Michael J. Watts

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Michael J. Watts "is professor of geography and director of the Institute of International Studies at University of California, Berkeley. His work focuses on the intersection between political economy, culture and power. His research has explored gender and household dynamics and irrigation politics in Senegambia, Islam in Nigeria, and the political economy and political ecology of oil. His most recent projects are a history of oil in the Niger Delta and a history of postwar U.S. capitalism seen through the poultry sector." [1]

"For ten years I served as the Director of a research institute, the Institute of International Studies, which promotes cross-area and cross-disciplinary research and training on transnational and global issues. I established the Berkeley Working group on Environmental Politics, the major centre for cross disciplinary political ecological research on the Berkeley campus. In addition I am the director of the Africa Studies Center, of the Rotary Peace Fellows program, and co-direct our undergraduate Development Studies Program (a degree granting inter-disciplinary program with almost 100 majors).

"My research has necessarily brought me in contact with various development organizations and philanthropic institutions. I have worked for UNDP, the Ford Foundation, OXFAM, and a number of small NGOs in Africa (most recently Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria)." [2] Foundation Support

Selected Publications [3]

  • 2005. Afflicted Powers (RETORT: I.Boal. T.J.Clark and J. Matthews). London, Verso.
  • 2004. Liberation Ecologies: Environment, Development, Social Movements. Edited with Richard Peet. Routledge, London [A Second edition expanded by 30% with eight new chapters and rewritten Introductions].

Journals and Invited Papers:

  • Forthcoming. Petroleum in Africa, Encyclopedia of the Modern World, New York, Oxford University Press.,
  • Forthcoming. Revolutionary Islam and Modern Terror, Allan Pred and Derek Gregory (eds)., Inhuman Geographies, London, Routledge.
  • 2000. Poverty and the Politics of Alternatives at the End of the Millennium, in Jan Nederveen Pieterse (ed.), Global Futures. London: Zed Press, pp. 133-147.
  • 2000. The Hettner Lectures: Geographies of Violence. Heidelberg: University of Heidelberg.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Directors, Social Science Research Council, accessed December 18, 2007.
  2. Michael J. Watts, Berkely, accessed December 28, 2007.
  3. Michael J. Watts, Berkely, accessed December 28, 2007.