Resource geographies and value chains

Photo credit: Keith Barney

Resource geography examines how natural resources are ‘produced’ from nature, and the social, political, economic, territorial, discursive and technical work involved in processes of ‘resourcification’. We are interested in how resources become inserted into local and global economic circuits of production, consumption and waste; how the benefits and costs of resource-led development are distributed; and how these spatial configurations drive broader patterns of uneven development in different places and countries. Resource geographers analyse issues of scale, territory, state-society relations, and the making of new resource frontiers under global capitalism. We deal with questions of property, access, labour, rights, and livelihoods, the ‘materiality’ of nature and specific natural resources. The implications of forms of public and private regulation, and the asymmetrical power relations involved in extractive development, are all therefore crucial considerations.

Value chain or commodity network analysis in turn focuses attention on the roles of key actors, aspects of sectoral competition and (extra)-market control, the generation and distribution of profits and rents, and the implications of key resource governance and public policy arrangements. The objective of this work is the creation of shared value in local and global resource-based industries, thereby contributing to inclusive and sustainable development. Mapping resource commodities and value chains - tracing their social and geographical journeys - helps to ground our analytical approaches in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.
Our academics teach subjects within the Master of Environmental Management and Development degree program.

Relevant courses:

Updated:  18 April 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team