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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Ben Campbell, PhD

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41621

Contact Dr Ben Campbell (email at


Undergraduate study in social anthropology at Cambridge, PhD University of East Anglia Development Studies ‘The Dynamics of Cooperation: Households and Economy in a Tamang Community of Nepal’, lecturing at Edinburgh, Keele, Manchester, Hull, Durham (from 2006), Director of Durham MSc Sustainability, Culture and Development.

ESRC Award 1997-8 ‘Himalayan Biodiversity and Human Interests’.

2002-4 EU award ‘Public Understanding of Genetics’ directed by Jeanette Edwards in Manchester leading workpackage on Public Understanding of Genetically Modified Food.

2007 Williamson Fund award A Himalayan Road and the People of the Border.

2012-13 Co-Investigator Department of Energy and Climate Change ‘Low Carbon Energy for Development Network.

2013-15 Co-Investigator EPSRC/DFID £100,000 'Energy and International Development: Understanding Sustainable Energy Solutions (USES) in Developing Countries Programme'.

Films (with camera by Cosmo Campbell): 2004 ‘Shamanic Pilgrimage to Gosainkund’. 2009 ‘The Way of the Road’.

Future Research Plans

  • Biomass to Biogas transition among indigenous communities of Nepal;
  • New Directions in UK Sustainable Food Cultures;
  • Durham Energy Institute social science of Energy, Environment and Food;
  • Low Carbon Energy for Development Network phase II (with colleagues from Loughborough, Sussex, and Imperial College)

International Collaborations

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Durham Global Security Institute

  • Contextualising Conflict

Research Projects

Department of Archaeology

  • Promoting the Protection of Heritage Sites in Nepal

Research Interests

  • Biotechnology and post-agrarian rural economies
  • Conservation and social justice
  • Culture and sustainability
  • Environmental anthropology
  • Food cultures
  • Indigenous knowledge and development
  • Low carbon energy transitions
  • Nepal and Himalayas
  • South Asia and social theory

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Campbell, B. (2014). Culture on Display: metropolitan multiculturalism and the Manchester Nepal festival. In Facing Globalisation in the Himalayas. Belonging and the Politics of the Self. Toffin, G. & Pfaff-Czarnecka, J. New Delhi: SAGE Publications. 209-232.
  • Campbell, B. (2014). Fields of Working Knowledge. In Fieldwork in South Asia: Memories, Moments, and Experiences. Chaudhuri, Sarit K. & Chaudhuri, Sucheta Sen New Delhi: SAGE Publications. 106-121.
  • Campbell, B. (2014). Linking Local and Global in the Sustainable Development of Biodiversity Conservation. In Sustainable Development: An introduction focussing on the Gulf region. Sillitoe, P. New York: Berghahn. 197-220.
  • Campbell, B. (2013). From Remote Area to Thoroughfare of Globalisation: Shifting Territorialisations of Development and Border Peasantry in Nepal. In Territorial changes and territorial restructurings in the Himalayas. Smadja, J. New Delhi: Adroit Publishers. 269-285.
  • Campbell, B. (2011). Pathways of Place Relation: Moving Contours of Belonging in Central Nepal. In The Politics of Belonging in the Himalayas: local attachments and boundary dynamics. Pfaff-Czarnecka, J. & Toffin, G. New Delhi: SAGE Publications. 222-245.
  • Campbell, B. (2010). Beyond cultural models of the environment: linking subjectivities of dwelling and power. In Culture and the Environment in the Himalaya. Guneratne, A. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 186-203.
  • Campbell, B. (2010). How Biotechnology Makes Human Kinship with Wildlife Visible. In Animals and Science: from colonial encounters to the biotech industry. Bolton, M. & Degnen, C. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 196-219.
  • Campbell, B (2010). Subjectivity and Governance in the Himalayan Environment. In An Exploration of the Categories of Nature and Culture in Asia and the Himalayas. Lecomte-Tilouine, M Social Science Press. 156-189.
  • Campbell, Ben (2009). Fields of Post-human Kinship. In European kinship in the age of biotechnology. Edwards, Jeanette & Salazar, Carles Oxford: Berghahn. 14: 162-178.
  • Campbell, B. (2007). Racialization, ethnicity, genes and the re-invention of the Nation in Europe. In Race, ethnicity and nation: perspectives from kinship and genetics. Wade, P. Oxford: Berghahn. 95-123.
  • Campbell, Ben (2005). On 'Loving Your Water buffalo More Than Your Own Mother': Relationships of Animal and Human Care in Nepal. In Animals in Person: Cultural Perspectives on Human-Animal Intimacy. Knight, John Oxford: Berg. 79-100.
  • Campbell, B. (2004). Indigenous views on the Terms of Participation in the Development of Biodiversity Conservation in Nepal. In Investigating Local Knowledge: new directions, new approaches. Bicker, A., Sillitoe, P. & Pottier, J. Aldershot: Ashgate. 149-167.

Journal Article

  • Campbell, Ben (2020). Communicative Orders in Collision and Collusion with Natural Resource Management Regimes in Nepal. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology 85(1): 79-99.
  • Campbell, Ben (2018). Biodiversity, Livelihoods and Struggles over Sustainability in Nepal. Landscape Research 43(8): 1056-1067.
  • Brown, Ed, Campbell, Ben, Cloke, Jon, To, Long Seng, Turner, Britta & Wray, Alistair (2018). Low carbon energy and international development: from research impact to policymaking. Contemporary Social Science 13(1): 112-127.
  • Campbell, Ben (2018). Moral Ecologies of Subsistence and Labour in a Migration-affected Community of Nepal. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 24(S1): 151-165.
  • Campbell, B. (2017). Encountering Climate Change: dialogues of human and non-human relationships within Tamang moral ecology and climate policy discourses. European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 49: 59-87.
  • Campbell, B., Cloke, J. & Brown, E. (2016). Communities of Energy. Economic Anthropology 3(1): 133-144.
  • Campbell, B. & Sallis, P. (2013). Low-carbon yak cheese: transition to biogas in a Himalayan socio-technical niche. Interface Focus 3(1): 20120052.
  • Campbell, B. (2010). Rhetorical Routes for Development: a road project in Nepal. Contemporary South Asia 18(3): 267-279.
  • Campbell, Ben (2008). Environmental Cosmopolitans: Introduction. Nature and Culture 3(1): 9-24.
  • Campbell, B. (2005). Biotechnology and the Public Voices of Market Reason in the British Debate on GMOs. Biotecnologia i veus públiques de raons de mercat en el debat britànic sobre organismes genèticament modificats (OGM). Revista d'etnología de Catalunya 27: 24-39.
  • Campbell, B. (2005). Changing Protection Policies and Ethnographies of Environmental Engagement. Conservation and Society 3(2): 280-322.

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