Search - List of Books by Michael Watts
Michael J. Watts is "Class of 1963" Professor of Geography and Development Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and a leading critical intellectual figure of the academic left. An intensively productive scholar, he works on a variety of themes from African development to contemporary geopolitics, social movements and oil. As Perrault notes, his work charted a "rigorous and wide-ranging theoretical engagement with Marxian political economy" (Perrault, 2004:323,), with contributions to the development of political ecology, struggles over resources, and - more recently - how the politics of identity play out in the contemporary world.
Total Books: 62
This should not obscure the fact that during the early 1980s Watts adhered to a populist analysis, and that the politics of identity of which he is now critical was criticized earlier, by non-Geographers who engaged with populists linked to the subaltern studies project of that decade. His main role has tended to be not that of an innovator so much as a conduit; to transmit ideas generated outside geography by non-geographers, communicating them to other geographers who don’t yet know about these external theoretical developments. Geographers who are unaware of the origin of these ideas occasionally attribute them in error to the messenger. reference needed.
Raised between Bath and Bristol in the UK, Watts received his bachelor's degree in geography and economics from University College London in 1972 and his PhD in 1979 from the University of Michigan. His PhD work was on agrarian change and politics in Northern Nigeria, published as Silent Violence in 1983. He joined the faculty of the Geography Department at UC Berkeley in 1979, and served from 1994 to 2004 as Director of the Institute of International Studies, a program that promotes cross-disciplinary global and transnational research and training. Watts was named a 2003 Guggenheim fellow for his research on oil politics in Nigeria, a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2004), and the Smuts Lecturer at Cambridge University in 2007. In 2004 he was awarded the Victoria Medal of the Royal Geographical Society.
On July 25, 2007, he was shot in the hand in Port Harcourt, Nigeria by unknown gunmen. BBC NEWS | Africa | Professor shot in Nigerian Delta
Watts is married to Mary Beth Pudup, who is a UC Santa Cruz faculty member, and has two children. He is a member of Retort, a Bay Area-based collective of radical intellectuals, with whom he authored the book Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War, published by Verso Books.
He is also on the advisory board of FFIPP-USA (Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace-USA), a network of Palestinian, Israeli, and International faculty, and students, working in for an end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and just peace.