- Dr Sam Spiegel
- Senior Lecturer and Director of Research, Centre of African Studies
- B.02 19 George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
- +44 (0) 131 651 3066
-PhD, Geography, University of Cambridge
-MSc, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of British Columbia
-BA (Hons), Politics, Whitman College
Major research themes
- Theories of Social Justice, Environmental Justice and Climate Justice
- Decolonisation, Ongoing Colonialism, Dispossession, Land Alienation, Epistemic Erasure, Storytelling and Social Change
- Community-Based Research, Ethnographic Approaches, Community-Engaged Political Ecology and Mixed Methods Approaches
- Interdiscilinarity in the Study of Socio-Environmental Interactions
- Global Environmental Governance, Health, Extractive Sector Politics
- Anti-Racist and Feminist Appraoches to Knowledge Construction in Relation to Contested Land, Resource and Territorial Control, Water and Rights
- Activism, Social Movements, Protest and Solidarity-Building (globally, and particularly in Indonesia, Zimbabwe and Canada/First Nations territory)
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Conceptualisations of Nature-Society Relations, Resource Politics, Relational Histories and Connections to Place
Sam is a Senior Lecturer in International Development at the School of Social and Political Science and Director of Research at the Centre of African Studies. Broadly speaking, his current work engages conceptual and methodological debates in political ecology, environmental justice and ecological economics internationally, with a focus on narratives and struggles in relation to resource extraction, territorial control, social marginalisation and societal values.
Prior to joining the School of Social and Political Science in Edinburgh, he conducted his doctoral research at the University of Cambridge, where he studied geography as a Trudeau Scholar and Cambridge Commonwealth Scholar at Trinity College, examining social and environmental struggles in mining regions and the framing of social justice debates. Over the years he has conducted extensive research in Zimbabwe and Indonesia, and advised civil society organisations, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and various United Nations agencies (UNDP, UNEP and UNIDO) in Africa and Asia on initiatives addressing local, regional and global inequities and relationships that shape socio-environmental interactions. Interested in interdisciplinary approaches for understanding social and environmental injustices, Sam's publications have addressed a diversity of inter-linkages in socioeconomic, environmental and political dimensions of resource extraction and the diverse ways of articulating how these dynamics matter. He has conducted research in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Indonesia, Cambodia, Brazil and Canada, and is currently directing ESRC-funded and Canadian government-funded projects engaging community-based research approaches to explore the construction of knowledge in relation to the extractive sector and collective mobilisations for change, engaging place-based struggles and broader networks of activism and solidarity.
Dr. Spiegel has received a Principal's Teaching Award, and in September 2016, at the Chancellor's Awards Dinner, Dr. Spiegel received the 2016 Chancellor's Rising Star Award at the University of Edinburgh, recognising " the resonance and impact of his work in development studies, including his very high quality publications, demonstrable research impact, an excellent track record in research funding, and his contributions to mentoring and research leadership."
Main Teaching Responsibilities
As I am currently conducting a 3-year project funded by an ESRC Future Research Leader Award, I am only available for PhD supervisions at present. Some of my past MSc teaching responsibilities have included:
-Resource Politics and Development (course convenor and lecturer)
-Programme Director, MSc Programme in Global Challenges
-Programme Director, Postgraduate Certificate Programme in Africa and International Development - Distance Learning Programme
-Politics and Theories of International Development - distance learning course (lecturer)
-Roots of Poverty - distance learning course (lecturer)
-Analysing Development -distance learning course (lecturer)
-MA Programme in Sustainable Development (lecturer)
-MA Programme in International Development (lecturer)
-Development Research Methods (lecturer)
Selected Academic Publications
Brown, B., & Spiegel, S.J. Coal, climate justice, and the cultural politics of energy transition. forthcoming in Global Environmental Politics.
Kistnasamy, B., Yassi, A., Yu, J., Spiegel, S. J., Fourie, A., Barker, S., & Spiegel, J. M. (2018). Tackling injustices of occupational lung disease acquired in South African mines: recent developments and ongoing challenges. Globalization and Health, 14(1), 60.
Mkodzongi, G., Spiegel, SJ. 2018. Artisanal gold mining and farming: livelihood linkages and labour relations after land reforms in Zimbabwe, Journal of Development Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2018.1516867
Spiegel, S, Agrawal, S., Mikha, D., Vitamerry, K., Le Billon, P., Veiga, M., Konolius, K., Paul, B. 2018. Phasing Out Mercury? Ecological Economics and Indonesia’s Small-Scale Gold Mining Sector, Ecological Economics 144: 1-11.
Spiegel, S. 2016. Land and ‘space’for regulating artisanal mining in Cambodia: Visualizing an environmental governance conundrum in contested territory. Land Use Policy, 54, 559-573.
Spiegel, S., Keane, S., Metcalf, S., & Veiga, M, 2015. Implications of the Minamata Convention on Mercury for Informal Gold Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Global Policy Debates to Grassroots Implementation?. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 17(4): 765-785.
Gamu, J., Le Billon, P., Spiegel SJ. 2015. Extractive Industries and Poverty: A Review of Recent Findings and Linkage Mechanisms. Extractive Industries and Society 2(1), 162-176.
Spiegel, SJ. 2014. Rural Place-Making, Globalization and the Extractive Sector: Insights from Gold Mining Areas in Kratie and Ratanakiri, Cambodia. Journal of Rural Studies 36: 300-310: 765-785.
Spiegel, S., Keane, S., Metcalf, S., Veiga, M., Yassi, A. 2014. The Minamata Convention on Mercury: Time to Seek Solutions with Artisanal Mining Communities. Environmental Health Perspectives 122(8): A203.
Spiegel SJ Ribeiro CAAS, De Sousa RN, Veiga MM. 2012. Mapping Spaces of Environmental Dispute: GIS, Mining and Surveillance in the Amazon. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102(2): 320-349.
Spiegel SJ. 2012. Governance Institutions, Resource Rights Regimes and the Informal Mining Sector: Regulatory Complexities in Indonesia. World Development 40(1): 189-205.
Spiegel SJ. 2012. Microfinance Services, Poverty and Artisanal Mineworkers in Africa: In Search of Measures for Empowering Vulnerable Groups, Journal of International Development 24(4): 485-517.
Sousa, R., Veiga M., Van Zyl D., Telmer, K, Spiegel, S. Selder, J. 2011. Policies and Regulations for Brazil's Artisanal Gold Mining Sector. Journal of Cleaner Production 19(6-7): 742-750.
Spiegel SJ, Veiga MM. 2010. International Guidelines on Mercury Management in Small-Scale Gold Mining, Journal of Cleaner Production 18(4): 375-385.
Spiegel SJ. 2009. Socioeconomic Dimensions of Mercury Pollution Abatement: Engaging Artisanal Mining Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ecological Economics 68(12): 3072-3083.
Spiegel SJ, Le Billon P. 2009. China's Weapons Trade: From Ships of Shame to the Ethics of Global Resistance, International Affairs 85(2): 323-346.
Spiegel SJ. 2009. Resource Policies and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Zimbabwe, Resources Policy 34: 39-44.
Swain E, Jakus P, Rice G, Lupi F, Maxson P, Pacyna J, Penn A, Spiegel SJ, Veiga MM. 2007. Socioeconomic Consequences of Mercury Use and Pollution, Ambio - Journal of the Human Environment. 36:45-61.
Spiegel SJ, Savornin O, Shoko D. and Veiga MM. 2006. Mercury Reduction in Munhena, Mozambique: Homemade Solutions and the Social Context for Change. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 12: 215-221.
Spiegel SJ, Yassi A, Spiegel J, Veiga M. 2005. Reducing Mercury and Responding to the Global Gold Rush, The Lancet 366: 2070-2072.
Spiegel SJ and Veiga MM. 2005. Building Capacity in Small-Scale Mining Communities: Health, Ecosystem Sustainability and the Global Mercury Project. EcoHealth 2(4): 1-10
Published Book Reviews
Spiegel, SJ. 2015. Review of “Modes of Governance and Revenue Flows in African Mining,” B. Campbell (Ed.), Palgrave Macmillan, Extractive Industries and Society. doi:10.1016/j.exis.2015.03.004
Spiegel SJ. 2007. Review of “Small-Scale Mining, Rural Subsistence and Poverty in West Africa,” Ed, G. Hilson, Natural Resources Forum, 31: 3, 243-245 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1477-8947.2007.151_4.x/abstract
Selected Reports to United Nations Agencies and Governments
Spiegel SJ, 2012, Analysis of Formalization Approaches in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Sector. Report to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Spiegel SJ and Hoeung S, 2011. Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining: Policy Options for Cambodians. United Nations Development Programme
Spiegel SJ, Addressing the Challenges of Small-Scale Gold Mining in Cambodia: An Examination of Sector Complexities and Policy Options. Commissioned Report for the United Nations Development Program and the Royal Government of Cambodia (2010)
Spiegel SJ, Governance Strategies in Artisanal Mining Communities: Supporting Livelihoods and Social Opportunities. Report for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (2010)
Spiegel SJ and Veiga MM. Global Impacts of Mercury Supply and Demand in Small-Scale Gold Mining. Report Commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Governing Council, February 2007, Nairobi Kenya (translated in UN languages and circulated to governments worldwide) (Summary available at: www.chem.unep.ch/mercury/partnerships/2006%20GMP%20Report%20to%20UNEP%20GC24.pdf)
Co-Author, Pilot Project for the Reduction of Mercury Contamination from Mining Fields in Manica District, Mozambique Report to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, accessible at www.globalmercury.org (2005)
Spiegel SJ, Invited Presentation to academic colleagues from University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and Capilano University as well as members and staff from the Tseil-Waututh Nation. “Visual Storytelling and Community- Based Research Strategies: Mixed-Methods Approaches for Supporting Youth and Elders,” Capilano University, North Vancouver, B.C., November 14, 2018.
Spiegel, Invited Lecture and Facilitation of Seminar, “Photovoice and Community- Based Research around Extractive Sector Injustices: Methodological and Ethical Considerations,” Presentation for the Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association, Kariba, Zimbabwe, July 1, 2018.
Spiegel SJ, Invited Lecture, “Political Ecology and the Erasure of Knowledge: Situating Struggles and Alliance-Building Through Community-Based Research” School of Environmental Studies seminar series, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, October 4, 2018
Spiegel, SJ, Keynote Speech: “Re-Imagining Community Gold Mining: Struggles of Identity, Meaning and Territory”, International Conference on Community Mining in Indonesia – Minimising Harm, Maximising Benefits, Jakarta 2-4 November 2016. http://tambangrakyat.org/conference
Spiegel, SJ, Invited lecture – “Re-Imagining Resource Politics and Advocacy Struggles: EIAs as Symbols of Contested Modernity in Small-Scale Mining”, Carleton University, Canada, May 2016
Spiegel, SJ, Invited lecture – “Re-Imagining Mining and the Social Construction of Place Attachment in Indonesia’s Extractive Sector”, Australian National University, November 2015
Spiegel, SJ, Keynote Speech – “Positionality, Power and Fieldwork Reflections in Extractive Sector Research”, University of Leeds, November 2015.
Spiegel SJ, “Formalisation Policies, Informal Resource Sectors and the De-/Re- Centralisation of Power,” Invited presentation in Japan, June 2013 conference of the IASC – International Association for the Study of the Commons) viewable online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq136luVNsI
Spiegel SJ. Invited Expert Panelist, 18th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) Ministerial Roundtable on Mining. United Nations Headquarters, New York, May 12, 2010. Speech title: Governance Strategies in Artisanal Mining Communities: Supporting Livelihoods and Enhancing Social Opportunities. Video of Speech Available at Online United Nations Webcast: http://www.un.org/webcast/csd18/csd18-g.htm (speech link at bottom of webpage)