Telephone: +44 (0) 2476 522205
Alice Mah is Professor of Sociology and Principal Investigator of the 5-year European Research Council (ERC)-funded project Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry (2015-2020). She holds a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics. Her internationally recognized research on industrial ruination, post-industrial port cities, and environmental justice have been motivated by a deep concern with social inequalities, across different dimensions and scales. She has conducted comparative, mixed-method sociological research in the UK, France, Belgium, Russia, China, the US, and Canada.
Alice is the author of Port Cities and Global Legacies (2014, Palgrave Macmillan), which examines the politics of urban identity, waterfront work, and radicalism in the port cities of Liverpool, Marseille, and New Orleans. This book traces post-industrial and post-colonial legacies of inequality and political unrest through each city, drawing on diverse sources, from crime novels, to museum exhibitions, to detailed ethnographies of dockworker and activist communities. Her first book Industrial Ruination, Community, and Place (2012, University of Toronto Press) was winner of the 2013 BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize. This comparative ethnographic research explored lived experiences of industrial ruination in Niagara Falls, USA/Canada; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK; and Ivanovo, Russia.
Alice is also founder and co-editor of Toxic News, a quarterly e-magazine about toxics in everyday life.
Current Research Projects
- Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry - Principal Investigator, European Research Council Starting Grant
- Global Environmental Injustice- Philip Leverhulme Prize
- Corporate Mapping Project - Collaborator, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Grants and Prizes
2018-2021. 2017 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Sociology
2015-2020. Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry- Principal Investigator, Sociology, Funded by: European Research Council Starting Grant.
2015 Sage Prize for Innovation and/or Excellence for "The Dereliction Tourist" in Sociological Research Online
2014-2015. ESRC Connected Communities Imagine Project: ‘The Social, Historical, Cultural and Democratic Context of Civic Engagement’, Role: Co-Investigator.
2013. Philip Abrams Memorial Prize, British Sociological Association, for the best first and sole-authored monograph in Sociology (Industrial Ruination, Community, and Place)
- Interview about port cities research on BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed', 3 Dec 2014
- Interview about industrial ruination on BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed', 27 March 2013
- British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2013 interview, April 2013
- Mah, A. (2014) Port Cities and Global Legacies: Urban Identity, Waterfront Work, and Radicalism, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Download sample chapter here.
- Mah, A. (2012) Industrial Ruination, Community and Place: Landscapes and Legacies of Urban Decline, Toronto: University of Toronto Press. *Winner of the 2013 BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize.* Download introduction here.
- Davies, T. and A. Mah. (eds) (forthcoming, in press) Toxic Truths: Environmental Justice and Citizen Science in a Post-Truth Age, Manchester: University of Manchester Press.
- Behal, R., A. Mah, and B. Fall. (2011) Rethinking Work: Global Historical and Sociological Perspectives, Delhi and Berlin: Tulika Books and Humboldt University.
- 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. 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. (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 (in 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. (2019), "Special Issue: Making the Petrochemical Connection," Toxic News, May 2019.
- 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
- 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.
- 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, global petrochemical case studies, 2019-2020
- David Brown, Research Assistant, Toxic Expertise, global petrochemical case studies, 2018-2019
- Ellie Martus, IAS WIRL Co-Fund Research Fellow, 2017-2019, post-Soviet environmental politics, from autumn 2019 Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Melbourne
- Thomas Verbeek, Research Fellow, Toxic Expertise, corporate network & risk perception research, 2017-2019, from Sept 2019 Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Department of Urban Studies & Planning, University of Sheffield
- Calvin Jephcote, Research Fellow, Toxic Expertise, environmental health research, 2017-2019, from July 2019 Postdoctoral Research Associate in GIS for Environmental Health, University of Leicester
- Loretta Lou, Research Fellow, Toxic Expertise, China research, 2017-2018, from Jan 2019 Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Macau and Visiting Fellow in Anthropology at LSE
- Thom Davies, Research Fellow, Toxic Expertise, Louisiana research, 2015-2018, from autumn 2018 Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Nottingham
- Xinhong Wang, Research Fellow, Toxic Expertise, China research 2015-2017, from 2017 Honourary Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick