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Leah S. Horowitz

Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chapter Member: Wisconsin SSN

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About Leah

Horowitz’s research focuses primarily on conflicts over the management of environmental issues, involving local communities, governments at various scales, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and grassroots groups. Ultimately, her work aims to help find ways for all these stakeholders to work together toward environmental conservation. She has addressed these research goals through studies of mining activities in New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil; and biodiversity conservation in New Caledonia, Malaysia, Madagascar, Australia, Guatemala, and the U.S.


In the News

Leah S. Horowitz's research on New Caledonia discussed by Anne Pitoiset, "Une Universitaire Américaine Analyse l’Impact des Projets Métallurgiques Calédoniens," Focus, September 17, 2010.


"Toward Empathic Agonism: Conflicting Vulnerabilities in Urban Wetland Governance" Environment and Planning A (forthcoming).
Examines a dispute over urban wetland management and argues that it is important to educate the public about the vulnerability, and value, of protected areas and species. Also shows, however, that environmental concern disappears when people perceive these spaces and species as threatening their own safety, or the safety and well-being of those they perceive as vulnerable.
"Power, Profit, Protest: Grassroots Resistance to Industry in the Global North" Capitalism Nature Socialism 23, no. 3 (2012): 21-34.
Introduces a set of case studies of communities resisting impacts of industrial development in Canada and the U.S.
"Translation Alignment: Actor-Network Theory and the Power Dynamics of Environmental Protest Alliances in New Caledonia" Antipode 44, no. 3 (2012): 806-827.
Examines stakeholder groups involved in protests over a mining project, and finds that alliances between groups with unequal power further diminish the less powerful group’s ability to achieve its goals. Also argues that the agents of industrial development increasingly rely upon – yet find it increasingly difficult to achieve – local communities’ willingness to embrace the same goals.
"Interpreting Industry’s Impacts: Micropolitical Ecologies of Divergent Community Responses" Development and Change 42, no. 6 (2011): 1379-1391.
Introduces a set of papers that explore ways communities disagree about how to respond to the ecological impacts of industry.
"‘Twenty Years is Yesterday’: Science, Multinational Mining, and the Political Ecology of Trust in New Caledonia" Geoforum 41, no. 4 (2010): 617-626.
Explores villagers’ decisions about whether to trust information provided by, or seemingly in support of, a multinational mining project. Argues that expectations of long-term social relationships, and concerns about long-term economic security, played a large role in determining which “scientific” information they chose to trust.
"Environmental Violence and Crises of Legitimacy in New Caledonia" Political Geography 28, no. 4 (2009): 248-258.
Finds that environmental violence may result not only from resource scarcity or abundance, but from a lack of faith in the government or even the political system.