• Rafi Youatt

    Associate Professor of Politics; Chair and Departmental Faculty Advisor for Environmental Studies


    Rafi Youatt is associate professor of Politics at the New School, and currently chair of the undergraduate Environmental Studies program. His main areas of research are global politics and international relations, particularly on questions relating to environment and ecology; anthropocentrism and the politics of the human; and the politics of collective personification in global politics.  

    His forthcoming book, Interspecies Politics: Borderlands, Animal Sovereignties, and the Nature of States (University of Michigan Press, Configurations series, 2020) examines the eco-political production of the nation-state, focusing particularly on the generative interactions in American borderlands between interspecies interactions and human ideas about animal life. Drawing on international relations, environmental political theory, anthropology, and animal studies, the book argues for a rethinking of key international dimensions of states – sovereignty, territory, security, rights – as forms of interspecies assemblage. Looking at practices ranging from border fencing to pest management, genetic rescues to rights of nature, the book shows the emergent contours of a halting and incomplete transformation in international order, from international liberal humanism, to a global ecological politics that truly embroils all manners of life in its inclusions and exclusions.  

    His first book, Counting Species: Biodiversity in Global Environmental Politics was published with University of Minnesota Press in 2015. His work is published in journals including Millennium, International Political Sociology, Political Research Quarterly, and Environmental Values. He is working on a new project on mountains, borders, and war. Collaborations at the New School include the Multiple Mobilities Research Group.  

    Degrees Held:

    PhD 2007, University of Chicago, Political Science

    MA 2001, University of Chicago, Committee on International Relations

    BA 1997, University of California, Berkeley, Political Science

    Recent Publications:


    Counting Species: Biodiversity in Global Environmental Politics. University of Minnesota Press, (2015).


    'Anthropocentrism and the Politics of the Living' in Eroukhmanoff, C. and M. Harker, eds. Reflections on the Posthuman in International Relations: The Anthropocene, Security, and Ecology. (2017)

    'Images Unwalled: Walls of Water' with Multiple Mobilities Research Cluster. Anthropology Now. (2017) 

    Personhood and the Rights of Nature: The New Subjects of Contemporary Earth Politics’, International Political Sociology. (2017)

    Sovereignty and the Wolves of Isle Royale.’ In Political Theory and the Animal-Human Relationship. Grant, J. and V. Jungkunz, eds. (SUNY Press, April 2016).

    Interspecies.’ Entry for Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory. Gabrielson, T., Hall, C., Meyer, J., and Schlosberg, D., eds. (Oxford University Press, 2016).

    Interspecies Relations, International Relations: Rethinking Anthropocentric Politics.’ Millennium Journal of International Studies. 43(1) (2014), pp. 207-223.

    Pain, Power, and the Interspecies Politics of Foie Gras.’ Political Research Quarterly. 65(2), (2012), pp. 346-358.

    Counting Species: Biopower and the Global Biodiversity Census.’ Environmental Values. (2008). 17(3), pp. 393-417.

    Current Courses:

    Independent Study

    Field Seminar Global Politics

    Directed Dissertation Study


    Professional Internship

    Independent Study

    Thesis Supervision