Philippe LeBillon Office 207,
Liu Institute for Global Issues


Philippe Le Billon (MBA Paris, PhD Oxford) is Professor at the University of British Columbia with the Department of Geography and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. He has worked for environmental and humanitarian organizations in Angola, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and the former-Yugoslavia. Le Billon previously worked with the Overseas Development Institute and International Institute of Strategic Studies, and was a Visiting Fellow at Science Po Paris (CERI/IEP), and Fulbright Research Chair at UC Berkeley. His main research areas include the political economy of war, the governance of primary commodity sectors, and illicit financial flows.


Wars of Plunder: Conflicts, Profits and the Politics of Resources
Oxford University Press (2013)

Polity Press (2012, with Gavin Bridge)

The Geopolitics of ‘Resource Wars’
Routledge (2008)

Fuelling War: Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts
IISS and Routledge (2006)

Corruption, Natural Resources and Development: From Resource Curse to Political Ecology

A Williams, P Le Billon

Edward Elgar Publishing

Selected Articles

Le Billon, P. and E. Savage (2016) “Binding Pipelines? Oil, armed conflicts, and economic rationales for peace in the two Sudans”. African Geographical Review.

Le Billon, P. (2015) Oil, Secession and the Future of Iraqi Federalism, Middle East Policy, XXII(1): 68-76.

Peterson St-Laurent, G. and P. Le Billon (2015) “Staking claims and shaking hands: Impact and benefit agreements as a technology of government in the mining sector”. Extractive Industries and Society.

Belhabib, D., U.R. Sumaila, V.W.Y. Lam, D. Zeller, P. Le Billon, E. Abou Kane, D. Pauly (2015) “Euros vs. Yuan: Comparing European and Chinese Fishing Access in West Africa”. PLOS ONE DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0118351

Gamu, J., P. Le Billon and S.J. Spiegel (2015) “Extractive Industries and Poverty: A Review of Recent Findings and Linkage Mechanisms”. Extractive Industries and Society 2(1): 162-176.

Pérez Niño, H. and P. Le Billon (2014) “Foreign Aid, Resource Rents, and State Fragility in Mozambique and Angola”, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 656(1): 79-96.

Sommerville, M., J. Essex and P. Le Billon (2014) “The ‘Global Food Crisis’ and the Geopolitics of Food Security”, Geopolitics. 19(2): 239-265.

Gong, Q. and P. Le Billon (2014) “Feeding (On) Geopolitical Anxieties: Asian Appetites, News Media Framing and the 2007-8 Food Crisis”, Geopolitics 19(2): 291-321.

Le Billon, P. (2014) “Natural resources and corruption in post-war transitions: Matters of trust”, Third World Quarterly. 35: 770-786.

Elder, S., Zerriffi, H. and P. Le Billon (2013) “Is Fairtrade certification greening agricultural practices? An analysis of Fairtrade environmental standards in Rwanda” Journal of Rural Studies. 32: 264-274.

Le Billon, P. and R. Vandecasteyen, (2013) “Pipeline politics and environmental governance: (dis)connecting Alberta’s Tar Sands and BC’s North Coast” Studies in Political Economy.

Elder, S., Zerriffi, H. and P. Le Billon (2012) “Effects of Fair Trade certification on social capital: The case of Rwandan coffee producers”. World Development. 40(11): 2355-2367.

Baird, I. and P. Le Billon (2012) “Landscapes of political memories: War legacies and land negotiations in Laos”, Political Geography. 31(5): 290-300.

Le Billon, P. (2010) “Oil and armed conflicts in Africa”, African Geographical Review. 29(1): 63-90.

Le Billon, P. (2009) “Natural resource types and conflict termination initiatives”. Colombia Internacional. 70: 9-34.

Le Billon, P. and E. Levin (2009) “Building peace with conflict diamonds? Merging security and development in Sierra Leone’s diamond sector”. Development and Change. 40(4): 693-715.

Le Billon, P. and A. Cervantes (2009) “Oil prices, scarcity and geographies of war”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 99(5): 836-844 (reprinted in Kobayashi, A. ed. (2012) Geographies of Peace and Armed Conflict London: Routledge).

Spiegel, S.J. and P. Le Billon (2009) “China’s weapons trade: from ships of shame to the ethics of global resistance”, International Affairs. 85(2): 323-346.

Le Billon, P., A. Vines and A. Malaquias (2008) “ Angola’s petro-militarism and external relations », Politique Africaine. 110: 102-121.

Le Billon, P. (2008) “Corrupting peace? Corruption, peacebuilding and reconstruction”, International Peacekeeping. 15(3): 344-361. (reprinted in Cheng, C. and D. Zaum eds. (2012) Corruption and Post-conflict peacebuilding: Selling the peace? London: Routledge).

Le Billon, P. (2008) “Diamond Wars? Conflict Diamonds and Geographies of Resource Wars”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 98(2): 345-372.

Le Billon, P. and E. Nicholls (2007) “Ending ‘Resource Wars’: Revenue Sharing, Economic Sanction, or Military Intervention?” International Peacekeeping, 14(5): 613-632.

Serfati, C. and P. Le Billon (2007) “Guerres pour les ressources: une face visible de la mondialisation”, Ecologie et Politique, 34: 11-31.

Le Billon, P. and C. Hocquard (2007) “Filières industrielles et conflits armés: le cas du tantale dans la région des Grands Lacs”, Ecologie et Politique, 34: 83-92.

Le Billon, P. and A. Waizenegger (2007) “Peace in the wake of disaster? Secessionist conflicts and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami”. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 32: 411-427.

Le Billon, P. (2007) “Securing transparency: Armed conflicts and the management of natural resource revenues”, International Journal. Winter 2006/7: 93-107.

Le Billon, P. (2007) “Geographies of War: Perspectives on ‘Resource Wars’’”. Geography Compass 1(1): 1-20.

Le Billon, P. (2006) “Fatal Transactions: conflict diamonds and the (anti)terrorist consumer”, Antipode 38(4): 778-801. (reprinted in Derek Gregory and Allan Pred Violent Geographies: Fear, Terror, and Political Violence. New York: Routledge).

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

Addison, T., A. Geda, P. Le Billon and S.M. Murshed (2005) “Reconstructing and reforming the financial system in conflict and ‘post-conflict’ economies”, Journal of Development Studies 41(4): 704-720.

Le Billon, P. (2005) “Aid in the midst of plenty: oil wealth, misery, and advocacy in Angola”, Disasters 29(1): 1-25.

Le Billon, P. (2004) “The geopolitical economy of ‘resource wars’”, Geopolitics 9(1): 1-28. (reprinted in Gregory, D. and N. Castree ed. (2012) Human Geography. Ashgate).

Le Billon, P. and F. El Khatib (2004) “From free oil to ‘freedom oil’: terrorism, war and US geopolitics in the Persian Gulf”, Geopolitics 9(1): 109-137.

Le Billon, P. (2003) “Matières premières, violences et conflits armés”, Tiers Monde XLIV (174): 297-321.

Le Billon, P. (2003) “Buying peace or fuelling war: the role of corruption in armed conflicts”, Journal of International Development 15 (4), 413-26.

Le Billon, P. (2003) “The political ecology of war and resource exploitation”, Studies in Political Economy 70, 59-95.

Addison, T., P. Le Billon and M. Murshed (2003) “Conflict in Africa: the cost of peaceful behavior”, Journal of African Economies 11(3), 365-86.

Le Billon, P. (2002) “Logging in muddy waters: the politics of forest exploitation in Cambodia”, Critical Asian Studies 34(4), 563-586. (reprinted in Kiernan, B. and C. Hughes (2007) Conflict and Change in Cambodia. London: Routledge, pp. 69-92).

Le Billon, P. (2001) “The political ecology of war: natural resources and armed conflicts”, Political Geography 20(5), 561-584. (Most downloaded article for this journal in 2004)

Le Billon, P. (2001) “Angola’s political economy of war: the role of oil and diamonds 1975-2000”, African Affairs 100, 55-80.

Addison, T., P. Le Billon and M. Murshed (2001) “Finance in conflict and reconstruction”, Journal of International Development 13, 951-64.

Le Billon, P. (2000) “The political ecology of transition in Cambodia 1989-1999: war, peace and forest exploitation”, Development and Change 31(4), 785-805.

Le Billon, P. (2017) “Peacebuilding and white-collar crime in post-war natural resource sectors”Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 1-18

Le Billon, P., Massé, F. (2017)  Gold mining in Colombia, post-war crime and the peace agreement with the FARC, Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 1-19

Conde, M., Le Billon ,P. (2017) “Why do some communities resist mining projects while others do not?”, The Extractive Industries and Society 4(3), 681-697

Le Billon, P., Lujala, p., Rustad, SA. (2017) “Has the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative been a success? Identifying and evaluating EITI goals”Resources Policy 51, 151-162

Other Publications

Philippe Le Billon, Consequences of Corruption at the Sector Level and Implications for Economic Growth and Development, OECD Study on the Impact of Corruption on Economic Growth, 2013.

Philippe Le Billon, Natural resources, armed conflicts, and the UN Security Council, Liu Institute for Global Issues, 2007.

Philippe Le Billon, Global Corruption Report 2005 Special Focus: Corruption in Construction and Post-Conflict Resolution, Corruption in Construction and Post-Conflict Reconstruction, 2005.

Graduate Supervision

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

Elaine Hsiao (PhD – legal geographies of peace parks – on-going)

Michael Simpson (PhD – pipelines, indigenous rights, and social movements – on-going*)

Dawn Hoogeveen (PhD – extractive sectors and indigenous land rights – completed*)

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

Simon Springer (PhD – liberal peace and post-conflict violence – now Associate Professor, UVic)

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

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

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

Sara Elder (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*)