Philippe Le Billon
Areas of Expertise
Philippe Le Billon is Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and at the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. His research engages with the environment-development-security nexus, including climate change, ocean governance, extractive sectors, and conflicts. He regularly collaborates with international and non-governmental organizations, including environmental defenders.
Dr. Le Billon is a Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and held a Fulbright Research Chair at UC Berkeley and a Research Fellowship at Science-Po Paris.
He is the author of Wars of Plunder: Conflicts, Profits and the Politics of Resources (Oxford University Press, 2014), Oil (Polity Press, 2017, with G. Bridge), and editor of The Geopolitics of ‘Resource Wars’ (2005, Cass), Corruption, Natural Resources and Development (Elgar, 2017, with A. Williams), and Environmental Defenders: Deadly Struggles for Life and Territory (Routledge, 2021, with M. Menton)
His academic research has appeared in journals such as African Affairs, Annals of the AAG, Antipode, Climate Policy, Geopolitics, Global Environmental Change, Political Geography, and Review of International Political Economy. Some of his research also appeared in AP, CBC, CCTV, Christian Science Monitor, The Globe and Mail, Die Zeit, The Guardian, Financial Times, and The Washington Post. He regularly writes for Policy Options and The Conversation.
Prior to his position at UBC, he worked as a humanitarian and UN peacekeeper, as well as with the International Institute for Strategic Studies and French Foreign Affairs. He was a founding Director of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association, and is on the scientific advisory board of SwissPeace and editorial board of Environment and Security.
Arsenault, C., & Le Billon, P. (2022). Covering crude bargains: The impacts of investigative media reporting on oil deals. The Extractive Industries and Society. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2022.101144
Agusdinata, D.B., Liu, W., Sulistyo, S., Le Billon, P., Wegner, J. (2022). Evaluating sustainability impacts of critical mineral extractions: Integration of life cycle sustainability assessment and SDGs frameworks. Journal of Industrial Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.13317
Bennet, N.J., Le Billon, P., Belhabib, D., & Satizábal, P. (2022). Local marine stewardship and ocean defenders. Nature Ocean Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.1038/s44183-022-00002-6
Belhabib, D. and Le Billon, P. (2022). Fish crimes in the global ocean. Science Advances. www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abj1927
Belhabib, D. and Le Billon, P. (2022). Adjacency and vessel domestication as enablers of fish crimes. Frontiers in Marine Science. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.936174
Da, S. and Le Billon, P. (2022). Sand mining: Stopping the grind of unregulated supply chains. Extractive Industries and Society. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2022.101070
Deberdt, R., & Le Billon, P. (2022). The Green Transition in context. Cobalt responsible sourcing for battery manufacturing. Society & Natural Resources. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2022.2049410
Makinde, O., & Le Billon, P. (2022). Artificial intelligence and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative as anti-corruption tools for Canadian extractive companies. Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/02646811.2022.2087340
Matthew, R., Hsiao, E, Le Billon, P., Saintz, G. (2022). Species on the move: Environmental change, displacement and conservation. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2021.1999200
Le Billon, P., & Spiegel, S. (2022). Cleaning Mineral Supply Chains? Political Economies of Exploitation and Hidden Costs of Technical Fixes. Review of International Political Economy, 29(3): 768-791. https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2021.1899959
Lujala, P., Le Billon, P., & Gaulin, N. (2022). Phasing Out Fossil Fuels: Determinants of Production Cuts and Implications for an International Agreement. Global Environmental Politics, 22(4), 95-128. https://doi.org/10.1162/glep_a_00683
Le Billon, P., Lujala, P., Singh, D., Culbert, V., & Kristoffersen, B. (2021). Fossil fuels, climate change, and the COVID-19 crisis: pathways for a just and green post-pandemic recovery. Climate Policy, 21(3): 124-146. https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2021.1965524
Belhabib, D., Le Billon, P., Bennett, N.J. (2021). Ocean sustainability for all requires deeper behavioural research. Nature Social Behaviour. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01256-9
Le Billon, P. (2021). Crisis conservation and green extraction: biodiversity offsets as spaces of double exception. Journal of Political Ecology, 28(1), 864-888.
Le Billon, P., Lujala, P., & Rustad, S. A. (2021). Transparency in Environmental and Resource Governance: Theories of Change for the EITI. Global Environmental Politics, 1-23.
Deberdt, R., & Le Billon, P. (2021). Conflict minerals and battery materials supply chains: A mapping review of responsible sourcing initiatives. The Extractive Industries and Society, 8(4).
Satizábal, P., Le Billon, P., Belhabib, D., Saavedra‐Díaz, L. M., Figueroa, I., Noriega, G., & Bennett, N. J. (2021). Ethical considerations for research on small‐scale fisheries and blue crimes. Fish and Fisheries. https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12590
Le Billon, P. (2021). Oil and the Islamic State: Revisiting “Resource Wars” Arguments in Light of ISIS Operations and State-Making Attempts. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2020.1846252
Andrew, N., Bennett, N.J., Le Billon, P., Greene, S.J., Cisneros-Montemayor, A.M., Amongin, S., Gray, N., Sumaila, U.R. (2021). Oil, fisheries and coastal communities: A review of impacts on the environment, livelihoods, space and governance. Energy Research and Social Science, 75, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2021.102009
Hsiao, E. & Le Billon, P. (2021). Connecting peaces: TBCAs and the integration of international, social and ecological peace. International Journal of World Peace, 38(1), 7-40.
Spijkers, J., Merrie, A., Wabnitz, C. C., Osborne, M., Mobjörk, M., Bodin, Ö., Selig, E. R., Le Billon, P…. & Morrison, T. H. (2021). Exploring the future of fishery conflict through narrative scenarios. One Earth. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2021.02.004
Simpson, M., & Le Billon, P. (2021). Reconciling violence: Policing the politics of recognition. Geoforum, 119, 111-121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2020.12.023
See his Google Scholar profile.
He is an Editorial Team Member at Policy Matters, a peer reviewed journal published electronically and in print by IUCN’s Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP).
Environmental Defenders Deadly Struggles for Life and Territory
Routledge (2021, edited with Mary Menton)
Oil 2017 (2nd Edition)
Polity Press (2017, with Gavin Bridge)
Corruption, Natural Resources and Development: From Resource Curse to Political Ecology
A Williams, P Le Billon
Edward Elgar Publishing (2017)
Wars of Plunder: Conflicts, Profits and the Politics of Resources
Oxford University Press (2013)
The Geopolitics of ‘Resource Wars’
Fuelling War: Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts
IISS and Routledge (2006)
Le Billon, P. & Lujala, P. (2020). Environmental and land defenders: Global patterns and determinants of repression. Global Environmental Change. (50% research, 70% writing).
Le Billon, P., Suji, M., Baniya, J., Limbu, B., Paudel, D., Rankin, K., Rawal, N. & Shneiderman, S. (2020). Disaster financialization: Earthquakes, cashflows and shifting household economies in Nepal. Development and Change 51(4), 939-969. (20% research, 50% writing). https://doi.org/10.1111/dech.12603
Le Billon, P., Roa-Garcia, M.C., and López-Granada, A.R. (2020). Territorial peace and gold mining in Colombia: Local peacebuilding, bottom-up development and the defence of territories. Conflict, Security & Development, 20(3), 303-333. (40% research, 40% writing). https://doi.org/10.1080/14678802.2020.1741937
Belhabib, D., Le Billon, P. & Wrathall, D. (2020). Narco-Fish: Global fisheries and drug trafficking. Fish and Fisheries. 21(5), 992-1007. (20% research, 30% writing). https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12483
Belhabib, D., & Le Billon, P. (2020). Illegal fishing as a trans-national crime. Frontiers in Marine Science, 7(162), 1-3. (30% research, 50% writing). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00162
Bennett, N. J., Cisneros-Montemayor, A. M., …Le Billon, P. … & Sumaila, R. (2019). Towards a sustainable and equitable blue economy. Nature Sustainability, 2, 991-993. (5% research, 5% writing) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-019-0404-1
Gaulin, N., & Le Billon, P. (2020). Climate change and fossil fuel production cuts: Assessing global supply-side constraints and policy implications. Climate Policy, 1-14. (30% research, 80% writing). ‘Top ten downloaded paper’ https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2020.1725409
Grant, H., & Le Billon, P. (2020). Unrooted responses: Addressing violence against environmental and land defenders. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 1-20 (20% research, 30% writing) https://doi.org/10.1177/2399654420941518
Liang, K. and P. Le Billon (2020). African migrants in China: Space, Race and Embodied Encounters in Guangzhou, China. Social and Cultural Geography. 21(5), 602-628 (20% research, 50% writing). https://doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2018.1514647
Paudel, D., Rankin, K., & Le Billon, P. (2020). Lucrative Disaster: Financialization, Accumulation and Postearthquake Reconstruction in Nepal. Economic Geography, 1-24. (10% research, 10% writing). https://doi.org/10.1080/00130095.2020.1722635
Prause, L., & Le Billon, P. (2020). Struggles for Land: Comparing resistance movements against agro-industrial and mining investment projects. Journal of Peasant Studies. (20% research, 30% writing). https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2020.1762181
Sharp, K., Le Billon, P., & Zerriffi, H. (2020). Land scarcity, resettlement and food security: Assessing the effect of voluntary resettlement on diet quality in Malawi. Food Security, 12, 191-205. (10% research, 10% writing) https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-019-00979-y
Le Billon, P. and B. Kristoffersen (2019). Just cuts for fossil fuels? Supply-side carbon constraints and energy transition. Environment and Planning A https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X18816702
Grant, H.and P. Le Billon (2019). Growing political: Violence, community forestry and environmental defender subjectivity. Society and Natural Resources, 32(7): 768-789. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2019.1590669
Middeldorp, N. and P. Le Billon (2019). Deadly environmental governance: Authoritarianism, eco-populism and the repression of environmental and land defenders. Annals of theAssociation of American Geographers. 109: 324-337 https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2018.1530586
Le Billon, P. and R. Duffy (2018). Conflict ecologies: Connecting political ecology and peace and conflict studies. Journal of Political Ecology25(1): 239-260. http://dx.doi.org/10.2458/v25i1.22704
Massé, F. and P. Le Billon (2018). Gold mining in Colombia, post-war crime and the peace agreement with the FARC. Third World Thematics, 3(1): 116-134. https://doi.org/10.1080/23802014.2017.1362322
Condé, M. and P. Le Billon (2017). Why do some communities resist mining projects while others do not? Extractive Industries and Society, 4(3): 681-697. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2017.04.009
Le Billon, P. and M. Sommerville(2017). Landing capital and assembling ‘investable land’ in the extractive and agricultural sectors. Geoforum, 82: 212-224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.08.011
Rustad, S. A., Le Billon, P., and Lujala, P. (2017). Has the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative been a success? Identifying and evaluating EITI goals. Resources Policy, 51: 151-162. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resourpol.2016.12.004
Le Billon, P. and E. Savage (2016) “Binding Pipelines? Oil, armed conflicts, and economic rationales for peace in the two Sudans”. African Geographical Review.
Le Billon, P. (2015) Oil, Secession and the Future of Iraqi Federalism, Middle East Policy, XXII(1): 68-76.
Peterson St-Laurent, G. and P. Le Billon (2015) “Staking claims and shaking hands: Impact and benefit agreements as a technology of government in the mining sector”. Extractive Industries and Society.
Belhabib, D., U.R. Sumaila, V.W.Y. Lam, D. Zeller, P. Le Billon, E. Abou Kane, D. Pauly (2015) “Euros vs. Yuan: Comparing European and Chinese Fishing Access in West Africa”. PLOS ONE DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0118351
Gamu, J., P. Le Billon and S.J. Spiegel (2015) “Extractive Industries and Poverty: A Review of Recent Findings and Linkage Mechanisms”. Extractive Industries and Society 2(1): 162-176.
Pérez Niño, H. and P. Le Billon (2014) “Foreign Aid, Resource Rents, and State Fragility in Mozambique and Angola”, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 656(1): 79-96.
Sommerville, M., J. Essex and P. Le Billon (2014) “The ‘Global Food Crisis’ and the Geopolitics of Food Security”, Geopolitics. 19(2): 239-265.
Gong, Q. and P. Le Billon (2014) “Feeding (On) Geopolitical Anxieties: Asian Appetites, News Media Framing and the 2007-8 Food Crisis”, Geopolitics 19(2): 291-321.
Le Billon, P. (2014) “Natural resources and corruption in post-war transitions: Matters of trust”, Third World Quarterly. 35: 770-786.
Elder, S., Zerriffi, H. and P. Le Billon (2013) “Is Fairtrade certification greening agricultural practices? An analysis of Fairtrade environmental standards in Rwanda” Journal of Rural Studies. 32: 264-274.
Le Billon, P. and R. Vandecasteyen, (2013) “Pipeline politics and environmental governance: (dis)connecting Alberta’s Tar Sands and BC’s North Coast” Studies in Political Economy.
Elder, S., Zerriffi, H. and P. Le Billon (2012) “Effects of Fair Trade certification on social capital: The case of Rwandan coffee producers”. World Development. 40(11): 2355-2367.
Baird, I. and P. Le Billon (2012) “Landscapes of political memories: War legacies and land negotiations in Laos”, Political Geography. 31(5): 290-300.
Le Billon, P. (2010) “Oil and armed conflicts in Africa”, African Geographical Review. 29(1): 63-90.
Le Billon, P. (2009) “Natural resource types and conflict termination initiatives”. Colombia Internacional. 70: 9-34.
Le Billon, P. and E. Levin (2009) “Building peace with conflict diamonds? Merging security and development in Sierra Leone’s diamond sector”. Development and Change. 40(4): 693-715.
Le Billon, P. and A. Cervantes (2009) “Oil prices, scarcity and geographies of war”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 99(5): 836-844 (reprinted in Kobayashi, A. ed. (2012) Geographies of Peace and Armed Conflict London: Routledge).
Spiegel, S.J. and P. Le Billon (2009) “China’s weapons trade: from ships of shame to the ethics of global resistance”, International Affairs. 85(2): 323-346.
Le Billon, P., A. Vines and A. Malaquias (2008) “ Angola’s petro-militarism and external relations », Politique Africaine. 110: 102-121.
Le Billon, P. (2008) “Corrupting peace? Corruption, peacebuilding and reconstruction”, International Peacekeeping. 15(3): 344-361. (reprinted in Cheng, C. and D. Zaum eds. (2012) Corruption and Post-conflict peacebuilding: Selling the peace? London: Routledge).
Le Billon, P. (2008) “Diamond Wars? Conflict Diamonds and Geographies of Resource Wars”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 98(2): 345-372.
Le Billon, P. and E. Nicholls (2007) “Ending ‘Resource Wars’: Revenue Sharing, Economic Sanction, or Military Intervention?” International Peacekeeping, 14(5): 613-632.
Serfati, C. and P. Le Billon (2007) “Guerres pour les ressources: une face visible de la mondialisation”, Ecologie et Politique, 34: 11-31.
Le Billon, P. and C. Hocquard (2007) “Filières industrielles et conflits armés: le cas du tantale dans la région des Grands Lacs”, Ecologie et Politique, 34: 83-92.
Le Billon, P. and A. Waizenegger (2007) “Peace in the wake of disaster? Secessionist conflicts and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami”. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 32: 411-427.
Le Billon, P. (2007) “Securing transparency: Armed conflicts and the management of natural resource revenues”, International Journal. Winter 2006/7: 93-107.
Le Billon, P. (2007) “Geographies of War: Perspectives on ‘Resource Wars’’”. Geography Compass 1(1): 1-20.
Le Billon, P. (2006) “Fatal Transactions: conflict diamonds and the (anti)terrorist consumer”, Antipode 38(4): 778-801. (reprinted in Derek Gregory and Allan Pred Violent Geographies: Fear, Terror, and Political Violence. New York: Routledge).
Le Billon, P. (2005) “Corruption, reconstruction and oil governance in Iraq”, Third World Quarterly 26(4): 679-698.
Addison, T., A. Geda, P. Le Billon and S.M. Murshed (2005) “Reconstructing and reforming the financial system in conflict and ‘post-conflict’ economies”, Journal of Development Studies 41(4): 704-720.
Le Billon, P. (2005) “Aid in the midst of plenty: oil wealth, misery, and advocacy in Angola”, Disasters 29(1): 1-25.
Le Billon, P. (2004) “The geopolitical economy of ‘resource wars’”, Geopolitics 9(1): 1-28. (reprinted in Gregory, D. and N. Castree ed. (2012) Human Geography. Ashgate).
Le Billon, P. and F. El Khatib (2004) “From free oil to ‘freedom oil’: terrorism, war and US geopolitics in the Persian Gulf”, Geopolitics 9(1): 109-137.
Le Billon, P. (2003) “Matières premières, violences et conflits armés”, Tiers Monde XLIV (174): 297-321.
Le Billon, P. (2003) “Buying peace or fuelling war: the role of corruption in armed conflicts”, Journal of International Development 15 (4), 413-26.
Le Billon, P. (2003) “The political ecology of war and resource exploitation”, Studies in Political Economy 70, 59-95.
Addison, T., P. Le Billon and M. Murshed (2003) “Conflict in Africa: the cost of peaceful behavior”, Journal of African Economies 11(3), 365-86.
Le Billon, P. (2002) “Logging in muddy waters: the politics of forest exploitation in Cambodia”, Critical Asian Studies34(4), 563-586. (reprinted in Kiernan, B. and C. Hughes (2007) Conflict and Change in Cambodia. London: Routledge, pp. 69-92).
Le Billon, P. (2001) “The political ecology of war: natural resources and armed conflicts”, Political Geography 20(5), 561-584. (Most downloaded article for this journal in 2004)
Le Billon, P. (2001) “Angola’s political economy of war: the role of oil and diamonds 1975-2000”, African Affairs 100, 55-80.
Addison, T., P. Le Billon and M. Murshed (2001) “Finance in conflict and reconstruction”, Journal of International Development 13, 951-64.
Le Billon, P. (2000) “The political ecology of transition in Cambodia 1989-1999: war, peace and forest exploitation”, Development and Change 31(4), 785-805.
Le Billon, P. (2017) “Peacebuilding and white-collar crime in post-war natural resource sectors” , Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 1-18
Le Billon, P., Massé, F. (2017) Gold mining in Colombia, post-war crime and the peace agreement with the FARC, Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 1-19
Conde, M., Le Billon ,P. (2017) “Why do some communities resist mining projects while others do not?”, The Extractive Industries and Society 4(3), 681-697
Le Billon, P., Lujala, p., Rustad, SA. (2017) “Has the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative been a success? Identifying and evaluating EITI goals”, Resources Policy 51, 151-162
Philippe Le Billon, Consequences of Corruption at the Sector Level and Implications for Economic Growth and Development, OECD Study on the Impact of Corruption on Economic Growth, 2013.
Philippe Le Billon, Natural resources, armed conflicts, and the UN Security Council, Liu Institute for Global Issues, 2007.
Philippe Le Billon, Global Corruption Report 2005 Special Focus: Corruption in Construction and Post-Conflict Resolution, Corruption in Construction and Post-Conflict Reconstruction, 2005.
Nick Middeldorp (PhD – environmental defenders – on going)
Hollie Grant (PhD – community forest protection – completed, researcher BCG)
Melanie Sommerville (PhD – geopolitics of agroinvestments – completed, post-doc UofT)
Elaine Hsiao (PhD – legal geographies of peace parks – completed, post-doc Sheffield U.)
Michael Simpson (PhD – pipelines, indigenous rights, and social movements – completed, post-doc UBC)
Dawn Hoogeveen (PhD – extractive sectors and indigenous land rights – completed*)
Ian Baird (PhD – resources, identities and territorialities – now Associate Professor, Madison)
Simon Springer (PhD – liberal peace and post-conflict violence – now Associate Professor, UVic)
Samuel Spiegel (MA – political ecology of gold rush in Africa – now Assistant Professor, Edinburgh*)
Sarah Panofsky (MA – Aboriginal ontologies and environmental impact assessments in oil industry*)
Jessica Lehman (MA – Post-tsunami coastal communities in Sri Lanka*)
Sara Elder (MA, Fair trade coffee and producer health in Rwanda*)
Arno Waizenegger (MA, Natural disasters and conflict termination)
Estelle Levin (MA – Conflict diamonds and artisanal mining in Sierra Leone*)
Erik Post (PhD – Green energy conflicts – on going)
Larissa Santos (MA – Microhydropower power – on going)
Elaine Hsiao (PhD – legal geographies of peace parks – completed, post-doc Sheffield U.)
Michael Simpson (PhD – pipelines, indigenous rights, and social movements – completed, Lecturer St Andrews)