Skip to main content

Centre of African Studies: Research


Transboundary resource management

The full project is: 'Re-Imagining Spaces of Transboundary Resource Management: A Study of Mining and Agency along the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Border'. It is a three-year project starting in April 2016, led by Dr Sam Spiegel and is funded by an ESRC Future Research Leaders Award.

Why this project?

Over the past two decades, various forms of marginalisation have been experienced by small-scale gold miners along the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border. While simple narratives of "illegality" in African border regions mask complex social and economic struggles, this project aims to understand local articulations of land use and rural place-making among small-scale gold mining groups and their implications for re-imagining transboundary management. The project draws on fieldwork on both sides of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border. It seeks to contribute to understandings of the socio-economic, environmental and political spaces of borderland livelihoods among communities that depend on resource extraction.

How will the project work?

The project will employ a multi-method approach including in-depth life history interviews in mining communities, visual methods, field diaries and interviews with policymakers. The research explores how ideas about belonging and displacement are constructed by different actors in relation to mining in a borderlands context and aims to offer insight into opportunities for re-conceptualising transboundary resource management and rural place-making. The project develops new collaborations with university partners in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Belgium.


Edinburgh Students