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Faculty & Staff - Dr. Cindy Isenhour









Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2010
M.A., Colorado State University, 2001
B.A., Miami University, 1997

Cindy Isenhour CV – May 2014

Research Topics:

- Economic and environmental anthropology, political ecology.
- Commodity chains, consumption, embodied energy and emissions, climate change.
- Environmental load displacement, unequal exchange, environmental justice.
- Sustainability, environmental movements, governance and policy.
- Environmental risk perception and decision making.
- Urbanization, climate adaptation and global cities.

Professional Interests:

As an ecological and economic anthropologist I am particularly interested in environmental risk perception, economic decision-making and cooperation for environmental governance.  Much of my recent work has focused on policies, institutions and everyday practices designed to encourage more “sustainable consumption” in highly affluent urban contexts. This work builds on a growing international recognition that successful and just governance of the global commons will require significant reductions in resource use and emissions in the so-called “developed” world.  Drawing on work in institutional and ecological economics my work compliments anthropological insights into ecological cooperation, institution building and adaptation in rural and subsistence-based economies with research on urban sustainability policy and practice. I have conducted field work in the US, Central America, China, and Scandinavia and am currently working on a new project designed to explore the policy and environmental justice implications of consumption-based emissions accounting for Chinese producers and Swedish consumers. 

Representative Publications:

2012    Isenhour, Cindy. The Devil in the Deal: Trade-Embedded Emissions and the Durban Platform. Ethics, Policy & Environment Special Issue on the Durban Platform 15(3):303-308.

2012    Isenhour, Cindy. On the Politics of Climate Knowledge: Sir Giddens, Sweden and the Paradox of Climate (In)Justice. Local Environment: International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 17(9).

2012    Isenhour, Cindy. Can Consumer Demand Deliver Sustainable Food?: Recent Research in Sustainable Consumption Policy & Practice. Environment & Society 2(1): 5-28.

2011    Checker, Melissa, Cindy Isenhour & Gary McDonogh.  Introduction: Sustainability in the City.  City & Society Special issue on Urban Sustainability 23(3)113-117.

2011    Isenhour, Cindy. How the Grass Became Greener in the City: Urban Imaginings and Practices of Sustainability. City & Society 23(2):118-138.

2010    Isenhour, Cindy. On Conflicted Swedish Consumers, the Effort to “Stop Shopping” & Neoliberal Environmental Governance.   Journal of Consumer Behavior Special Issue on Anti-Consumption and Sustainability 9(6): 454-469.  

2010    Isenhour, Cindy. Building Sustainable Societies: A Swedish Case Study on the Limits of Reflexive Modernization. American Ethnologist 37(3):511-525.

 2009    Isenhour, Cindy & Matilda Ardenfors. Gender and Sustainable Consumption: Policy Implications.  International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development Special Issue on Gender and Development 4(2/3):135-149.


Tel: 207.581.1895      Fax: 207.581.1823


Department of Anthropology
University of Maine
5773 S. Stevens Hall, Rm. 230
Orono, Maine 04469-5773

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