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Sociology Faculty - Dr. Lauren Eastwood

Associate Professor of Sociology

"While I think of myself as an environmental sociologist, what this means to me is that I approach "the environment" with an eye to analyzing the social institutions that intersect with the natural world (broadly defined). In my own scholarship, I look at the ways in which human institutions and organizations frame particular environmental issues.

My two main research areas take up civil society participation in policy making. One major research area involves ethnographic analysis of UN-based environmental policy-making processes. In this research I attend meetings associated with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, and the United Nations Forum on Forests, and gather data with an eye to civil society engagement in these processes.

The other ongoing research project that I am conducting involves the shifting politics of natural gas and uranium extraction in Montana and Wyoming. In this latter project, I am interested in community members' responses to energy extraction (or "development") in their communities as they engage in concerted activities to either contest or promote resource extraction."

Dr. Eastwood was an Abe Fellow with the Social Science Research Council from 2009-2011. She is the 2011-2012 President of the Association of Third World Studies, an organization for which she serves as the United Nations Representative. Dr. Eastwood is the 2013-2015 Institutional Ethnography Division Chair for the Society for the Study of Social Problems.


  • Ph.D. in Sociology, Syracuse University, 2002
  • M.A. in Sociology, Syracuse University, 1996
  • B.A. in Environmental Studies, Rollins College, 1991

Teaching Areas

  • Sociology of Women
  • Sociological Theory
  • Sociology of the Environment
  • Sociology of Development
  • Qualitative Research Methods

Research Areas

  • Civil society participation in UN-based environmental policy-making: Global environmental governance.
  • Community responses to natural gas and uranium extraction in the Western U.S., particularly in the Powder River Basin Area of Wyoming and Montana.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

  • Eastwood, Lauren E. (under contract for completion in 2013) Negotiating the Environment: Civil Society, Globalisation, and the UN. London: Routledge Press. 
  • Eastwood, Lauren E. (forthcoming) "Gender and Climate Change: Conceptual Currency in the Climate Negotiations Regime" in Cadman, Timothy (Ed.) Climate Governance: Institutions, Issues and Interests in Global Policy Regimes. UK: Palgrave.
  • Eastwood, Lauren E. (forthcoming) "Negotiating UN Policy: Activating Texts in Setting-specific Policy Deliberations" in Smith, Dorothy E. and Susan M. Turner (Eds). Texts in Action: Exploring ruling relations ethnographically" (forthcoming) University of Toronto Press.
  • Eastwood, Lauren E. (2011) "Resisting Dispossession: Indigenous Peoples, the World Bank and the Contested Terrain of Policy" in New Global Studies.
  • Eastwood, Lauren E. (2011) "Climate Change Negotiations and Civil Society Participation: Shifting and Contested Terrain" in Theory in Action--Journal of the Transformative Studies Institute. Vol. 4, No. 1 January 2011.
  • Eastwood, Lauren E. (2006) Making the Institution Ethnographically Accessible: UN Document Production and the Transformation of Experience in Institutional Ethnography as Practice by Dorothy E. Smith (Ed). Alta Mira Press.
  • Eastwood, Lauren E. (2006) Contesting the Economic Order: Resisting the Media Construction of Reality in Igniting a Revolution by Best, Stephen and Anthony J. Nocella (Eds), AK Press.
  • Eastwood, Lauren E. (2005) The Social Organization of Policy: An Institutional Ethnography of UN Forest Deliberations. New York: Routledge Press.

Contact Dr. Lauren Eastwood

Office: Redcay Hall 134
Phone: (518) 564-3309