Dr Rachel Schurman
Educational Background & Specialties
- Ph.D.: University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 1993.
- M.A. : Economics, Tufts University, Medford, MA, 1983.
- BA: Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA, 1979.
- Agri-food Studies
- Transnational Sociolgy
- Social Movements
- Global Political Economy
- Political Sociology
- Development/Post-Development Studies
- HSEM 3070 Honors: Politics of Eating: Food, Society & Culture
- GLOS 3215 Supercapitalism: Labor, Consumption and the Environment in the New Global Economy
- GLOS 3305 Life for Scale: Global Debates on Environment, Sci & Society
- SOC 3421W Sociology of Work: Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, No Jobs
- GLOS 3550V Supervised Research Paper
- GLOS 3613W / SOC 3613W Stuffed and Starved: The Political Economy of Food and Agriculture
- SOC 3613W / SOC 3613V Food, Culture, and Society
- SOC 3801 Sociological Research Methods
- GLOS 3900 / SOC 3090 Topics: The New Global Economy
- GLOS 3900 / GLOS 5900 Topics: Political-Economy of the Financial Crisis
- SOC 4966W Major Project Seminar
- SOC 8090 Sociology of Food and Agriculture
- SOC 8890 Advanced Topics in Research Methods: In-depth Interviewing
- SOC 8890 Advanced Topics in Research Methods: Interviewing
Research & Professional Activities
- "The Impact of Value Chain Approaches on Gender and Food Security" (National Science Foundation Geography and Spatial Sciences Program (5 years, $479,808) : This new project seeks to generate much needed evidence of the food security consequences of agricultural value chain development in three African countries (Burkina Faso, Mozambique and the Ivory Coast). The central question motivating this five-year project, which I am conducting in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team from several US and African universities, is whether increased market integration and use of green revolution technologies leads to a beneficial cascade of enhanced crop productivity, farmer income, and nutritional well-being for African women farmers and their households, as is widely assumed. Our research aims to contribute to theory building on the network forms of governance that constitute the new global geography of agricultural policy-making and to expand our understanding of the restructuring of the global agricultural system that has occurred over the last 20 years. It also seeks to advance the insights of feminist political ecology by illuminating how gender shapes the process of value chain development, and its nutritional consequences, at multiple levels
- "The New Green Revolution and the Politics of Agricultural Policymaking in Tanzania" (GPS Global Spotlight, $23,000): This project, which I am doing in conjunction with Prof. Ron Aminzade and our graduate student, Francis Lyimo, seeks to explore agricultural policymaking in Tanzania during the last two decades
- “Science for the Poor: Foundations, Firms and the New Green Revolution for Africa": This project focuses on efforts being made by philanthropic, corporate, state, and other actors to address chronic hunger and low agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. I am interested in the contours of this new agricultural developmentalism in terms of its central actors and discourses, its visions of agricultural change, and the new knowledge networks, public-private partnerships, and North and South collaborations it is generating.
- "Not Too Big to Fail? Theorizing Agricultural Biotechnology Trajectories in Africa," with Joeva Rock. Forthcoming 2020. African Affairs.
- "Micro(soft) Managing a 'Green Revolution' for Africa: The New Donor Culture and International Agricultural Development." 2018. World Development 112:180-192.
- "Circulating Discourses: The Case of Agricultural Development in Tanzania,” with Ron Aminzade and Francis Lyimo. 2018. Sociology of Development 4(1):70-93.
- "Limits of the New Green Revolution for Africa: Reconceptualising Gendered Agricultural Value Chains,” with H. Gengenbach, T. Bassett, et al. 2017. Geographical Journal 184:208-214.
- "Building an Alliance for Biotechnology in Africa." 2017. Journal of Agrarian Change 17(3):441-458.
- Fighting for the Future of Food: Activists Vs. Agribusiness in the Struggle Over Biotechnology, with William A. Munro. 2010. MN: University of Minnesota Press.
- "Targeting Capital: A Cultural Economy Approach to Understanding the Efficacy of Two Anti-Genetic Engineering Movements," with William A. Munro. 2009. American Journal of Sociology 115(1):155–202.
- "Sustaining Outrage: Motivating Sensibilities in the U.S. Anti-GE Movement," with William A. Munro. 2007. Pp. 145-176 in The Fight Over Food: Producers, Consumers, and Activists Challenge the Global Food System. Edited by Wynne Wright and Gerad Middendorf. PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
- "Ideas, Thinkers, and Social Networks: The Process of Grievance Construction in the Anti-Genetic Engineering Movement," with William A. Munro. 2006. Theory and Society 35(1):1-38.
- Engineering Trouble: Biotechnology and Its Discontents. 2003. Edited with Deenis Takahashi-Kelso. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Winner of the American Political Science Association's 2011 Lynton Caldwell Prize for Best Book in Environmental Politics , 2011