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Paul Wapner

Professor School of International Service

Additional Positions at AU

  • Professor
Professor Paul Wapner’s research focuses on global environmental politics, environmental thought, transnational environmental activism, and environmental ethics. He is particularly concerned with understanding how societies can live through this historical moment of environmental intensification in ways that enhance human dignity, compassion, and justice, and come to respect and nurture the more-than-human world. His books include: Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics, Principled World Politics: The Challenge of Normative International Relations, Living Through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism, and, most recently, Global Environmental Politics: From Person to Planet (co-edited with Simon Nicholson). He is currently editing a book titled, Reimagining Climate Change, and continues to lead workshops for professors that explore contemplative practices and environmental engagement.


PhD, MA, Princeton University; MA, University of Chicago; BA, University of Colorado

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SIS-School of Intl Service
SIS - 304
Contact Info
(202) 885-1647

Send email to Paul Wapner

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
See Also
Contemplative Environmental Studies Workshop


  • Spring 2017

    • SIS-620 Stds in Global Envirn Politics: The Future of Environmentalism
    • Description
    • SISU-106 First Year Seminar: Environmental Ethics
    • Description

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications


  • Reimagining Climate Change, Routledge 2016 (forthcoming), (co-editor, Hilal Elver)
  • Global Environmental Politics: From Person to Planet, Paradigm Press 2015 (co-editor, Simon Nicholson)
  • Living through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 2010.   
  • Principled World Politics: The Challenge of Normative International Relations, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield 2000 (co-editor, with Lester Ruiz).   
  • Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics, Albany: State University of New York 1996, winner of the 1997 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for the best book in International Environmental Affairs.


  • "The Changing Nature of Nature: Environmental Politics in the Anthropocene," Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 14, no. 4, Spring 2014.
  • "Ethical Enhancement in a Climate Age," Ethics and International Affairs, Vol. 28, no. 3, September 2014.
  • "Climate Suffering," Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 14, no. 2, May 2014.
  • "Climate Change and Inner Peace," Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, Vol. 25, no. 4, Winter 2013.
  • "Environmental Sacrifice," in Carl Death, ed., Critical Environmental Politics, New York: Routledge 2013. 
  • "Humility in a Climate Age," in J. Zammit-Lucia, ed., An Orange County Almanac and Other Essays, Wolf Foundation 2013.
  • "Civil Society and the Emergent Green Economy," Review of Policy Research, Vol. 28, no. 5, September 2011.
  • "The Challenge of Planetary Bandwagoning," Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 11, no. 3, August 2011. 
  • "Sacrifice in an Age of Comfort," in Michael Maniates and John Meyer, eds., The Politics of Sacrifice, Cambridge: MIT Press 2010.   
  • "The Humanity of Global Environmental Ethics," (with Richard Matthew), Journal of Environment and Development, Vol. 18, no. 2, Spring 2009.   
  • "The Importance of Critical Environmental Studies in the New Environmentalism," Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 8, no. 1, Winter 2008.   
  • "The UN and Civil Society," in Thomas Weiss and Sam Daws, eds., The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations, New York: Oxford University Press 2007.   
  • "The Irony of Environmentalism: The Ecological Futility but Political Necessity of Lifestyle Change," (with John Willoughby) in Ethics and International Affairs Vol. 19, no. 2, Fall 2005.   
  • "After Nature: Environmental Politics in a Postmodern Age,"in Peter Dauvergne, ed., The International Handbook of Environmental Politics, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing 2005.   
  • "The Moral Architecture of Global Environmental Governance," in Andreas Rechkremmer, ed., UNEO: Towards a United Nations Environmental Organization, Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos Publishers 2005.   
  • "The Campaign to Ban Anti-Personnel Landmines and Global Civil Society," in Richard Matthew and Ken Rutherford, eds., Landmines and Human Security: International Politics and Wars Hidden Legacy, Albany: State University of New York Press 2004.   
  • "World Summit on Sustainable Development: Environmentalism in a Post-Jo-burg Era,&" Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 13, no. 1, February 2003.   
  • "New Ecology, Civility and Populations," ("Nueva Ecologia, Civilidad Y Poblaciones") in Jose Vidal Beneyto, ed., Hacia Una Sociedad Civil Global: Desde La Sociedad Mundo, Madrid: Taurus 2003 (UNESCO publication).   
  • "Ecological Thinking: Studying Global Environmental Politics with a Wild Mind and a Mindful Heart" in Michael Maniates, ed., Encountering Global Environmental Politics: Teaching, Learning and Empowering Knowledge, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield 2003.   
  • "The Sovereignty of Nature? Environmental Protection in a Postmodern Age," International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 46, no. 2, June 2002.

AU Expert

Area of Expertise:

Global environmental politics, environmental activist groups, the American environmental movement, environmental ethics, sustainability, climate change, environmental activism

Additional Information:

Paul Wapner is the author of Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics (SUNY, 1996) and the editor of Principled World Politics: The Challenge of Normative International Relations (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000). His newest book is Living through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism (MIT, 2010). He researches and teaches global environmental politics, social movements, environmental thought, and international relations theory.

Media Relations
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.