Alcañiz Isabella


Dr. Isabella Alcañiz is Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center and an Associate Professor of the Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland (UMD). 

Professor Alcañiz studies the politics of climate change, social inequality, disaster policy, and gender with a focus on Latin America and Latinx residents of the United States. Her research has been published widely, including in Global Environmental Politics, Journal of Cleaner Production, Water Policy, Environmental Science & Policy, World Politics, and the Latin American Research Review. In 2016 she published her book Environmental and Nuclear Networks in the Global South: How Skills Shape International Cooperation with Cambridge University Press. Her forthcoming book The Distributive Politics of Environmental Protection in Latin America and the Caribbean with Ricardo Gutiérrez is published by Cambridge University Press Elements. 
She received a PhD from the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University and a Licenciatura in International Relations from the Universidad de Belgrano (Argentina).   

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The Politics of Environmental and Climate Inequality
Social inequality in all its forms interact in deep and meaningful ways with the drivers of climate change, its numerous effects, and the mitigation policies adopted to curb it. Social inequality stems from, and is reproduced by, persistent, underlying factors. There are many mechanisms through which economic, political, and cultural resources get (re)distributed across social groups, including but not limited to gendered and racialized labor markets, fiscal and other state policies, and subnational endowment of natural resources. In order to fight climate change effectively, scientists must do a better job at identifying some of the mechanisms by which social inequities persist well beyond the implementation of adaptation and mitigation policies. Without measuring the impact of inequality on the drivers and effects of climate change, any response remains ineffective and might increase the burden on already disadvantaged groups. Climate inequality shapes climate resilience. Scholars and activists in the field of environmental justice have been making this case for a long time. In this seminar, we will study climate change and environmental justice with case-studies and data-driven research that span subnational, national, and global regions.




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