Brian J. Gareau

Brian J. Gareau
Boston College, USA | BC · Sociology Department

PhD
Analyzing extension newsletters for indications of the dissemination of environmental-friendly discourse to growers.

About

61
Publications
19,552
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Introduction
My professional work focuses on the sociology of global environmental governance. I also publish on theorizations of society/nature relations, alternative developments, and the possibility of making global agriculture socio-ecologically sustainable. I recently published a book (co-authored BC Sociology alum, Connor Fitzmaurice) on small-scale organic agriculture in New England, and I am conducting research on the links between cranberry production and global climate change.
Additional affiliations
May 2017 - present
Boston College, USA
Position
  • Head of Faculty
July 2009 - present
Boston College, USA
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2008 - December 2008
University of California, Santa Cruz
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
John Bellamy Foster and his colleagues have recently argued that the project of ecosocialism should be understood in terms of a “prefigurative” and “first stage” of red-green thinkers whose insights have largely been transcended by their own work on the metabolic rift. Rift scholars have further argued that “second-stage” ecosocialists should push...
Article
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World polity theory argues that as nation-states become further integrated in global governance they adopt attributes associated with the institutional order, including concern for the environment. We contribute to this scholarship an exploration of how historical changes in the economic dimension of the world polity have shifted the norms and deci...
Article
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Cranberry growers in New England are increasingly pressured by negative effects associated with global climate change, some of which are familiar to this group (such as precipitation fluctuations and pest pressures), others that are rather new (such as warmer winters that threaten needed chill hours for the plants to bloom). The first study of this...
Article
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The cranberry, a commodity of social, cultural, and economic importance to New England, is under threat due to climatic change in this region of the United States. Yet, previous research reveals that cranberry growers have mixed attitudes about the anthropogenic roots of climate change, with many being skeptical. Building on the researchers’ analys...
Article
Full-text available
In an era of mass extinction and biodiversity crisis, it is increasingly crucial to cultivate more just and inclusive multispecies futures. As mitigation and adaption efforts are formed in response to these crises, just transitions forward require intentional consideration of the hybrid entanglement of humans, human societies, and wider landscapes....
Article
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The original article has been corrected. Unfortunately the name of the second author was misspelled. This has been corrected.
Book
Full-text available
A comprehensive overview of debates in environmental sociology and political ecology.
Article
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The Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund is often hailed as a key component of strategies aimed at reducing the amount of ozone-depleting substances in the less-developed countries. Yet, while there are studies that exemplify how the fund has been implemented as well as the strategies that individual countries adopt, there is still a lack of acade...
Article
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Hydropower development is making a global resurgence due to endorsement by powerful global institutions such as the World Bank and the imperative to scale up renewable energy production to address global climate change. Employing a green governmentality lens, we analyze the debate surrounding one controversial dam in Laos, the Xayaburi. In the real...
Article
Full-text available
The Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund is often hailed as a key component of strategies aimed at reducing the amount of ozone-depleting substances in the lessdeveloped countries. Yet, while there are studies that exemplify how the fund has been implemented as well as the strategies that individual countries adopt, there is still a lack of academ...
Article
Full-text available
Sociological studies of global agriculture need to pay close attention to the protectionist aspects of neoliberalism at the global scale of environmental governance. With agri-food studies in the social sciences broadening interrogations of the impact of neoliberalism on agri-food systems and their alternatives, investigating global environmental g...
Book
Full-text available
available at: https://www.amazon.com/Organic-Futures-Struggling-Sustainability-Agrarian/dp/0300199457 An exploration of the lived experience of small-scale organic farmers in New England that unpacks how they balance their ideals with economic realities In recent years, the popularity of organically grown produce has exploded. In 2014, organic fr...
Chapter
Without abandoning the practical idea of farming as a business, the small-scale farmers in this book foster connections between consumer experiences and expectations and farming practices that support their visions of organic. They try to build new, alternative markets to challenge the watering down of “organic” that the full-force entrance of corp...
Chapter
The increasing popularity of organic agriculture has revolutionized American consumers’ access to organic products. However, the industrial scale of the modern organic sector has little in common with the goals of sustainability farmers and activists envisioned over the course of the organic movement’s history. This chapter charts that history. The...
Chapter
With the passage of the U.S. Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, organic food left the fringes of America’s agricultural economy and received federal recognition— and regulation. But how did organic farming become a niche market governed by regulations aimed at limiting the use of synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers, rather than...
Chapter
This chapter addresses some of the big issues consumers and scholars assume, even implicitly, matter to committed organic movement farmers: the environment and health. Certainly, these concerns play a role in organic practices. However, this chapter shows that they are rarely explicitly addressed. Instead, such issues take on an instrumentalism and...
Chapter
The conventionalization of the organic sector has led many to be skeptical about the possibility of organic in and of itself promoting a meaningfully sustainable alternative to the modern agricultural paradigm. However, the bifurcation of the organic market into both mainstream and alternative spheres provides places within the food system where in...
Chapter
In 2000, a radical shift occurred in the organic food system: the majority of organic food in the United States began to be sold in ordinary supermarkets. This chapter examines how the regulatory focus on chemical inputs facilitated the fragmentation and homogenization of organic farming, yielding a conventionalized organic industry capable of deli...
Chapter
This chapter transports the reader into the aisles of a New England Whole Foods Market, through the stalls of a regional farmers’ market, and into the fields of Scenic View Farm to introduce the challenges faced when trying to understand small farmers’ practices in light of the contemporary agricultural economy. It then outlines dominant theories i...
Chapter
This chapter examines how the individuals working at Scenic View Farm, along with the fifteen other farmers and farm workers interviewed in this book, ended up pursuing jobs in agriculture. The chapter situates these farmers in comparison to national averages in terms of age, education, and political ideology. Lifestyle concerns dominated their car...
Chapter
John and Katie’s choice to use the CSA as their primary sales strategy and their decision to keep their farm certified organic are both central to how they market crops and run their business. This chapter examines the opportunities and challenges of both. CSA marketing strategies overwhelmingly helped the farmers we studied run their businesses: p...
Chapter
This chapter introduces Scenic View Farm and its owners and principal operators, John and Katie. After an overview of the farm’s history and characteristics relative to other New England farms, the chapter captures the sights and sounds of its picturesque landscape. Such natural beauty drew many of the farmers whose stories are included in this boo...
Book
Full-text available
From climate change to fossil fuel dependency, from the uneven effects of natural disasters to the loss of biodiversity: complex socio-environmental problems indicate the urgency for cross-disciplinary research into the ways in which the social, the natural and the technological are ever more entangled. This ground breaking text moves between envir...
Article
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This paper incorporates world-systems perspectives into an analysis of global environmental politics, thus adjoining a political economic analysis of scale with studies of global environmental policy. It is the ability of some social groups and institutions to jump scale that determines how global environmental policies are shaped. The United State...
Article
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The rise of global environmental governance regimes allegedly contradicts the process of an environmental “race to the bottom” (RTB) that results from capitalist globalization. We examine new developments in this area through a qualitative case study of the Basel Convention. Here, we find that new regulations in toxic wastes governance are in fact...
Article
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This special issue on Ozone Layer Protection and Climate Change reflects the leadership of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) in drawing interdisciplinary attention to important environmental issues. The authors are scientists, diplomats, regulatory authorities, environmental activists, and scholars who are intimately invo...
Article
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The Montreal Protocol is the most successful global environmental agreement in history and a shining example of a current generation taking extraordinary precaution in avoiding environmental impacts to future generations. The delayed methyl bromide phaseout, however, alerts us to serious problems that can arise—even in this extraordinary agreement—...
Article
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The Basel Convention is regaining attention for the potential entry into force of the heretofore stalled Ban Amendment. In this paper, we draw parallels between the current debate surrounding the Ban Amendment and contestations that occurred in the early years of the Basel Convention’s Technical Working Group (TWG) over defining ‘hazardousness.’ Li...
Article
Full-text available
The Basel Convention is regaining attention for the potential entry into force of the heretofore stalled Ban Amendment. In this paper, we draw parallels between the current debate surrounding the Ban Amendment and contestations that occurred in the early years of the Basel Convention's Technical Working Group (TWG) over defining 'hazardousness.' Li...
Book
Full-text available
The Montreal Protocol has been cited as the most successful global environmental agreement, responsible for phasing out the use of ozone-depleting substances. But, says Brian Gareau in this provocative and engaging book, the Montreal Protocol has failed—largely because of neoliberal ideals involving economic protectionism but also due to the protec...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the importance of incorporating the socioecological realities of alternative networks into analyses of rural development. Cultural theory is examined, which provides a base upon which rural development can identify difference in worldviews based on difference in sociological conditions and environmental phenomena. Actor-oriented...
Conference Paper
Global Environmental Governance has shifted over the years, moving away from government regulation, command-and-control policies, and usage of the precautionary principle. Nowadays, entrepreneurial solutions, trading instruments and other market-based models are most common in global environmental discourse and policy. These approaches to global en...
Article
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Governance scholars have demonstrated that the agendas, discourses, and actions of global civil society groups are affected by powerful states. In neoliberal globalisation, powerful states push for market-based schemes to resolve global environmental problems, and civil society groups often contribute to that agenda. Through the lens of governmenta...
Article
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The Montreal Protocol is often described as an international environmental agreement par excellence. After all, it successfully led to the phase-out of almost 95% of all chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) use. A critical review of the Protocol’s history, however, suggests that its successes are deeply entrenched in the economic opportunities that were made a...
Article
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The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, a multilateral environmental agreement, has successfully eliminated the use of most ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons. As a result, a number of observers have pointed to the possibility of transferring successes—and even linking regulations—between the Montreal Protocol and Kyoto P...
Article
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The purpose of this edited volume is to ‘‘present a selection of studies’’ that ‘‘analyze the effects of developed countries’ agricultural policies on developing countries, mostly focusing on food security, poverty and other aspects of interest to the latter, as an input to policy reform scenarios within the WTO trade negotiations’’ (ix). The book...
Article
Objective. The turn to participatory, stakeholder modes of governance has been accompanied by the legitimization of a new “particularist knowledge regime” emphasizing the knowledge claims made by private interests and local voices. It has also tended to de-legitimize the ways of knowing that had characterized central state governance, namely, state...
Article
This paper explores how a relatively successful global environmental treaty, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, is currently undermined by US protectionism. At the "global scale" of environmental governance, powerful nation-states like the US prolong their domination of certain economic sectors with the assistance of...
Article
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This article addresses the potential of eco-Marxism to enhance understanding of people/nature,or socionatural, relations by focusing on the effect of the so-called natural world on human perceptions of nature and society. Empirical data on hurricane frequency in Honduras suggest that so-called natural phenomena can contribute significantly to human...
Article
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Local peoples living in protected areas often have a different understanding about their natural space than do non-local groups that promote and declare such areas ‘‘protected.’’ By designing pro- tected areas without local involvement, or understandings of local social differentiation and power, natural resources management schemes will li...
Article
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Science and technology studies have generated increasing interest within Marxist circles. In this symposium, we focus on Actor-Network Theory, a topic that has, at times, sparked misguided debate due to misunderstanding on both sides. On the whole, though, green Marxisms and ANT have maintained relative distance from each other. The articles in thi...
Article
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One place where global capitalism has attempted to establish itself via neoliberal development is the protected area of Cerro Guanacaure in southern Honduras. For years, development projects geared toward the production of commodities for export have exacerbated the material and socio-ecological conditions of rural peoples in Cerro Guanacaure. The...

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