Dr. David Bek
David is a Research Fellow within the Centre for Business in Society. He has experience of working in a range of institutional settings including local government, private consultancy, small business and university Geography Departments and Business Schools. Such diverse experiences have enabled him to develop broad ranging networks and inherent understandings of the dynamics of multi-stakeholder environments. His research experience includes undertaking work on social capital formation via Multi-National Corporation CSR programmes, analysing the dynamics of local labour markets and market town regeneration in East Anglia and evaluating social empowerment initiatives in the South African wine industry. During the last five years David has worked with Professor Cheryl McEwan and Dr. Alex Hughes at the Universities of Newcastle and Durham on research and impact projects funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the ESRC. These projects have deployed a cultural-economy approach to enable understanding of the dynamics of ethical trade within commodity supply chains emanating from South Africa. He has also undertaken consultancy work for the South African fruit industry and WWF-South Africa, for whom he has evaluated ethical trade and biodiversity conservation programmes.
Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals
- Hughes, A., McEwan, C., and Bek, D. (2015) Mobilizing the ethical consumer in South Africa. Geoforum 67, 148-157.
- Blokker, T., Bek, D., and Binns, J.A. (2015) ‘Wildflower Harvesting on the Agulhas Plain, South Africa: Challenges in a fragmented industry’. South Africa Journal of Science 111 (11/12). Available from http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/sajs.2015/20140160
- Bek, D., Binns, T., Hughes, A., McEwan, C., and Blokker, T. (2016) ‘A High Road to Sustainability? Wildflower Harvesting, Ethical Trade and Social Upgrading in South Africa’s Western Cape’. Journal of Agrarian Change [in press]
- McEwan C., Hughes, A., and Bek, D. (2015) ‘Theorising middle class consumption from the global South: a study of everyday ethics in South Africa's Western Cape’. Geoforum.
- Hughes, A., McEwan, C., and Bek, D. (2015) ‘Postcolonial perspectives on global production networks: insights from Flower Valley in South Africa’. Environment and Planning A 47 (2), 249-266.
- Hughes, A., McEwan, C., Bek, D., and Rosenberg, Z. (2014) ‘Embedding Fairtrade in South Africa:Global Production Networks, National Initiatives and Localized Challenges in the Northern Cape’. Competition & Change 18 (4), 291–308.
- McEwan, C., Hughes, A., and Bek, D. (2014) ‘Futures, ethics and the politics of expectation in biodiversity conservation: a case study of South African sustainable wildflower harvesting’. Geoforum, 52, 206-215.
- Bek, D., Binns, T., and Nel, E. (2013) ‘Wild flower harvesting on South Africa’s Agulhas Plain: a mechanism for achieving sustainable Local Economic Development?’Sustainable Development 21 (5), 281-293.
- Hughes, A., McEwan, C., and Bek, D. (2012) ‘Retailers, Supply Networks and Changing Articulations of Ethicality: Lessons from Flower Valley in South Africa’. Journal of Economic Geography 13 (2), 211-230.
- Powe, N.A., and Bek, D. (2012) ‘Localising activity within the context of relational complexity: exploring the relevance of ‘rural centre’ and ‘town centre’ conceptions’. Environment and Planning B, Planning and Design 39: 501-517.
- Jones, I., Pollit, M., and Bek, D. (2007) Multinationals in their Communities: A social capital approach to corporate citizenship projects. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
- Bek, D., Binns, T. and Nel, E. (2012) ‘Fair Trade and Alternative Food Networks’. In The Process of Internationalization in Emerging SMEs and Emerging Economies. Ed. by Etemad, H. Montreal: Elgar.
- 2016: Coventry University, Pump Priming Scheme, “Better Work, Better Businesses: Making the Case for Ethical Trade in the South African Fruit Industry”, Principal Investigator
- 2016: Coventry University, Pump Priming Fund, “Ethical Flowers: Promoting the Value of Certification Throughout the Supply Chain to Improve Working Conditions”, Co-investigator with Jill Timms Principal Investigator, Alex Hughes and Luc Fransen Co-investigators.
- 2015-2018: WWF-South Africa’s Table Mountain Fund, “Determining the Scale, Structure and Sustainability of the wild fynbos Harvesting supply chain in the Cape Floristic Region”, Principal Investigator with Kathy O’Grady (Flower Valley Conservation Trust) Co-investigator
- 2015-2016: Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Account, "Developing and Embedding the Wild Fynbos Harvesting Guide", with Dr Alex Hughes (Principal Investigator).
- 2013-2014: Economic and Social Research Council (Knowledge Exchange), "Developing Sustainable Wildflower Harvesting for Global Supply Chains" with Dr Alex Hughes (Principal Investigator) and Prof Cheryl McEwan (Co-Investigator).
- 2013-2014 ‘Investigating the structure of the wild fynbos industry on South Africa’s Agulhas Plain’, with Prof Tony Binns and Thijs Blokker.
- 2012-2013 ‘Sustainable solar energy for rural development in South Africa’, with Prof Cheryl McEwan (Principal Investigator), Dr Douglas Halliday (Physics), Dr Marek Szablewski (Physics) and Dr Neal Wade (Engineering).
- 2010-2012: Leverhulme Trust, "Ethical Production in South Africa: Advancing a Cultural Economy Approach”, with Prof Cheryl McEwan (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Alex Hughes (Co-Investigator).
'Sustainability in Tilapia Exports: The case for Sub-Saharan Africa'