Under the Tump - cover

Oliver Balch

Under the Tump: Sketches of Real Life on the Welsh Borders (Faber & Faber, May 2016)

Under the Tump - cover spread


Under the Tump (Faber & Faber, 2016)

Under the Tump - cover



India Rising (Faber & Faber, 2012)

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Viva South America! (Faber & Faber, 2008)

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Oliver is a regular contributor to The Guardian. He is a leading expert and freelance writer on sustainability and corporate responsibility. He is an experienced panel chair on a range of subjects and an in-depth report writer for global organisations such as the World Bank.



Oliver Balch is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge Centre for Latin American Studies.

Research Topic: Pulp fictions: An ethnographic critique of the use of Corporate Responsibility in Foreign Direct Investment (Supervisor: Dr Sian Lazar, Department for Social Anthropology)

My research focuses on corporate-community relations and the use of corporate responsibility as a discursive tool to legitimise foreign direct investments. In response to widespread social conflicts related to investment projects across Latin America, corporations are adopting corporate responsibility policies and practices in an attempt to deliver socio-economic development in host communities. My research interrogates whether these policies are resulting in developmental results. In addition, it asks how such management approaches impact social relations at both a local and national level. My PhD adopts a case study approach, focusing on Montes del Plata’s (MDP) US$1.9 billion pulp mill project in Uruguay, the country’s largest ever FDI project. My studies touch primarily on the fields of stakeholder theory, development anthropology and critical management studies.


Oliver and Emma Balch offer B&B in an old potter’s studio next to their cottage near Hay-on-Wye in the Welsh borders. Click here for more details: www.potterycottageclyro.com



Twitter: @oliverbalch