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Dr Andrew Brooks

Research interests

Andrew’s research seeks to understand the uneven growth of the world economy and covers three interconnected themes:

Geographies of Consumption and Production 

On a theoretical level Andrew has been advancing an understanding of the connections between production and consumption in the global economy. Drawing on the work of Ben Fine and other theories within the traditions of Marxist political economy, Andrew has grappled with how value is produced and re-produced across space in new and used commodities. In particular, focusing on sustainability and the undercurrents of globalization; namely the reverse flows of rubbish and unwanted goods traded from the global North to the South, including case studies of clothing, used cars (Geographical Journal) and electronic waste. The conceptual work on consumption includes a comprehensive review chapter, with Raymond Bryant, in Critical Environmental Politics, a case study on sustainable consumption in the construction industry (Geogrpahical Journal with Hannah Rich), and a new article on systems of provision of clothing and fast fashion (Geoforum), and another study of avocado agriculture in Colombia (in preparation for Environment and Planning A, with Angela Serrano).


Political and Economic Change in Africa 

The dynamics of capital accumulation and uneven development in Africa have led Andrew to cluster his research projects in Southern Africa and enabled him to develop a specialist regional knowledge and he serves as an Editor of the Journal of Southern African Studies. This expertise is being built upon in new work. Field research in Malawi is being analysed using ideas of Antonio Gramsci and his theory of passive revolution (forthcoming in the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers). While in 2013 he was awarded a £10,000 Regional Studies Association Early Career Grant (BRICS and Region Building in Africa), which is being used to research Brazilian and Chinese engagement in Mozambique. Andrew has also written a book chapter on ethics and research methods in the region (Fieldwork in the Global South) and was awarded £10,365 from the Royal African Society and British Academy in 2015 to organise a conference for early career researchers in Southern Africa. Allied to the research in Southern Africa, but with a different regional focus, he co-authored an article exploring the Politics of Oil and the Resource Curse in Ghana (Review of African Political Economy, with Jon Phillips and Elena Hailwood).


Global Clothing Trade 

Andrew’s work on the garment sector began with research in to labour relations in a clothing factory in Zambia (Journal of Southern African Studies). Following that his PhD research and linked publications mapped the global trade in second-hand clothing and in particular the social and economic impacts of used clothing imports to Mozambique (Development and Change,GeoforumTextile). He has also written a chapter for the Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion (with Amanda Ericsson). The various clothing projects Andrew has worked upon have been drawn together and the breadth of his research expanded with the publication of Clothing Poverty, which includes case studies from around the world. 

Biographical details

Dr Andrew Brooks has been a Lecturer in Development Geography since 2011. His teaching and research examines connections between spaces of production and places of consumption. He has researched the clothing sector through case studies which link the global North and South, as well as the geographies of political and econoic change, Fieldwork has taken him to India, Papua New Guinea, and across Africa. Research in Africa has included extensive investigations of markets and politics in Malawi and Mozambique as well as Chinese investment in Zambia. 

Previously, Andrew had been an undergraduate at King's and received a First Class BA degree as well as the Departmental Prize in Geography. He later worked for VSO for two years (2005-2006) as a social researcher in Papua New Guinea and on programme development in the UK. In 2007 he was awarded an ESRC 1+3  fully funded MSc and PhD studentship at the Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Andrew's first book Clothing Poverty: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-hand Clothes was published by Zed Books in 2015 and has been wdiely publicised including features on the BBC WebsiteBBC Radio 4 (Thinking Allowed), the Guardian and the Globe and Mail.

He is preparing a second book The End of Development which is under contract to be published by Zed Books in 2017.

Editorial activity

Journal of Southern African Studies (Journal)

Andrew Brooks (Editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Types of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation

Africa's Clothes Curse

Andrew Brooks (Contributor)
9 May 2012

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation

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