John M. Meyer


Department of Politics

My work is motivated by the conviction that human relationships with the more-than-human world (including non-human animals, plants, and ecosystems, but also built environments and technological systems) are vitally important and fundamentally political. As a political theorist, I work to understand how our social and political values and institutions shape these relationships, how these values and institutions are shaped by them, and how we might use an understanding of both to pursue a more socially just and sustainable society. 

My academic career has been influenced by earlier work as a political organizer. Through teaching, scholarship, and service, I’ve sought to develop a broader perspective on political action and the possibilities for change. For more than two decades, I’ve taught at the university previously known as Humboldt State University (now California Polytechnic State University, Humboldt) on California’s North Coast, where I’m privileged to work with many students and colleagues who share these passions.

My book Engaging the Everyday: Environmental Social Criticism and the Resonance Dilemma won the first annual Clay Morgan Award for Best Book in Environmental Political Theory. I’ve written and edited other books, and published articles, essays, and reviews in academic journals, political magazines, and blogs. I am also the editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Politics.

From January-June 2022, I was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany.  I have also been a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich, Germany; a Member of the School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Climate and Justice at the University of Reading in the UK; and a Harrison-McCain Visiting Professor at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada.

John M. Meyer