Alice Mah is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, with research interests in environmental justice, corporate power, and the politics of industrial transformation. 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 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. Her latest book, Plastic Unlimited: How Corporations Are Fuelling the Ecological Crisis and What We Can Do About It, is forthcoming with Polity Press.
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 also founder and co-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
- 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, under contract) 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.
- Brown, D., A. Mah, and G. Walker (accepted, 23 August 2021), 'The Tenacity of Trust in Petrochemical Communities: Reckoning with Risk on the Fawley Waterside (1997-2019),' Environment and Planning E.
- 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)
- 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)