Telephone: +44 (0) 2476 522205
Alice Mah researches urban, political, and environmental sociology. Her research focuses on industrial ruination and urban decline; environmental justice and corporate sustainability; place and work memory and identity; and the democratisation of science and expertise. She has conducted comparative, mixed-method sociological research in the UK, France, Russia, the US, and Canada.
Alice is the author of Port Cities and Global Legacies (2014, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016 in paperback). This book examines the politics of urban identity, waterfront work, and radicalism in the port cities of Liverpool, Marseille, and New Orleans. 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 co-founder and co-editor of Toxic News, a quarterly e-magazine about toxics in everyday life.
Alice is Principal Investigator of the 5-year European Research Commission (ERC)-funded project on Expertise, Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry (2015-2020). This research project examines debates about health, jobs, risk, and prosperity in relation to the petrochemical industry, through in-depth comparative research in China, the United States, and Europe. In 2016, she joined the Corporate Mapping Project network, a partnership of academic and community-based researchers and advisors, which maps how power and influence play out in the oil, gas and coal industries of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).
Alice holds a PhD in Sociology (London School of Economics), an MA in Political Economy (Carleton University, Ottawa), a BA (honours) in European and Russian Studies (Carleton University, Ottawa), and a BFA in Art History and Studio Art (Concordia University, Montreal). She has held postdoctoral positions as Senior Research Fellow in Sociology at Southampton University; Research Fellow at the International Research Centre 'Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History' at Humboldt University in Berlin; and Research Fellow in Sociology at the University of Warwick.
Current Research Projects
- Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry- Principal Investigator, Sociology, Funded by: ERC Starting Grant, 2015-2020.
- Corporate Mapping Project - Collaborator, Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada), 2016-2022.
- Imagine: Connecting Communities through Research, Co-Investigator, with Prof Sarah Banks (Durham) and Prof Mick Carpenter (Warwick)- Sociology, Funded by: ESRC, 2014-2016.
- 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.
- Behal, R., Mah, A. and Fall, B. (2011) Rethinking Work: Global Historical and Sociological Perspectives, Delhi and Berlin: Tulika Books and Humboldt University.
- Mah, A. (2016) 'Environmental Justice in the Age of Big Data: Challenging Toxic Blind Spots of Voice, Speed, and Expertise' Environmental Sociology 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.*
- 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. (forthcoming) 'Ruination and Post-industrial Urban Decline,' in SAGE Handbook of Urban Sociology: New Approaches to the Twenty-first Century City, eds. R. Burdett and S. Hall, Sage.
- 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.
- 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. (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