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Muriel Côte

After completing a phd in geography at the University of Edinburgh (2014), and spending 5 years as a Lecturer at the Political Geography unity at the University of Zürich, I started working as a Lecturer in the Development Geography group at the University of Lund in 2020, where I teach within the LUMID programme. 

My research focuses on the politics of resource extraction and conservation that I understand to be at the core of uneven development dynamics. I situate my work within political ecology, and take an ethnographic approach to my research. I am particularly interested in contexts where the state is considered weak or absent. 

Empirically, since starting my phd, I have been focusing on the production of woodfuel and gold resources in Burkina Faso. Both resources have been the subject to policies aiming to improve livelihoods - such ‘community-based’ and resource "formalisation" approaches - but have had the unintended effects of reproducing inequalities (sometimes producing new ones). My research focuses on these dynamics, with the aim to foster new ways to think about development and environmental justice. 

More recently, I have expanded my research a little: firstly topic-wise, with an interest in security, and the role of non-state actors, like the "koglweogo" groups in Burkina Faso, to be able to speak to growing security concerns in the Sahel; secondly, geographically, I am sharpening my understanding of the politics of extraction by looking at goldmining in Colombia, thanks to working with Christoph Kaufmann whose phd project I co-supervise.


Past and ongoing projects include:

- "Frontier settlements: Territories of artisan mining labour in Africa" (2020-2024) funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, together with Tim Raeymaekers at the Unviersity of Zürich, looking at the different ways that informal mining labour plays out in the expansion of global extravism through governance and urbanisation dynamics, with sites Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe and the DRC.

- "Security and fragile states: Spaces of vigilante legitimacy in Burkina Faso" (2017-2019) funded by the Unviersity of Zürich International Office, together with colleagues at the Sociology Department, Unviersity of Ouagadougou I Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Zakaria Soré and Bouraima Zongo), looking at legitimation dynamics of non-state vigilante groups confronting top-down and "from below" approaches to security in the Sahel. 


Past publications (not on LUCRIS) include:



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

fieldwork in burkina
E-mail: muriel [dot] cote [at] keg [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Department of Human Geography


The Department of Human Geography
and the Human Ecology Division

Address: Sölvegatan 10,
223 62 Lund
Phone: 046-222 17 59

Faculty of Social Sciences