Senior Lecturer in Development & Environment, King's College London


Research on Consumption and Production, the Clothing and Garment Sector and Social and Economic Change in Africa by Andrew Brooks


Andrew’s research seeks to understand the uneven growth of the world economy and the connections between areas of impoverishment and affluence and covers three interconnected themes:

Geographies of Consumption and Production

Tribal Celebrations in Papua New Guinea with imported goods.


On a theoretical level Andrew has been advancing an understanding of the connections between production and consumption in the global economy. Drawing on the work of Ben Fine and other theories within the traditions of Marxist political economy, Andrew has grappled with how value is produced and re-produced across space in new and used commodities. In particular, focusing on sustainability and the undercurrents of globalization; namely the reverse flows of rubbish and unwanted goods traded from the global North to the South, including case studies of clothing, used cars (Geographical Journal) and electronic waste. The conceptual work on consumption includes a comprehensive review chapter, with Raymond Bryant, in Critical Environmental Politics, a case study on sustainable consumption in the construction industry (Geographical Journal with Hannah Rich), and a new article on systems of provision of clothing and fast fashion (Geoforum), and another study of avocado agriculture in Colombia (in preparation with Angela Serrano).

Global Clothing Trade

Second Hand Clothes in Maputo, Mozmabique

Andrew’s work on the garment sector began with research in to labour relations in a clothing factory in Zambia (Journal of Southern African Studies). Following that his PhD research and linked publications mapped the global trade in second-hand clothing and in particular the social and economic impacts of used clothing imports to Mozambique (Development and ChangeGeoforumTextile). He has also written a chapter for the Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion (with Amanda Ericsson). The various clothing projects Andrew has worked upon have been drawn together and the breadth of his research expanded with the publication of Clothing Poverty, which includes case studies from around the world. 



Political and Economic Change in Africa

Trader on her mobile phone in an African Market 

The dynamics of capital accumulation and uneven development in Africa have led Andrew to cluster his research projects in Southern Africa and enabled him to develop a specialist regional knowledge and he serves as an Editor of the Journal of Southern African Studies. This expertise is being built upon in new work. Field research in Malawi is being analysed using ideas of Antonio Gramsci and his theory of passive revolution (forthcoming in the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers). While in 2013 he was awarded a £10,000 Regional Studies Association Early Career Grant (BRICS and Region Building in Africa), which is being used to research Brazilian and Chinese engagement in Mozambique. Andrew has also written a book chapter on ethics and research methods in the region (Fieldwork in the Global South) and was awarded £10,365 from the Royal African Society and British Academy in 2015 to organise a conference for early career researchers in Southern Africa. Allied to the research in Southern Africa, but with a different regional focus, he co-authored an article exploring the Politics of Oil and the Resource Curse in Ghana (Review of African Political Economy, with Jon Phillips and Elena Hailwood).