Alice Mah is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, with research interests in environmental justice, corporate power, and the politics of green industrial transformations. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics. Her internationally recognised research on industrial ruination, toxic pollution, post-industrial port cities, and the global petrochemical industry have been motivated by a deep concern with social inequalities, across different dimensions and scales. She has conducted comparative, multi-site sociological research in the UK, China, the US, France, Belgium, Russia, and Canada.
Alice is the author of Plastic Unlimited: How Corporations Are Fuelling the Ecological Crisis and What We Can Do About It (forthcoming in May 2022 with Polity Press); Toxic Truths: Environmental Justice and Citizen Science in a Post-Truth Age (with Thom Davies 2020, University of Manchester Press); Port Cities and Global Legacies (2014, Palgrave Macmillan); and Industrial Ruination, Community, and Place (2012, University of Toronto Press), winner of the 2013 British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Memorial Prize.
Currently Alice is working on a book entitled Petrochemical Planet: Multiscalar Battles of Industrial Transformation (under contract with Duke University Press), based on findings from her European Research Council (ERC)-funded project Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry and the Philip Leverhulme Prize.
Alice is Director of Research in the Department of Sociology and Co-Director of the Warwick Environmental Systems Interdisciplinary Centre (WESIC). She is the founding editor of Toxic News, a quarterly e-magazine about toxic pollution in everyday life.
- Global Environmental Injustice- Principal Investigator, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, £100,000 (2018-2022)
- Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Time- Co-Investigator, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grant (PI Steven High), $2.5 million CAD overall (2020-2027)
- Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry - Principal Investigator, European Research Council Starting Grant (ERC), €1.5 million (2015-2020) See Results in brief: CORDIS, European Commission and the online interactive Global Petrochemical Map.
2017 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Sociology
2015 Sage Prize for Innovation and/or Excellence for "The Dereliction Tourist" in Sociological Research Online
2013. Philip Abrams Memorial Prize, British Sociological Association, for the best first and sole-authored monograph in Sociology (Industrial Ruination, Community, and Place)
Media and Public Webinars
- The Climate Footprint of Plastics, China Environment Forum Wilson Center webinar, 1 December 2021.
- The Toxic Costs of Petrochemical and Plastics Investments, Planet Tracker webinar, 23 September 2021.
- Governing Petrochemicals Panel, Global Governance of Plastic Pollution Conference, Graduate Institute in Geneva and UNCTAD, 31 Aug 2021
- Virtual Blue COP Webinar on Plastic Pollution, the Climate Crisis, and Oceanic Change, 7 Dec 2019
- Spotlight on Scientists at the European Parliament, 7 July 2018
- BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed' interview about port cities research, 3 Dec 2014
- BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed' interview about industrial ruination, 27 March 2013
- British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2013 interview, April 2013
- Mah, A. (forthcoming, 2022) Plastic Unlimited: How Corporations Are Fuelling the Ecological Crisis and What We Can Do About It. Polity Press.
- Mah, A. (forthcoming, under contract) Petrochemical Planet: Multiscalar Battles of Industrial Transformation, Duke University Press.
- Davies, T. and A. Mah. (eds) (2020) Toxic Truths: Environmental Justice and Citizen Science in a Post-Truth Age, University of Manchester Press. Available open access
- Mah, A. (2014) Port Cities and Global Legacies: Urban Identity, Waterfront Work, and Radicalism, Palgrave Macmillan. Download sample chapter here.
- Mah, A. (2012) Industrial Ruination, Community and Place: Landscapes and Legacies of Urban Decline, University of Toronto Press. *Winner of the 2013 BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize.* Download introduction here.
- Behal, R., A. Mah, and B. Fall. (eds) (2011) Rethinking Work: Global Historical and Sociological Perspectives, Delhi and Berlin: Tulika Books and Humboldt University.
- Feltrin, L., A. Mah, and D. Brown (2022), 'Noxious Deindustrialization: Experiences of Precarity and Pollution in Scotland’s Petrochemical Capital,' Environment and Planning C https://doi/10.1177/23996544211056328
- Brown, D., A. Mah, and G. Walker (2021), 'The Tenacity of Trust in Petrochemical Communities: Reckoning with Risk on the Fawley Waterside (1997-2019),' Environment and Planning E. https://doi.org/10.1177/25148486211045367
- Mah, A. (2021) 'Ecological Crisis, Decarbonisation, and Degrowth: The Dilemmas of Just Petrochemical Transformations' Stato e Mercato, no. 121, pp. 51-78. https://doi/10.1425/101444. Open access information: http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/156100.
- Mah, A. (2021) 'Future-Proofing Capitalism: The Paradox of the Circular Economy for Plastics' Global Environmental Politics 21(2) https://doi.org/10.1162/glep_a_00594.
- Verbeek, T. and A. Mah (2020). 'Integration and Isolation in the Global Petrochemical Industry: A Multiscalar Corporate Network Analysis' Economic Geography 96(20) https://doi.org/10.1080/00130095.2020.1794809
- Jephcote, C, D. Brown, T. Verbeek, and A. Mah. (2020). 'A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Haematological Malignancies in Residents Living Near Petrochemical Facilities' Environmental Health 19(53): https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-020-00582-1
- Mah, A. and X. Wang (2019) 'Accumulated Injuries of Environmental Injustice: Living and Working with Petrochemical Pollution in Nanjing, China.' Annals of the American Association of Geographers. 109(6): 1961-1977 https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2019.1574551.
- Jephcote, C. and A. Mah. (2019) “Regional Inequalities in Benzene Exposures across the European Petrochemical Industry: A Bayesian Multilevel Modelling Approach.” Environment International 132 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.05.006
- Mah, A. and X. Wang (2017) ‘Research on Environmental Justice in China: Limitations and Possibilities.’ Chinese Journal of Environmental Law 263-272.
- Mah, A. (2017) 'Environmental Justice in the Age of Big Data: Challenging Toxic Blind Spots of Voice, Speed, and Expertise' Environmental Sociology 3 (2): 122-133. Available Open Access: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23251042.2016.1220849
- Mah, A. (2014) 'The Dereliction Tourist: Ethical Issues of Conducting Research in Areas of Industrial Ruination,' Sociological Research Online 19 (4), 13 http://www.socresonline.org.uk/19/4/13.html, *Winner of the 2015 SAGE Prize for Innovation and/or Excellence.*
- Kelan, E. and A. Mah (2014) ‘Between Idealization and Admiration: The Importance of Gender in Professional Identification Processes,’ British Journal of Management, 25(1): 91-101.
- Whiteside, N. and A. Mah (2012) 'Human Rights and Ethical Reasoning: Capabilities, Conventions and Spheres of Public Action' Sociology (Special Issue on Human Rights) 46 (5): 921-935.
- Mah, A. (2012) 'Demolition for Development: A Critical Analysis of Official Urban Imaginaries in Past and Present UK cities,' Journal Of Historical Sociology 25 (1): 151-176.
- Mah, A. (2010) 'Memory, Uncertainty and Industrial Ruination: Walker Riverside, Newcastle upon Tyne,' International Journal Of Urban And Regional Research, 34 (2 ): 398-413.
- Mah, A. (2009) 'Moral Judgements and Employment Policies in Birmingham (1870-1914) : Multiplying the Categories and Treatments of the "Undeserving",' International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 29 (11/12) : 575-586.
- Mah, A. (2009) 'Devastation But Also Home: Place Attachment in Areas of Industrial Decline,' Home Cultures, 6 (3): 287-310.
- Mah, A. (2020) 'Toxic Legacies and Environmental Justice,' in Environmental Justice: Key Concepts, ed. B. Coolsaet. New York and London: Routledge.
- Mah, A. (2017) 'Ruination and Post-industrial Urban Decline,' in The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century City, eds. R. Burdett and S. Hall, Sage. pp. 201-212.
- Mah, A. (2017) ‘Industrial Ruination and Shared Experiences: A Brief Encounter with Stoke-on-Trent.’ Topographies of the Obsolete: Ashmolean Papers, Eds. N. Brownsword and A. Mydland. Topographies of the Obsolete Publications, 50-57.
- Mah, A. (2015) 'Dangerous Cargo and Uneven Toxic Risks: Petrochemicals in the Port of New Orleans,' in Cargomobilities: Moving Materials in a Global Age, eds. T. Birtchnell, S. Savitzky, and J. Urry, New York and London: Routledge, pp. 149-162.
- Mah, A. (2015) 'Reconstructing Port City Identities: Waterfront Development in Liverpool, Marseille and New Orleans,' (German) in Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg. Ed. C. Strupp, University of Hamburg. pp. 38-70.
- Mah, A. (2008) ‘Ivanovo: In and Amongst the Ruins,’ in The Role of Culture in the Economic Development of Old Industrial Regions. Eds. P. Benneworth and G.-J. Hospers, LIT Verlag, pp. 185-203.
- Mah, A. (2015-present) Founder and co-editor, Toxic News
- Mah, A. (2017), "The Challenges of Tackling Global Environmental Injustice," Lacuna Magazine, March 2017. http://lacuna.org.uk/environment/challenges-tackling-global-environmental-injustice/
- Mah, A. (2016), "The US Love Canal Disaster and its Legacy,' China Dialogue, https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/8878-The-US-Love-Canal-disaster-and-its-legacy, 27 April.
- Mah, A. (2013) 'Lessons from Love Canal: Toxic Expertise and Environmental Justice,' openDemocracy, http://www.opendemocracy.net/alice-mah/lessons-from-love-canal-toxic-expertise-and-environmental-justice, 7 August.
- Mah, A. (2013) 'Living with Industrial Ruination,' Discover Society 1(1), http://www.discoversociety.org/2013/10/01/living-with-industrial-ruination, October 2013
- The Sociology of Green Transformations (SO368 and SO9D8S)
- Environmental Sociology (SO2G6)
- Zhiling Ma, "Political Ecology of Renewable Energy Opposition: The Case Study of Wind Power
Plants in Shilingol, Inner Mongolia, China." Co-supervised with Ulf Liebe.
- Anna Wikman, "Making sense of slow violence: air quality standards, health risks and environmental injustice." Co-supervised with Nerea Calvillo.
- Zainab Moulvi, "Culture, ecology and social transformation: The case of the Thal desert." Co-supervised with Virinder Kalra.
- Patricio Flores Silva, "Exploring limits for transnational environmental justice: the Arica Victims v. Boliden Minerals case." Co-supervised with Nerea Calvillo.
- Anissa Yu, "Identifying, recognising, and reconciling value differences in social movements: The case of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement." Co-supervised with John Solomos.
- Cong Wang, "From “digital” to “smart”: the future expectation behind Intelligent Transportation System in China from 2008 to 2017." Co-supervised with Steve Fuller.
- Alexandra Kviat (completed in 2019), "Placemaking in the post-functionalist and post-digital city: the case study of Ziferblat." Co-supervised with Hannah Jones, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Leicester
- Julian Molina (completed in 2017), “Intervention Work: An Ethnography of NEET to EET Transitions.” Co-supervised with Noel Whiteside.
- Lorenzo Feltrin, Research Assistant, Toxic Expertise, 2019-2020, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Department of Birmingham (from 2021)
- David Brown, Research Assistant, Toxic Expertise, 2018-2020, Senior Research Associate in Climate Justice (RA1805) in the School of International Development, University of East Anglia (from 2021)
- Ellie Martus, IAS WIRL Co-Fund Research Fellow, 2017-2019, Lecturer in Public Policy at Griffith University (from 2020)
- Thomas Verbeek, Research Fellow, Toxic Expertise, 2017-2019, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Department of Urban Studies & Planning, University of Sheffield (from 2019)
- Calvin Jephcote, Research Fellow, Toxic Expertise,2017-2019, Research Associate in GIS for Environmental Health, University of Leicester (from 2019)
- Loretta Lou, Research Fellow, Toxic Expertise, 2017-2018, Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Macau and Visiting Fellow in Anthropology at LSE (from 2019)
- Thom Davies, Research Fellow, Toxic Expertise, 2015-2018, Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Nottingham (from 2018)
- Xinhong Wang, Research Fellow, Toxic Expertise, 2015-2017, Honourary Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick (from 2017)