Biography

I joined the School of Global Studies as a Lecturer in International Development in 2017, having previously taught at the University of Brighton (Human Geography & Sustainable Development), University of Birmingham (Gender & Development) and Brunel University London (Anthropology). 

I have carried out long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Bangladesh and the United Kingdom, as well as shorter periods of research in South Africa and Papua New Guinea. My doctoral research was concerned with tracing out the forms of legal, financial and geological expertise implicated in the production of extractive industry frontiers in Bangladesh.

My current research interests build on this concern with extractive industry-led development and the role of business and private sector organizations in development, focusing on two specific areas: political ecology/environmental justice, and the study of consultancy/expertise in development.

Political Ecology/Environmental Justice: I am currently working on a British Academy Sustainable Development Programme-funded project on environmental defenders and atmospheres of violence around 'sustainable' developments, as well as a Sussex Research Opportunities Fund-supported project on high-carbon futures in Bangladesh.

Political Economy/Sociology of Expertise: I have recently completed a BA/Leverhulme Small Grant project examining cultures of expertise in the political risk industry, and am currently collaborating with colleagues at Sussex, Nottingham and Cambridge on a project exploring the role of 'Big Four' accountancy & audit firms and management consultancy in the development sector.

These research interests are reflected in my teaching focus: I currently teach an undergraduate course on Wealth, Inequality & Development, as well as sessions on resource-based development, and I teach across the MA in Environment, Development & Policy.

See here for more information on current research projects, and here for a list of publications. Information on teaching and doctoral supervision is available here.

Role

Qualifications

Paul holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex (funded by an ESRC +3 Studentship), an MSc in Ethnobotany from the University of Kent (Distinction), a PGCert in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education from the University of Brighton (Distinction), and a BA in Anthropology from Durham University (First Class). He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Activities

I have a particular interest in working with academic and non-academic collaborators concerned with visualizing and mapping extractive industry finance, and with artistic/imaginative approaches to understanding finance and its relation to colonial legacies