ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICAL ECONOMY
Recent Notes: Django
°Special Issue on Theory of Access now out with Peluso and Ribot Postscript
°Delighted Ibram X. Kendi is a colleague at AU - Read him in The Atlantic
My current research is on the social and political-economic causes of precarity and social suffering in natural-resource-dependent communities. I explore these problems through case studies of struggles over natural resource access, attempts to establish local democracy, and communities at risk in the face of climate stress. My fieldwork has been in the West African Sahel – mostly in Eastern Senegal. I have also conducted comparative studies across Africa and in Asia and Latin America. I like to recount the findings of my research through books, articles, films, policy briefs, editorials, rhyming stories, sculpture, teaching and lectures.
I come to this work with a background in physics and linguistics, followed by training in energy and environmental policy, and then in human geography. I have served on faculties of geography, anthropology and environmental studies. I draw mostly on the methods of sociology, anthropology and geography. Since August 2018 I am on the faculty in the School of International Service at American University in DC.
This web page provides access to my main works.
I study decentralization and democratic local government; natural resource tenure and access; distribution along natural resource commodity chains; household vulnerability in the face of climate change; and the relation between causality and responsibility, blame, liability and response.
Through my research I have developed in-situ research-based education programs that I call ‘Higher Education through Comparative Research’. My programs have trained over eighty young scholars in their own countries to conduct in-depth policy research and to translate that research into scholarly writing and policy-relevant briefs and seminars.
This page contains recent ongoing and completed research and research-related initiatives. For a full listing of research initiatives and outcomes, see Curriculum Vitae.