Research Summary

My research focuses on ecology and society, broadly defined, and employs an interdisciplinary approach to nature—society interactions to examine global and local sustainability. I am currently developing two book projects. The first focuses on the intersection of international development, gender, and the environment. This book merges ecofeminist perspectives with theories of international political economy to analyze the prevailing social forces that connect gender to the environment and their collective influence on national and global sustainability. This book also considers the potential for women to be agents of change in addressing current environmental crises. The second advances a theoretical and empirical framework for analyzing spatial inequality and environmental injustice in the United States. Drawing on natural and social sciences, this book connects sub-national (local, regional) sustainability dynamics surrounding disasters, waste, and residing in toxic environments to broader social formations of gender, race, and class. Quantitative and spatial analyses substantiate claims of disproportionate ecological burdens for women alongside traditional dimensions of class and race.

Journal Publications (Refereed)

McKinney, Laura and Yuki Kato. 2017. “Community Context of Food Justice: Reflections on a Free Local Produce             Program in a New Orleans Food Desert.” AIMS Agriculture and Food 2(2):183-200. (link)

Austin, Kelly F. and Laura A. McKinney. 2016. “Disaster Devastation in Poor Nations: The Direct and Indirect                     Effects of Gender Equality, Ecological Losses, and Development.” Social Forces 95(1):355-80. (link)
Kick, Edward, Laura McKinney, and Ryan Thomson. 2016. “Waste throughout North Carolina with Implications for         Agricultural Production.” Journal of Agronomy and Agricultural Aspects 2016(1):1-10. (link) 

McKinney, Laura and Kelly Austin. 2015. “Ecological Losses are Infecting Women: An Analysis of Female                         HIV Prevalence and Life Expectancy in Less-Developed Countries.” Social Problems 62(4):529-49(link)
McKinney, Laura and Gregory Fulkerson. 2015. “Gender Equality and Climate Justice: A Cross-National                             Analysis.” Social Justice Research 28(3):293-317. (link)
Kato, Yuki and Laura A. McKinney. 2015. “Bringing food desert residents to an alternative food market: A semi-                experimental study of impediments to food access.” Agriculture and Human Values 32(3):215-227(link)

McKinney, Laura A., Edward L. Kick, and Clare Cannon. 2015. “A Human Ecology Approach to Environmental                  Inequality: A County-Level Analysis of Natural Disasters and the Distribution of Landfills in the Southeastern                 US.” Human Ecology Review 21(1):109-132. (link)

McKinney, Laura A. 2014. “Gender, Democracy, Development, and Overshoot: A Cross-National                                         Analysis.” Population and Environment 36(2):193-218. (link)

McKinney, Laura A. 2014. “Foreign Direct Investment, Development, and Overshoot.” Social Science Research                  47:121-133. (link)

Kick, Edward L. and Laura A. McKinney. 2014. “Global Context, National Interdependencies, and the Ecological                Footprint:  A Structural Equation Analysis.” Sociological Perspectives 57(2):256-279(link)

Austin, Kelly and Laura A. McKinney. 2012. Disease, War, Hunger, and Deprivation: A Cross-National Investigation        of the Determinants of Life Expectancy in Less-Developed and Sub-Saharan African Nations. Sociological                    Perspectives 55(3):421-47. (link)

McKinney, Laura A.  2012. Entropic Disorder: New Frontiers in Environmental Sociology.  Sociological                        Perspectives 55(2):295-317. (link)

Austin, Kelly, Laura A. McKinney, and Gretchen Thompson. 2012. Trade Dependency and the Threat of Starvation as      Unequal Exchange: A Structural Model of the Severity of Hunger Across Less-Developed                                                Nations. International Journal of Sociology 42(2):68-89(link)

Kick, Edward L., Laura A. McKinney, and Gretchen H. Thompson. 2011. The Intensity of Food Deprivation in the             Modern Era: The Impact of the World System, Modernization, Conflict, Militarization and                                                Environment. International Journal of Comparative Sociology 52(6):478-502. (link)

Kick, Edward L., James C. Fraser, Gregory M. Fulkerson, Laura A. McKinney, and Daniel H. DeVries.                               2011. Repetitive Flood Loss Victims and Their Acceptance of FEMA Mitigation Offers: An Analysis With                 Community-System Policy Implications. Disasters: The Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy and Management             35(3):510-539. (link)

McKinney, Laura A., Edward L. Kick, and Gregory M. Fulkerson. 2010. 
World System, Anthropogenic, and                     Ecological Threats to Bird and Mammal Species: A Structural Equation Analysis of Biodiversity                                      Loss. Organization & Environment 23(1):3-31. (link)

Fulkerson, Gregory M., Laura A. McKinney, and Kelly Austin. 2010. 
Global Warmers and Global Coolers: A Cross-        National Examination of Global Warming Dynamics. International Journal of Sociology 40(2):44-64. (link)

Shandra, John; Laura A. McKinney, Chris Leckband, and Bruce London. 2010. 
Threatened Bird Species,                            Structural Adjustment and the Debt Regime. Human Ecology Review 17(1):18-33. (link)

McKinney, Laura A., Gregory M. Fulkerson, and Edward L. Kick. 2009. 
Investigating the Correlates of Biodiversity         Loss: A Cross-National Quantitative Analysis of Threatened Bird Species. Human Ecology Review 16(1):103-            113. (link)

Shandra, John M., Chris Leckband, Laura A. McKinney, and Bruce London. 2009. 
Ecologically Unequal Exchange,         World Polity, and Biodiversity Loss: A Cross-National Analysis of Threatened Mammals. International Journal         of Comparative Sociology 50(3-4):285-310. (link)

Book Chapters

McKinney, Laura. 2016. “Reinventing Rural Environmental Justice.” Pp. 57-76 in G. Fulkerson and A. Thomas’s              (eds.) Reinventing Rural: New Realities in an Urbanizing World. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 

McKinney, Laura A. 2014. A Study of Sustainability: Entropy and the Rural/Urban Transformation. Pp. 257-84 in G.      Fulkerson and A. Thomas' (eds.) Studies in Urbanormativity: Rural Community in Urban Society. Lanham, MD:         Lexington Books. 

Austin, Kelly, Edward L. Kick, and Laura A. McKinney. 2012. “Globalization: Theories of Convergence and               
     Divergence in the World-System.” Pp. 265-73 in S. Babones and C. Chase-Dunn's (eds.) Routledge Handbook                 of World- Systems Analysis. London: Routledge.

Kick, Edward L. and Laura A. McKinney. 2012. World-System Structure, Natural Capital and Environmental                     Entropy. Pp. 392-99 in S. Babones and C. Chase-Dunn's (eds.) Routledge Handbook of World-Systems Analysis.         London: Routledge.

Kick, Edward L., Laura A. McKinney, Steve McDonald, and Andrew Jorgenson. 2011. A Multiple-Network Analysis          of the World System of Nations, 1995-1999. Pp. 311-27 in J. Scott and P. Carrington’s (eds.)                                         The Handbook of Social Network Analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 

Other Publications

McKinney, Laura. 2017. Review of: Capitalism in the Web of Life by Jason Moore. Human Ecology Review(link)

Kick, Edward L. and Laura A. McKinney. 2012. Dependency Trends. In George Ritzer's (ed.), Encyclopedia of                 Globalization. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

Kick, Edward L. and Laura A. McKinney. 2012. Comparative Advantage. In George Ritzer's (ed.), Encyclopedia of         Globalization. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.