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Dr John Childs


John Childs

LEC Building

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YQ

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 510242


Research overview

Having joined Lancaster in 2013, John is particularly interested in the political ecological dimensions of natural resource extraction, including the study of minerals, precious metals, oil and gas. He has researched the emergence of the discourse of 'responsibility', justice and ethics in the mining industry, particularly the extent to which Fairtrade can solve the problems of social and environmental injustice in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. Most contemporarily, he is interested in the political economy of 'resource nationalism' in sub-Saharan Africa and welcomes PhD applications related to the political ecology of resource extraction more generally.


Published Research


John has published extensively on the political ecological dimensions of the Fairtrade certification of gold. This research, variously funded by the British Institute in Eastern Africa and The British Academy/Leverhulme, has investigated both the political economy and social and environmental justice of Fairtrade gold.

Current Research


John is currently investigating the contemporary trend of ‘resource nationalism’ in sub-Saharan Africa. Funded by the ESRC, this research project seeks to understand the geographic and political ways in which ‘resource nationalist’ policies are both articulated and resisted in various countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana.



John teaches on several undergraduate and postgraduate geography modules, and convenes:


LEC329 Global Consumption

LEC222 Political Geography



John is currently:


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