UCL Anthropology


Paul Richards

Paul Richards
E-mail: Paul.Richards@wur.nl

Honorary Professor 

Paul Richards was a member of the UCL Anthropology Department from 1980 until 2006. Now retired from teaching, he continues research in Sierra Leone and Liberia, especially on post-war adaptive transitions in farming communities. Recent work includes socio-economic baseline studies of communities living around the Gola forest in Liberia and Sierra Leone intended to provide a basis for conservation-oriented livelihoods interventions. He is updating a longitudinal study of two communities in eastern and central Sierra Leone where long-term fieldwork has been conducted for the past 30 years. He also contributes to a large-scale comparative study of farmer seed selection strategies for rice across several West African countries, in cooperation with plant scientists. This work has identified a substantial number of farmer-selected inter-specific rice hybrids and other robust local cultivars relevant to local agricultural adaptation in an era of climate change. Recent publications include:

1. Grijspaarde, H., Voors, M., Bulte, E., and Richards, P., 2013. Who believes in witches? Institutional flux in Sierra Leone, African Affairs 112/446, 22-47

2. Mokuwa, A., Nuijten, E., Teeken, B., Maat, H., Richards, P., and Struik, P., 2013. Robustness and strategies of adaptation within farmer varieties of African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and Asian rice (Oryza sativa) across West Africa., PLoS ONE 8(3): e34801 (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034801, published online1st March).

3. Teeken, B., Nuijten, E., Padrao Temudo, M., Mokuwa, A., Struik, P. C., and Richards, P. 2012, Maintaining or abandoning African rice: lessons for understadning processes of seed innovation, Human Ecology 40(6), 879-892, (DOI 10.1007/s10745-012-9528-x)

4. Cramer, C. and Richards P. 2011, Violence and war in agrarian perspective, Journal of Agrarian Change 11(3), 277-297 5. Mokuwa, E., Voors, M., Bulte, E. and Richards, P., 2011, Peasant grievance and insurgency in Sierra Leone: judicial serfdom as a driver of conflict, African Affairs,110/440, 339-366, doi: 10.1093/afraf/adr019

Previous 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