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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Prof Paul Sillitoe, Sc.D., F.B.A.

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Paul Sillitoe has a background in both anthropology and agricultural science. His research interests focus on tropical farming systems and indigenous natural resource management strategies. He specialises in development and social change, subsistence and technology, land issues, human ecology and ethno-science. His regional interests focus on the Pacific in particular.

He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, where he first championed the competitive sociability of institutionalised exchange individualism, and he is currently involved in projects in South Asia, researching local agricultural knowledge and development programmes. He seeks to further the incorporation of indigenous knowledge in development, particularly in the context of sustainable livelihood initiatives and appropriate technologies.


See a full list of Prof Sillitoe's publications below.

Research Interests

  • Development and social change
  • Economic anthropology and tribal socio-political orders
  • Environmental anthropology and natural resources management
  • Human ecology and ethnosciences
  • Indigenous knowledge and participating development
  • Livelihood and technology
  • Melanesia and South Asia

Selected Publications

Authored book

Edited book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

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Research Groups

Research Projects

  • Contextual instantiation of indigenous domain knowledge: An e-science approach
  • Indigenous knowledge methodologies for natural resource research
  • Negotiations and mining in PNG
  • Towards an engaged anthropology: Advancing methodological approaches to indigenous knowledge research and community well-being
  • What is traditional about Piaroa traditional knowledge?

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