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Dr. Eric Tamatey Lawer

Research Fellow
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Societies and Cultures

Dr. Eric Lawer is a Research Fellow in the Societies and Cultures Section of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. He holds a Ph.D. (magna cum laude) in Human Geography from the University of Bremen, Germany, an MPhil. in Development Studies from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and B.A. Geography with Political Science from the University of Ghana. Dr. Lawer’s research focuses broadly on the intersections between sustainability and international development issues. His research interests include extractive sector governance, environmental governance including issues of political ecology and the emerging blue economy, green growth, sustainable ports and coasts, environmental justice, and broader issues of political ecology. Over the last four years, he has conducted research on transitioning the port and shipping sector towards sustainability and dealt with policy and institutional issues with respect to natural resources governance. Dr. Lawer is the author of several peer-reviewed journal articles, and he teaches various undergraduate and graduate courses.


2015-2020          University of Bremen, Germany; Ph.D. in Human Geography

2010-2012          Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway; MPhil in Development Studies

2004 -2008         University of Ghana, Legon, Accra; BA Geography with Political Science

Research Interests and Projects

Research Interests

  • Extractive Sector Governance
  • Sustainable Development and Environmental Governance
  • Policy Mobilities
  • Energy Transition
  • Political Ecology
  • Blue Economy
  • Environmental Justice
  • Sustainable Infrastructures
  • Rural Livelihoods
  • Society-Ocean-Coasts-Ports Interdependencies

Current Research Projects

  • PI: 2021-Date: Humanities Across Borders Project (HaB 2): Craft Practices (Traditions) in an Era of Climate Change and Neoliberal Globalisation. Funded by the Mellon Foundation.
  • Personal Research: Energy Transition in West Africa Ports: Challenges and Prospects
  • Personal Research: Accumulation by Dispossession: The Case of the Underwater Timber ‘Salvage’ Project in the Volta Lake.
  • Member of the research team: The Economy and Livelihood Dimensions of Oil and Gas on Sekondi-Takoradi and the Atuabo Enclave. Funded by Ghana National Gas Company.


  • UGRC 220: Appropriate Technology for Development in Africa


  • AFST601: Research Methods
  • AFST602: Advanced Research Methods
  • Lawer, E. T., Herbeck, J. & Flitner, M. (2019). Selective Adoption: How Port Authorities in Europe and West Africa Engage with the Globalizing ‘Green Port’ Idea. Sustainability, 11(18), 5119, doi:10.3390/su11185119.
  • Lawer, E. T. (2019). Transnational networks for the ‘greening’ of ports: Learning from best practice? GeoJournal, 86(2), 743-763, doi:10.1007/s10708-019-10096-0.
  • Lawer, E. T. (2019). Examining stakeholder participation and conflicts associated with large scale infrastructure projects: the case of Tema port expansion project, Ghana. Maritime Policy & Management, 46(6), 735-756, doi:10.1080/03088839.2019.1627013.
  • Lawer, E. T., Lukas M.C. & Jørgensen, S. H. (2017). The neglected role of local institutions in the ‘resource curse’ debate. Limestone mining in the Krobo region of Ghana. Resources Policy, 54, 43-52, doi: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2017.08.005
  • Partelow, S., Lukas, M.C., Rohe, J., Nelson, K., Borges, R., Minarro, S., Lawer, E.T. (2016). Ocean and Society: Integrating Research in the Environmental Social Sciences. In Bode, M., Jessen, C., & Golz, V. (Eds.), YOUMARES 7 - People and the 7 Seas – Interaction and Inspiration (pp. 146-156). Proceedings of the 2016 conference for Young Marine Researchers in Hamburg. Germany: German Society for Marine Research.
  • Lawer, E. T., Norum, E., Ekanayaka, A., Erketo T.L., & Joseph, L. (2011). Creative Business Activities in Røros. Acta Geographica, 37(D), 84-107.
Conferences and Workshops

Participant. Sustainable development through effective knowledge sharing: Concepts, methods, and processes. A 3-day workshop organised by CIM/GIZ Program Migration and Diaspora. 16 -18 September 2021, Takoradi.

Panelist. Roundtable discussion on the topic: Place, Nature and Indigo’ in Experiential and Experimental Perspective at the 12th International Convention of Asia Scholars held online from 24-28 August 2021.

Participant. Partnering for Sustainability Challenges: Climate, Oceans, Cities and Communities”, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Webinar Series organised by the University of Sydney (USYD) in collaboration with The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). 18 August 2021.  

Participant. Reconfiguring-future-urban-infrastructures: Cities and green infrastructure: Webinar organised by the Manchester Urban Institute, University of Manchester, UK. 27 May 2021.

Participant. Stakeholder Engagement on Key Sustainable Development Issues for Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in African Nations bordering the Atlantic. Virtual Workshop organised by the University of Cape Coast and the University of Liverpool in collaboration with the Abidjan Convention Secretariat. 26 May 2021.

Participant. Africa's Readiness for Climate Change Conference, Webinar organised by The UCLA African Studies Center and the Earth Rights Institute. 19 – 23 April 2021.

Participant. Network(ing) for environmental governance among West African port authorities: challenges and prospects. Paper presented at the Centre for Maritime Research (MARE) Conference on Maritime Mobilities. 5 July – 7 July 2017, Amsterdam, Netherland.

Co-Chair / Panellist. Social Science Session on Ocean and Society. Integrating Research in the Environmental Social Sciences. YOUMARES 7 Conference, 5-7 July 2016, Hamburg, Germany.

Participant. Sustainability-oriented networks for the greening of ports. Learning from best practice? Paper presented at artec colloquium. 7 June 2017, University of Bremen, Germany.

Participant. Transnational collaborations of port cities with initiatives around ‘green ports’, climate change mitigation, and green logistics. Paper presented at the Bremen International Graduate School of Marine Science Workshop No.61. 5 February 2016, University of Bremen, Germany.

Participant. Workshop on “Transnational networks in climate policy”, 19 November 2015, Delmenhorst, Germany. Organised by Zentra Center for Transnational Studies.