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Lecturer and Principal Research Fellow in Anthropology
Current and future research interests include:
- political economy of forest resources, local and national/global organisation of resource custodianship, legal pluralism in the contemporary world, modalities of group membership in transnational communities
- exploitation of natural resources in Africa, accumulation and the formation of exclusionary transnational elite groups, political and cultural articulation of elites and nation-states of origin
- colonial/post colonial institutions and practices and their relevance to analysis of the contemporary African state
- discourse and practice in development institutions - the impact of institutional activity and policy on "local" society
- research in Central Nigeria, on the reworking of ethnic and community identities in relation to changing politics and contemporary social insecurity
Barrie Sharpe has recently completed a Research Fellowship entitled Citizenships and Forests: the political context of sustainability in West and Central Africa, (ESRC, Global Environmental Change Programme, 1998-9)
After completing an M.Phil. on Religious Group Dynamics, based upon fieldwork in London and Morocco, Barrie Sharpe went to Nigeria as an exchange scholar with Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. There he carried out ethnographic research in the Kauru Hills - a multi-ethnic area on the southern periphery of the Moslem Emirate of Zaria. His PhD (London [external] 1983) focused on the construction of ethnic identities and linguistic groups in relation to state and non-state political systems. This interest continues, not only in work on the historical construction of groups in West African societies, but most recently in work on multiple citizenships and environmental resources in contemporary West African states and Cameroonian and Ghanaian transnational communities.
Previous research has included ethnographic fieldwork in Cameroon (1992-continuing), Ghana (1991, 1998), Nigeria (1973-6, 1983), a total of a year in Zambia and various periods in Sierra Leone, as well as commissioned research for DfID, (formerly ODA), Natural Resources Institute, Fakt (German NGO) and Norad (Norwegian Aid agency) on natural resource management, community forestry, primary health care, food systems and rural development projects.
With graduate students, he is involved in research projects on environmental politics & ethnicity in Bangladesh; trans-national groups, youth & sexuality in Nigerian national identities; local responses to globalising conservation discourses and commercialisation of forest products in Cameroon; democratisation, NGOs and impact of micro-credit amongst Hungarian Roma; illicit trade and war in Sierra Leone; indigenous innovation in black South African farming systems; and inter-disciplinary socio-economic and economic botany research on African rattans and non-timber forest products.
As Tutor to the MSc. in Anthropology and Ecology of Development, he has supervised research and dissertations on farming systems in Samoa and Ladakh, impact of logging on the bushmeat trade (Cameroon), logging impact on forest reconstitution and other topics in rural development and environment.
Current & Recent PhD Students
Farid Ahamed, Ethnicity and Environment: 'Tribal' Culture and the State in Bangladesh. Submitted 2003
Eleanor Hutchinson, Private loss, Public gain: Orphans in Malawi. Awarded 2007
Roberto Alzetta, Moroccan Experience of Migration, Money Making and Marginalisation in North Western Italian Cities. Expected 2004
Tomoko Hayakawa, Voluntarism in urban settings Expected 2005