A collaboration between Duke University scholars and the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise (ACRE) has focused on environmental justice questions in rural Alabama. In this essay, the partners describe their research on how sewage and related environmental problems intersect with broader social structural issues, and consider how to address these challenges. The authors also reflect on the process by which scholars and community-based organizations can work together, and what goes into a mutually rewarding partnership.
Erika Weinthal is the Lee Hill Snowdon Professor of Environmental Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. She specializes in global environmental politics with an emphasis on water and energy. Her book, State Making and Environmental Cooperation: Linking Domestic Politics and International Politics in Central Asia (MIT Press, 2002), was the recipient of the 2003 Chadwick Alger Prize and the 2003 Lynton Keith Caldwell Prize. She has coauthored Oil Is Not a Curse (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and coedited Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (Earthscan Press, 2014) and The Oxford Handbook on Water Politics and Policy (Oxford University Press, 2018). She is a member of the UNEP Expert Group on Conflict and Peacebuilding and a coeditor of Global Environmental Politics. In 2017 she was a recipient of the Women Peacebuilders for Water Award under the auspices of “Fondazione Milano per Expo 2015.” Weinthal was also an SSRC fellow, receiving a dissertation fellowship as part of the Soviet Union and Its Successor States program.