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Philippe Le Billon
Professor, Liu Institute for Global Issues & Geography
Office: Liu Institute for Global Issues, Room 207
Office Phone: (604) 822-9935
Fax: (604) 822-6966

Philippe Le Billon (MBA Paris, PhD Oxford) is Professor at the University of British Columbia with the Department of Geography and the Liu Institute for Global Issues. He has worked for environmental and humanitarian organizations in Angola, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and the former-Yugoslavia. Currently conducting research on the political economy and geography of war, extractive sector governance, and the geopolitics of the ‘global land grab’.



Wars of Plunder: Conflicts, Profits and the Politics of Resources

Columbia University Press (2012)









Polity Press (2012, with Gavin Bridge)







The Geopolitics of ‘Resource Wars’

Routledge (2008)









Fuelling War: Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts

IISS and Routledge (2006)










Selected articles:


Resource governance:

Oil prices, scarcity and geographies of war, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 99(5), 2009, 836-844 (with A. Cervantes).

Diamond Wars? Conflict diamonds and geographies of resource wars, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 98(2), 2008, 345-372.

Fatal Transactions: conflict diamonds and the (anti)terrorist consumer, Antipode 38(4), 2006, 778-801.


Political economy of war and reconstruction:

China's weapons trade: from ships of shame to the ethics of global resistance, International Affairs 85(2), 2009, 323-346 (with S.J. Spiegel).

Ending ‘resource wars’: Revenue sharing, economic sanction, or military intervention?, International Peacekeeping, 14(5), 2007, 613-632 (with E. Nicholls).

Finance in Conflict and ReconstructionJournal of International Development 13, 2001, 951-64, (with T. Addison and M. Murshed).



Corrupting peace? Corruption, peacebuilding and reconstruction, International Peacekeeping, 15(3), 2008, 344-361.

Corruption: reconstruction and oil governance in Iraq., Third World Quarterly 26(4), 2005, 679-698.

Buying Peace or Fuelling War: the Role of Corruption in Armed Conflicts, Journal of International Development 15(4), 2003, 413-26.


Natural disasters and conflicts:

Peace in the wake of disaster? Secessionist conflicts with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers32, 2007, 411-427 (with A. Waizenegger).


Graduate supervision

Melanie Sommerville (PhD – geopolitics of agroinvestments – on-going)

Dawn Hoogeveen (PhD – extractive sectors and indigenous land rights – on-going*)

Ian Baird (PhD - resources, identities and territorialities – now Assistant Professor, Madison)

Simon Springer (PhD – liberal peace and post-conflict violence – now Assistant Professor, NUS*)

Samuel Spiegel (MA - political ecology of gold rush in Africa – now Assistant Professor, Edinbrough*)

Sarah Panofsky (MA – Aboriginal ontologies and environmental impact assessments in oil industry*)

Jessica Lehman (MA - Post-tsunami coastal communities in Sri Lanka*)

Sara Helder (MA, Fair trade coffee and producer health in Rwanda*)

Arno Waizenegger (MA, Natural disasters and conflict termination)

Estelle Levin (MA – Conflict diamonds and artisanal mining in Sierra Leone*)

*: co-supervision


Political Geography (GEOG329); Geography of Africa (GEOG496); Environment, Development and Security (GEOG519).


Philippe Le Billon
Professor Philippe Le Billon co-authored the extractive sector section of this cross-sectoral study. Within the study, the OECD has identified macro lessons, general policy recommendations, and sector specific recommendations for the design of anti-corruption strategies aimed at promoting growth and to inform the G20’s broader growth agenda.
1 April 2015
Philippe Le Billon, Hisham Zerriffi, Sara D. Edler
Journal article written by Sara D. Edler, Hisham Zerriffi and Philippe Le Billon published in the Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 32, Pages 264-274.
1 October 2013
Philippe Le Billon
Focusing on three key resources of oil, diamonds,and timber, Associate Professor Phillipe Le Billion's book explores the outbreak of war and conflict in resource-rich countries.
17 January 2012
Philippe Le Billon
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has taken an unprecedented number of measures to tackle links between natural resources and armed conflicts over the past decade
30 May 2007
Philippe Le Billon
Geographies of War: Perspectives on ‘Resource Wars’
1 January 2007
Philippe Le Billon
Securing transparency: Armed conflicts and the management of natural resource revenues
1 January 2007
Philippe Le Billon
Fatal Transactions: conflict diamonds and the (anti)terrorist consumer
1 September 2006
Philippe Le Billon
Corruption, reconstruction and oil governance in Iraq
1 June 2005
Philippe Le Billon, A. Geda, Addison, T., S.M. Murshed
Reconstructing and reforming the financial system in conflict and ‘post-conflict?economies
1 May 2005
Philippe Le Billon
Corruption in Construction and Post-Conflict Reconstruction
13 April 2005
Philippe Le Billon
Aid in the midst of plenty: oil wealth, misery, and advocacy in Angola
1 March 2005
Philippe Le Billon
Fuelling war. Natural resources and armed conflicts
1 March 2005
Philippe Le Billon, F. El Khatib
From free oil to ‘freedom oil? terrorism, war and US geopolitics in the Persian Gulf
1 March 2004
Philippe Le Billon
The geopolitical economy of ‘resource wars'
1 March 2004
Philippe Le Billon
Buying peace or fuelling war: the role of corruption in armed conflicts
1 May 2003
Philippe Le Billon
The political ecology of war and resource exploitation
1 April 2003
Philippe Le Billon
Matières premières, violences et conflits armés
1 April 2003
Philippe Le Billon
Logging in muddy waters: the politics of forest exploitation in Cambodia
1 December 2002
Philippe Le Billon, Addison, T., M. Murshed
Conflict in Africa: the cost of peaceful behavior
1 September 2002
Philippe Le Billon
Most downloaded article for this journal in 2004
1 June 2001
  Resource governance and armed conflicts: the cases of Sierra Leone and Iraq
To develop a conceptual framework for analyzing resource governance in conflict-affected countries; examine patterns of external intervention in resource governance in conflict-affected countries over the past decade; analyze the evolution, legitimacy, and impacts of external intervention in resource governance in Sierra Leone (diamonds) and Iraq (petroleum).
  Natural disasters and political transformations: the cases of Aceh, Sri Lanka, and Kashmir
To identify current knowledge and research gaps on the links between natural disasters, political transformation and conflict resolution; (2) improve understanding of the political consequences of recent disasters in Aceh, Sri Lanka, and Kashmir based on published sources; (3) apply for a major research grant to fill gaps identified in the literrature and inform the security and disaster policy communities.
  Geographies of violence in ‘post-conflict’ situations: a survey of perceptions, experiences, and coping mechanisms in contemporary Cambodia
To develop a ‘grassroots’ conceptualisation of ‘post-conflict’ violence; To document individual perceptions and experiences of violence, as well as coping mechanism, by a large sample of Cambodians (survey questionnaire of 1,200 persons); To inform debates about human security and ‘post-conflict’ policies.
Speculating on violence? Food riots and primary commodity markets
More than a dozen countries have recently seen public demonstrations against rising food prices. The widespread and violent character of this upheaval (and its repression) has captured the attention of the media and given way to a narrative of ‘global food crisis’.
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