I am Tomas Frederiksen, a lecturer at the University of Manchester in the Global development Institute (this is me). My work looks at mining and development and at the moment I am focussed on understanding the politics of mining and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Africa and Latin America.
My ‘elevator pitch’ for my research is ‘how can we make mining companies behave nicer in the developing world?’ This is, of course, a simplification but I’m interested in why some mining companies invest in large corporate social responsibility programmes and others don’t (I blogged about it here). Importantly, I’m interested in what the effects of these programmes are. There’s a real tendency for the debate to be polarised here – either mining companies are using CSR as ‘greenwash’ to hide their terrible environmental and social impacts or mining companies are saving the world with their CSR programmes. I think the truth is far more complicated than either of these positions allow and want to understand why mining companies do what they do and what the effects of this are.
My main research builds on my recently ‘completed’ 3-year fellowship from the British Academy entitled ‘Mining and Corporate Social Responsibility: Linking Global Drivers and Local Impacts’ funded by a (the academic abstract of my award is here) with research costs supplemented by the Hallsworth fund. Along with this I was engaged in a project on ‘Tracking the politics of natural resources and inclusive development over time’ with Professor Tony Bebbington and Professor Paul Mosley funded by the Effective States and Inclusive Development Centre for which I am heading up the work programme looking at CSR and mining. I put ‘completed’ in scare quotes here as I’m still very much writing up the findings of this research, and will be for years to come.
I’ll post links to drafts of my work on this website, but you can find my official publications (with free to download pre-press versions if you follow the further links) on my official university profile page here.
This website and related twitter account (@MiningandCSR) will contain updates on my research as it progresses. Feel free to get in touch, all feed back is welcome! (Especially typos. Bane. Of. My. Life.)