Honorary Professor at UCL
I was a member of the UCL Department of Anthropology for 20 years from 1979 (Head of Department 1989-1992, Professor from 1992) - currently, Professor of Technology and Agrarian Development, Wageningen University, The Netherlands. While in UCL I specialised in ecological anthropology, technology studies and West African ethnography. My main fieldwork focus was on Sierra Leone, and included studies of Mende village rice farming systems and forest conservation on the Liberian border (books Indigenous agricultural revolution  and Coping with hunger ). I continued to work on and in Sierra Leone during the period of the civil war (1992-2002) and have written extensively on that conflict (book Fighting for the Rain Forest ), and on the anthropology of modern armed conflicts more generally. My work continues to focus on technique and skill, as exemplified (in particular) in agricultural seed systems and techniques of African guerrilla warfare, but now incorporates a focus on distributed cognition. On a practical level, I have advised a number of aid and humanitarian agencies on African post-war reconstruction, demobilization and skills-training issues. I continue to make inputs to the Master's teaching in anthropology at UCL and I am currently implementing research on seed systems designed to foster cooperation between genetic, evolutionary and cultural aspects of anthropology.
SOME RECENT PUBLICATIONS
1. PAUL RICHARDS ed. 2005 No peace, no war: an anthropology of contemporary armed conflicts, Oxford: James Currey
2. PAUL RICHARDS 2005, ‘La terre ou le fusil? Les racines agraires des conflicts de la region du fleuve Mano’, Afrique Contemporaine, No. 214, 2005, 37-57
3. PAUL RICHARDS, 2006, “The history and future of African Rice: food security and survival in a West African war zone”, Afrika Spectrum 41(1), 77-93, 2006
4. PAUL RICHARDS, 2006, “An accidental sect: how war made belief in Sierra Leone ”, Review of African Political Economy, v. 33, No. 110, 2006, 651-663, 2006
5. PAUL RICHARDS, 2006, “Young men and gender in war and post-war reconstruction: some comparative findings from Liberia and Sierra Leone ”, In I. Bannon and Maria Correia, eds., The other half of gender: men’s issues in development, Washington : World Bank, pp. 195-218.
6. PAUL RICHARDS 2007 “The emotions at war: a musicological approach to understanding atrocity in Sierra Leone ”, In Perri 6, S. Radstone, C. Squire & A. Treacher, eds., Public emotions, Basingstoke : Palgrave
7. PAUL RICHARDS 2007 “Is a right to technology an antidote to war?” In G. Frerks and B. Goldwijk, eds., New human security challenges: alternative discourses, Wageningen: Wageningen University Press
UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8633