John’s research interests span involuntary land acquisition and resettlement, livelihoods and food security, community-based conflict, and the role of corporate and organisational culture on social performance and mining impacts.

Professor Owen’s current program of research is concerned with building a foundational knowledge base on resettlement and livelihood displacement in the mining and resource sectors. John is active in promoting the development and use of social data technologies as a means for improving due diligence processes surrounding mining and mine-related activities.

John Owen is a Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI).

John is an editorial board member for Resources Policy, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management and The Extractives Industries and Society. He is also a member of the Society of Business Ethics, the Project Management Institute, and the International Association for Business and Society.

Industry Engagement

John’s work on mining induced displacement is supported by over a decade of community-level practice and policy development in the area of forced migration and resettlement with refugee communities in Australia. He has served as an advisor to companies, lenders, governments, NGOs and bilateral agencies on resettlement issues stemming from conflict, natural disasters and resource development. John’s project work has involved providing both short and longer term strategic advice and support to companies such as BHP, Anglo American, Newcrest, Xstrata, Newmont, MMG, and Teck; and in addition, has lead or supported projects in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Mongolia, South Africa, Ghana, and Peru.


John is a lead investigator on a large UQ-Industry funded research collaboration which is actively developing resources to improve research, policy and practice outcomes in the area of mining and resettlement. The UQ-Industry Mining and Resettlement Consortium collaborates with researchers from the University of Nottingham and the University of Surrey, in addition to senior industry professionals from Rio Tinto, Newmont, Newcrest, Anglo American, MMG and Barrick.

Key Publications

Owen, John R., and Kemp Deanna (2017) “Extractive relations: Countervailing power and the global mining industry,” Greenleaf Publications: Sheffield.

Owen, John R. and Kemp, Deanna (2015) Mining-induced displacement and resettlement: a critical appraisal. Journal of Cleaner Production, 87 C: 478-488.

Owen, John R. and Kemp, Deanna (2013) Social licence and mining: a critical perspective. Resources Policy, 38 1: 29-35.

Kemp, Deanna, Owen, John R., Gotzmann, Nora and Bond, Carol J. (2011) Just relations and company-community conflict in mining. Journal of Business Ethics, 101 1: 93-109.

Kemp, Deanna and Owen, John R. (2017) Corporate readiness and the human rights risks of applying FPIC in the global mining industry. Business and Human Rights Journal, 2 1: 163-169. doi:10.1017/bhj.2016.28

Full list of publications available on espace