Dr. Joshua Rigg

  (Small States Research Program, Georgetown University/ Qatar)

Joshua Rigg holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. His research interests include socio-political transformations in the Middle East and North Africa, the politics of extractivism, everyday political thinking, and the afterlives of colonial and post-colonial North Africa. He has previously written on everyday understandings of justice in post-overthrow Tunisia, extractivism and marginalization in Tunisia’s south, and the circulation of revolutionary political thinking in the Mediterranean space. His work has been published in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Globalizations and Oxford Middle East Review. His doctoral thesis was awarded runner-up in the 2022 British Society for Middle East Studies Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize for best PhD dissertation.

Project Resources & Sustainability

The End Zones of the Circular Economy: Capitalism and Waste in North Africa

The project examines the politics of the circular economy in the Mediterranean from the viewpoint of its discard and waste. It traces the emerging political-technical regime of ‘circularity’ across three countries (Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco), and how it is changing understandings of toxicity, labour and value. Focusing on North Africa’s incorporation into transnational circuits of waste and recyclables, the project employs qualitative mixed-methods approach to study the people, places and things that are entangled in the circular economy, and their roles in transporting, managing, recycling or dumping waste. It thus breaks new ground by studying the real-world practices – rather than theoretical promise – of the circular economy. While at MECAM, I will focus on Tunisian fripes (second-hand clothes markets), researching the markets, sorting centres and transport hubs that are engaged in the movement, management and valorisation of second-hand clothes as they move across the Mediterranean.