Selected publications

Here you find a selection of my recent publications with author copies to download. See also my profile on University of AntwerpResearchGate and GoogleScholar. Please contact me if you are interested and don’t have access (

Article “Gold and godfathers: local content, politics, and capitalism in extractive industries”

In this World Development article I critically assess ‘local content’ as a practice in four gold mining concessions in the DRC and in Ghana. I argue that local content policies are implemented in complex political arenas, where the power holders use them as political instruments to enhance profit accumulation and control rents. Moreover they are embedded in the structural dynamics that permeate large-scale extractivist projects, producing (new) patterns of exclusion. Geenen 2019_Gold and godfathers_author copy

Article “Invisible and ignored? Local perspectives on mercury in Congolese gold mining”

This article on local perspectives on mercury pollution is co-authored with Bossissi Nkuba and Lieven Bervoets. It is published in the Journal of Cleaner Production and relies on Bossissi Nkuba’s field research in Kamituga. Nkuba, Bervoets & Geenen 2019_Local perspectives on mercury in Congolese gold mining

Article “The gold commodity frontier”

In this article, co-authored with Boris Verbrugge for The Extractive Industries and Society, we study the ‘gold commodity frontier’, arguing that gold mining, in an attempt to overcome several socio-ecological and socio-political limitations, has expanded outside its historical core into a range of new mining destinations (widening), and has come to rely on an intensification of production through socio-technical innovations (deepening). These processes of widening and deepening have not only led to an expansion of industrial mining, but are also, increasingly, contributing to a (geographically unequal) expansion of ASGM. Verbrugge and Geenen 2018_The gold commodity frontier

Article “Local elites’ extraversion and repositioning”

This article is co-authored with Jeroen Cuvelier for The Extractive Industries and Society. Using empirical data from different mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we study the role of local elites in mineral production networks. We conceptualize local elites as those who access and control (exclude others from) the factors of production (land, labour and capital) and argue they are able to do so because they operate across scales (extraversion) and adapt to changes in the political economy (repositioning). Geenen and Cuvelier 2018_Local elites’ extraversion and repositioning_Author copy

Discussion Paper “Women in (and out of) artisanal mining in Uganda”

This paper is co-authored with Stella Muheki and published as an IOB Discussion paper. Free download following this link.

Article “Underground dreams. Uncertainty, risk and anticipation in the gold production network”

This article is published in Geoforum. Focusing on the gold production network in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, this article reinforces earlier arguments about risk: first, it operates ‘at the intersection of capital and rule’; second, it obscures the uneven distribution of capitalism’s negative impact, as well as corporate actors’ active role in producing such impact. Moreover, it argues that the production of risk (expected costs) and anticipation (expected gains) by corporate actors conceals and devalues the ways in which other actors in the gold production network deal with the extreme uncertainty that characterizes the market and the institutional environment in which they operate, as well as the resource’s materiality. Geenen 2018_Underground dreams_Author copy

Article “Explaining fragmented and fluid mobilization in gold mining concessions in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo”

This article is co-authored with Judith Verweijen. It is part of a special issue on social mobilization in The Extractive Industries and Society. In our contribution we argue that mobilization against large-scale mining in Eastern DRC is hyper-fragmented and fluid. We ascribe this high degree of fluidity and fragmentation both to factors internal to the social mobilization effort, including limited organizational potential and the heterogeneity of attitudes and discourses, and the political and socio-economic context, characterized by intense conflicts, patronage-based politics, poverty and repression. Additionally, we identify certain company practices as undermining the sustainability and coherence of social mobilization. Geenen and Verweijen 2017_Explaining fragmented and fluid mobilization_Author copy

Article “Different faces of access control in a Congolese gold mine”

This article is co-authored with Klara Claessens and reports on fieldwork in Mukungwe mine, South Kivu. It is published in a special issue on artisanal mining in Third World ThematicsGeenen and Claessens 2016_Different faces of access control in a Congolese gold mine_author copy.

Chapter “DRC mining sector”

Together with em. prof. Stefaan Marysse I wrote a brief overview chapter on the Congolese mining sector in Springer Encyclopedia of mineral and energy policy. Here is the chapter: Geenen and Marysse 2016_DRC Mining sector.

Article “Mining cooperatives in Eastern DRC”

This article is co-authored with Jorden De Haan and was published in Extractive Industries and Society. The author copy can be downloaded here: De Haan and Geenen 2016_Mining cooperatives in South Kivu_Author copy

Article “Artisanal frontier mining of gold in Africa”

This article is co-authored with Deborah Bryceson and published in African Affairs. The author copy can be downloaded here: Bryceson and Geenen 2016_Artisanal frontier mining of gold in Africa_author copy.

Book “African artisanal mining from the inside out”

My book on Access, norms and power in the Congolese gold sector is now out with Routledge.

Brief “Mining cooperatives in South Kivu”

Together with Jorden De Haan I wrote an Analysis and Policy Brief on Mining cooperatives in South Kivu.

Book “Real governance and practical norms” 2015

Evident but elusive. Practical norms in the Congolese gold sector“, in De Herdt, T. and Olivier de Sardan, J.P. (2015) Real governance and practical norms in SSA. The game of the rules, Routledge.

Conjonctures Congolaises 2015

Les limites d’une gouvernance par le bas. Les logiques des coopératives minières à Kalimbi, Sud-Kivu with Anuarite Bashizi, in Marysse, S. et Omasombo, J. (2015) Conjonctures Congolaises 2014 : politiques, territoires et ressources naturelles : changements et continuités.

Book “Losing your land” 2014

Land grabbing by mining companies, local contentions and state reconfiguration in South-Kivu, DRC (with dr. Jana Hönke) in Ansoms, A. and Hilhorst, T. (eds.) Losing your land. Dispossession in the Great Lakes

The Journal of Modern African Studies 2013