinated a large collaborative programme on deagrarianisation and rural livelihoods with research teams in various African countries between 1996 and 2001 based at the University of Leiden and a study of livelihood frontiers in Tanzanian mining and trading settlements for DANIDA in association with the Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen between 2004 and 2008, and was the Principal Investigator on an ESRC project from 2010 to 2013 on urban development associated with artisanal and large-scale mining in Tanzania, Ghana and Angola.

sukuma miner


Mining and Social Transformation in Africa: Mineralizing and Democratizing Trends in Artisanal Production (ed.) 2014. Abingdon: Routledge, 217 pp (with E. Fisher, J.B. Jønsson & R. Mwaipopo)


Mining and Urbanisation in Africa: Population, Settlement and Welfare.(ed.) 2012. Special Issue of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 30(4), 190 pp (with D. Mackinnon),


How Africa Works: Occupational Change, Identity and Morality 2010. Rugby UK: Practical Action Publishing, 299 pp.

 African Agriculture and the World Bank: Development or Impoverishment? 2007. Policy Dialogue No. 1, The Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden, pp. (with Kjell Havnevik, Lars-Erik Birgegard, Prosper Matondi and Atakilte Beyene)


Livelihoods, Linkages and Policy Paradoxes. (ed.) 2001. Special Issue of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 19 (1), 160 pp (with Leslie Bank),


Disappearing Peasantries? Rural Labour in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (ed.) 2000.  London: Intermediate Technology Publications, 333 pp (with Cristobal Kay and Jos Mooij)


Farewell to Farms: De-Agrarianization and Employment in Africa. (ed.) 1997. Aldershot: Ashgate, 265 pp. (with Vali Jamal)


Women Wielding the Hoe: Lessons from Rural Africa for Feminist Theory and Development Practice. (ed.) 1995. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 282 pp




'Mineralized Urbanization in 21st Century Africa: Becoming Urban via Mining Extraction’, 2022. International Journal of Urban & Rural Research 46(3): 342-369. (with M. Shand, K. Gough, J.B. Jønsson, C. Kinabo, C.U. Rodrigues & P. Yankson) 



‘Mining Habitat, House and Home in Gold Boom Africa: Economic and Emotional Dimensions’, 2021. Journal of East African Studies 15(4): 663-684. (with J.B. Jønsson, M.C. Shand).

'Mining in Africa after the Supercycle: New Directions and Geographies', 2021. Area 53(4): 647-658. (with A. Bowman, T. Frederiksen, T., J. Childs, E. Gilberthorpe, D. McFarlane and S. Newman) Open access.

'Mining Mobility and Settlement during an East African Gold Boom: Seeking Fortune and Accommodating Fate' 2020. Mobility 15(3): 446-463. (with J.B. Jønsson and M.Shand)

'Getting Grounded: Miners' Migration, Housing and Urban Settlement in Tanzania. 1980-2012'. 2019. Extractive Industries and Society 6: 948-959 (with J.B. Jønsson, C. Kinabo and M.Shand)

'Precarity in Angolan Diamond Mining Towns, 1920-2014: Tracing Agency of the State, Mining Companies and Urban Households’ 2018. Journal of Modern African Studies 56(1), 113-141. (with C.U. Rodrigues).


‘Beyond the Artisanal Mining Site: Migration, Housing Capital Accumulation and Indirect Urbanization in Tanzania, 2017. Journal of East African Studies 11(1), 3-23 (with J.B. Jønsson)


 ‘Artisanal Frontier Mining of Gold in Africa: Labour Transformation in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo’, 2016. (with S.    Geenen) African Affairs 115(459): 296-317. doi: 10.1093/afraf/adv073, 


   Full text:

‘For Richer, for Poorer: Marriage and Casualized Sex in East African Artisanal Mining Settlements’ 2014. Development and Change 45(1). 1-26. DOI.10.1111/dech.12067  (with J.B. Jønsson & H.Verbrugge)


‘Prostitution or Partnership? Wifestyles in Tanzanian Artisanal Gold-mining Settlements’, 2013. Journal of Modern African Studies 51(1). 33-56. (with J.B. Jønsson & H.Verbrugge) 


‘Eureka and Beyond: Mining’s Impact on African Urbanisation’, 2012. in Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 30(4), Special Issue edited by Bryceson, D.F. and D. Mackinnon, Mining and Urbanisation in Africa: Population, Settlement and Welfare. 513-27. (with D. MacKinnon).


‘Unearthing Treasure and Trouble: Mining as an Impetus to Urbanisation in Tanzania’, 2012.  Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 30(4), Special Issue edited by Bryceson, D.F. and D. Mackinnon, Mining and Urbanisation in Africa: Population, Settlement and Welfare. 631-49. (with J.B. Jønsson, C. Kinabo & M. Shand),  ‘


‘Miners’ Magic: Artisanal Mining, the Albino Fetish and Murder in Tanzania’, 2010. Journal of Modern African Studies 48(3), 353-82 DOI:10.1017S0022278X10000303 (with J.B. Jønsson & R. Sherrington). 


‘Gold Digging Careers in Rural Africa: Small-Scale Miners’ Livelihood Choices’, 2010. World Development 38(3), 379-92 (with J.B. Jønsson). 


 ‘Sub-Saharan Africa’s Vanishing Peasantries and the Specter of a Global Food Crisis’, 2009. Monthly Review. July-August, 48-62.


 ‘Rushing for Gold: Mobility and Small-Scale Mining in East Africa’, 2009. Development and Change 40(2), 249-79 (with J.B. Jønsson).


‘Agrarian Vista or Vortex? African Rural Livelihoods Policy’. 2004. Review of African Political Economy 102, 617-29


‘The Scramble in Africa: Reorienting Rural Livelihoods’. 2002. World Development 30 (5), 725-39 


‘Multiplex Livelihoods in Rural Africa: Recasting the Terms and Conditions of Gainful Employment’. 2002. Journal of Modern African Studies 40 (1), 1-28


‘End of an Era: The Development Policy Parallax’. 2001. in Bank, L. and D.F. Bryceson (eds), Livelihoods, Linkages and Policy Paradoxes, Special Issue of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies 19 (1), 1-19 (with Leslie Bank)

‘African Rural Labour, Income Diversification and Livelihood Approaches: A Long-Term Development Perspective’. 1999. Review of African Political Economy, No. 80,171-89


‘African Rural Labour and the World Bank: An Alternative Perspective’. 1998, Development in Practice 7 (1), 26-38 (with John Howe)


'De-Agrarianization and Rural Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Sectoral Perspective'. 1996. World Development 24(1), 97-111


‘Use Values, the Law of Value and the Analysis of Non-capitalist Production’. 1983. Capital and Class No. 20, 29-63


‘Primitive Accumulation and Imperialism in relation to the Reproduction of Third World Peasantries’. 1980. Utafiti 5(1), 95-128



‘Artisanal Gold Rush Mining and Frontier Democracy: Juxtaposing experiences in America, Australia, Africa and Asia, Lahiri-Dutt, K. (ed.) 2018. Between the Plough and the Pick: Informal, Artisanal and Small-scale Mining in the Contemporary World. Canberra, Australia National University Press, 31-61. ISBN9781760461713.,


‘Deagrarianisation and Depeasantisation in Africa’ in Binns, T., K. Lynch and E. Nel (eds) 2018. The Routledge Handbook of African Development. Routledge. 368-377,

‘Agrarian Transformation’. 2005. in Forsyth, T. (ed), Encyclopedia of International Development, London and New York, Routledge


‘Rural Livelihoods and Agrarian Change in Sub-Saharan Africa: Processes and Policies’. 2005. in Ellis, F. and A. Freeman (eds), Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction Policies, London, Routledge, 48-61


‘Peasant Theories and Smallholder Policies: Past and Present’, 1-36

‘African Peasants’ Centrality and Marginality: Rural Labour Transformations’, 37-63

‘Disappearing Peasantries? Rural Labour Redundancy in the Neo-liberal Era and Beyond’ 299-326

    in Bryceson, D.F., C. Kay and J. Mooij (eds). 2000. Disappearing Peasantries? Rural Labour in Africa, Asia and Latin America,

    London: Intermediate Technology Publications



Rural Development Priorities in the 21st Century: Towards a Strategy for FAO, 2008. Consultancy report for the Economic and Social Welfare Division, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.


Sub-Saharan Africa Betwixt and Between: Rural Livelihood Practices and Policies. 1999. Leiden: Africa Studiecentrum, De-agrarianization and Rural Employment Programme (DARE), Working Paper vol 43, 73 pp


View from the Bottom of the Heap: Comment on the 1995 World Development Report's Perspective on African Farmers' Options. 1996. Delft: International Institute for Infrastructure, Hydraulics and Environomental Engineering Working Paper (with John Howe)


De-agrarianization in Africa: Proceedings of the 'De-Agrarianization and Rural Employment (eds.). 1994. Workshop held at the Afrika Studiecentrum, Leiden, May 1994', Leiden: Afrika Studiecentrum Working Paper No. 20 (with Corina van der Laan)


De-Agrarianization and Rural Employment Generation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Process and Prospects. 1993. Leiden: Afrika Studiecentrum Working Paper vol, 19, 53 pp. 



Trading Down: Africa, Value Chains, and the Global Economy, by Peter Gibbon and Stefano Ponte, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 2005. in Development and Change 38 (2), 351-2, 2007.


Farmers and Markets in Tanzania: How Policy Reforms Affect Rural Livelihoods in Africa, by Stefano Ponte, Oxford, James Currey, 2002. in Britain-Tanzania Society Bulletin no. 74, 45-47. 2003. 


Making a Living: Changing Livelihoods in Rural Africa, by Elizabeth Francis, London, Routledge,2000. in Journal of Canadian African Studies 36(1), 148-50, 2002.


African Poverty at the Millennium: Causes, Complexities, and Challenge, by White, H., and T. Killick in collaboration with S. Kayizzi-Mugerwa and M-A. Savane, Washington DC, The World Bank, 2001. in Habitat International 26, 295-97, 2002.


Transitional Economic Policy and Policy Options in Tanzania edited by S.M. Wangwe, H.H. Semboja, and P. Tibandebage, Dar es Salaam, Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, distributed by African Books Collective Ltd., Oxford, 1998. in Journal of Modern African Studies, 2000.

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