THE ENERGY AND RESOURCES GROUP SPRING 2020 COLLOQUIUM SERIES PRESENTS:
DATE: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
PLACE: 126 Barrows
Democratic Deliberation and the Regulatory State: Contamination, Rural Anti-Governmentalism, and Possibilities for Social Action
Anti-governmentalism appears omnipresent in rural politics today, as scholars seek to understand its origins in order to counter in. Two bodies of work that rarely speak to each other – democratic deliberation and participatory action research – potentially offer significant insight into rural politics. Ashwood studies the efficacy of democratic deliberation through a community-based research project on environmental contamination and childhood cancer in the Appalachian plateau of Alabama. Ashwood offers the regulatory state as a concept that helps explain rural anti-governmentalism, and explore alternative routes for social-ecological action and change.
Loka Ashwood is an assistant professor at Auburn University in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. Her research studies the inner workings of the state and economy that shape rural environmental injustices. Her most recent book, For-Profit Democracy: Why the Government is Losing the Trust of Rural America (Yale 2018), pinpoints corporate-state land takings as a motivator of rural unrest across racial lines. She uses participatory action research to explore alternative pathways for change in aggrieved communities that is not dependent on the state.