Contact details


RoleIGS at LMH

Deborah Fahy Bryceson


Deborah Bryceson has divided her work life between academic and policy-oriented research focused primarily on livelihood, labour and settlement processes of transition. Over the last decade she has concentrated on mining’s impact on urbanization, publishing two recent books: Mining and African Urbanization: Population, Settlement and Welfare Trajectories (Routledge 2014) and Mining and Social Transformation in Africa: Mineralizing and Democratizing Trends in Artisanal Production (Routledge 2014). She is currently an Honorary Research Fellow and Professor at the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and Research Associate at the Nordic Africa Institute at the University of Uppsala, as well as a Principal of The Policy Practice, UK. She has formerly held academic positions at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and the Universities of Birmingham and Glasgow.

Research interests

Livelihood, labour, mobility and settlement in processes of transition – notably urbanisation in developing countries, urban economies, urban growth and mobility patterns of the poor, occupational change and deagrarianisation.

• Social dynamics and institutions – including the changing nature of the family, transnational families, creole societies, social networks, drinking patterns, work cultures, age and gender differentiation, women's employment patterns and participatory research methodology.

Agrarian studies - rural social and economic development, notably: food marketing, agricultural policy, famine prevention and rehabilitation, urban food supply constraints, rural transport and the impact of public investment on rural welfare.

Selected publications


Women Wielding the Hoe: Lessons from Rural Africa for Feminist Theory and Development Practice.  (ed.) 1995. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 282 pp.


Journal articles:

‘Beyond the Artisanal Mining Site: Migration, Housing Capital Accumulation and Indirect Urbanization in Tanzania, 2017. Journal of East African Studies 11(1), (with J.B. Jønsson).

‘For Richer, For Poorer: Marriage and Casualized Sex in East African Artisanal Gold Mining Settlements’, 2014. Development and Change 45(1), 79-104. (with J.B. Jønsson & H. Verbrugge)

‘Prostitution or Partnership? Wifestyles in Tanzanian Artisanal Gold-mining Settlements’, 2013. Journal of Modern African Studies 51(1), 33-56 (with J.B. Jønsson & H.Verbrugge).


Book chapters:

‘Who Cares? Family and Lineage Coherence and Caring Capacity during Rural Malawi’s AIDS Crisis’, in Bertram, H. & N. Ehlert (eds) 2011. Family, Ties and Care, Berlin, Barbara Budrich Publisher, 503-20. English version.

In press

‘Domestic Labour in Africa, 1900-2015: Housework, Expanding Commodification and Women’s Productive and Reproductive Roles’, in Bellucci, S. and A. Eckert (eds), Labour History of Africa. Geneva, International Labour Office, 2017 forthcoming.

 ‘Deagrarianization in Africa: Agrarian Involution, Depeasantization, Non-Agricultural Income Diversification and Beyond’ in Binns, T., E. Nel and K. Lynch (eds) Handbook of African Development, edited, London, Routledge, 2016, forthcoming.

Research consultancy

Consultant to United Nations Women ((UNW), New York - Background Paper on ‘Gender and generational changes in resources and labour allocation, looking at family farms in SSA from 1980-2015’ for the United Nations Women Annual Development Report. Nov 2016-February 2017.