Core Department Faculty

Brechin, Steven


Fac Brechin StevenSteven R. Brechin
Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1989

Department of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
26 Nichol Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901

Office: Davison Hall, 133
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Steven R. Brechin, Professor and Graduate Program Director

Steve’s research explores some of the contours of a sociology of climate change – comparative/cross-national levels of public support, the required collective action by nation-states and the international community to address it, and the serious social justice issues that climate change generates. Current projects include critically understanding climate finance and development investments, both public and private in adaptation and mitigation, as well as the levels of cooperation required to make significant reductions in greenhouse gases.  Other projects include articulating Karl Polanyi’s environmental sociology and sustainable institutions built upon Polanyian thinking; investigating sustainable lifestyles in the U.S. – especially around the rapid development of organic farm to table movement in Northwestern Michigan – including its economic sustainability. With local collaborators, as well as students, Steve continues his decades’ long field research in Belize, Central America investigating the challenges to state-civil society relationships in ecological governance, and more recently on the country’s engagement with climate change - its domestic actions and international systems of support. This country-level examination helps to ground-truth his more international analysis. His earlier research focused on the sociology of biodiversity conservation, organized international reforestation programs, and environmentalisms.  Before arriving at Rutgers, Steve taught at Princeton, Michigan, Illinois, and Syracuse. He earned his graduate degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.