Politics Publications: 2015

Faculty in the Department of Politics shared thoughts about their recent work.

Rafi Youatt

Rafi Youatt, Assistant Professor of Politics, recently published Counting Species: Biodiversity in Global Environmental Politics (University of Minnesota Press, 2015), which focuses on the environmental politics of global biodiversity. Youatt shared this summary about the work:

“We know that nonhuman species are going extinct at a rate that far exceeds the normal background rate of evolution due to the activities of some humans, and that this mass extinction event is affecting ecological and political webs of many different kinds. But politics does not and should not proceed smoothly from the invocation of crisis to technical solution, and so what interests me in the book is what comes in between those two steps.

Biodiversity loss as a political project has often involved a politics that either diverts attention from the underlying causes, or incorporates it into forms of governance that are perhaps as debilitating as the systems they need to change. I wrote this book to understand how it came to be that people might be committed to ecological and interspecies justice, yet be alienated from environmentalism, and what role the evolution of biodiversity governance has played in that split.

More broadly, work in global environmental politics has, strangely enough, often not put much stock in the kinds of agency that nonhuman life exerts in the world. Understanding political agency as exclusively human seemed to me to foreclose the conceptual grounds on which environmental issues could in fact be understood and addressed, in a politics beyond the human.”

Other publications include “Interspecies Relations, International Relations: Rethinking Anthropocentric Politics” (Millennium – Journal of International Studies, 2014) and “Pain, Power, and the Interspecies Politics of Foie Gras” (Political Research Quarterly, 2011).

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Bio | Youatt received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2007. Youatt is interested in questions of agency and power in human-nonhuman relations as they relate to political life and thought. His current research explores the intersection of interspecies relations and international relations in American borderlands.

Other publication updates from the department:

Sanjay Ruparelia

Sanjay Ruparelia, Associate Professor of Politics, recently published Divided We Govern: Coalition Politics in Modern India (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Other publications include the article “India’s new rights agenda: genesis, promises, risks” (Pacific Affairs, 2013) and the book Understanding India’s New Political Economy: A Great Transformation? (Routledge, 2011), co-edited with Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics.

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Bio | Ruparelia received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2006. His research addresses the politics of democracy, equality and development in the postcolonial world, among other issues related to power and democracy. Ruparelia’s current research analyzes the role of lawyers, activists and judges in expanding social welfare and public accountability in an era of rapid economic growth, mounting corruption and growing inequalities.

Deva Woodly

Deva Woodly, Associate Professor of Politics, recently published The Politics of Common Sense: How Social Movements Use Public Discourse to Change Politics and Win Acceptance (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Other publications include “Seeing Collectivity: Structural Relation Through the Lens of Youngian Seriality” (Contemporary Political Theory, 2014) and “New competencies in democratic communication? Blogs, agenda setting and political participation” (Public Choice, 2008).

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Bio | Woodly received her PhD from the University of Chicago. She is interested in how democratic politics actually happens in the contemporary context. While most American political science focuses inquiry on institutions, choice, and decision-making, Woodly focuses on the ways that public meanings define the problems that the polity understands itself to share as well as the range of choices that citizens perceive to be before them. Currently, Woodly serves as the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies at Eugene Lang College.

Selections of NSSR publications from 2015:

Anthropology | Economics | Historical Studies | Liberal Studies | Philosophy | Politics | Psychology | Sociology