McElwee, Pamela


Ph.D., Anthropology and Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale, 2003

M. Phil., Anthropology, Yale, 1998

M. Phil., Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale, 1998

M.Sc., Forestry and Its Relation to Land Use, Oxford, 1994

B.A., Political Science, University of Kansas, 1992

Teaching and Research Interests

Professor McElwee teaches courses on climate and environmental change, environmental policy, political ecology, globalization and environment, food systems, and sustainability politics. Her research interests include human dimensions of environmental change, gender and development, and Southeast Asia.

Biographical Notes

Professor Pamela McElwee is an Associate Professor in Human Ecology at the School of Environmental and Behavior Sciences. Her work spans academic, research, and policy sectors and assesses the multiple effects of climate change in relation to human lives, economic practices, and sustainability politics. In addition to her affiliation with WGS, she holds affiliations in the Departments of Geography and Anthropology, and she is a graduate faculty member at the Blounstein School of Planning and Public Policy. McElwee's most recent work investigates the political, social, and environmental effects of climate change in Vietnam. Her manuscript, Forests are Gold: Trees, People, and Environmental Rule in Vietnam, is currently under review. In 2012, she edited Gender and Sustainability: Lessons from Latin America and Asia with Maria Cruz-Torres. In addition to numerous scholarly publications, McElwee has also received research grants as Principal or Co-Principal Investigator from the National Science Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She regularly authors policy reports in English and Vietnamese for the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program in Hanoi, and the Institute for Ethnic and Minority Affairs in Hanoi. In 2014, McElwee received the Rutgers Board of Trustees Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence.

Click here to view Professor McElwee's CV.

Selected Publications


Forests are Gold: Trees, People, and Environmental Rule in Vietnam (Forthcoming)

Referred Journals:

  • 2012 - Payments for environmental services as neoliberal market-based forest conservation in Vietnam: Panacea or problem? Geoforum 43: 412-426.
  • 2010 - Resource use among rural agricultural households near protected areas in Vietnam: The social costs of conservation and implications for enforcement. Environmental Management 45: 113-131.
  • 2009 - Reforesting 'bare hills' in Vietnam: Social and environmental consequences of the 5 Million Hectare Restoration Program. Ambio: A Journal of the Human Environment 38(6): 325-333.
  • 2007 From the moral economy to the world economy: Revisiting Vietnamese peasants in a globalizing era. Journal of Vietnamese Studies 2(2): 57-107

Referred Book Chapters

  • 2014 - From conservation and development to climate: Anthropological engagements with REDD+ in Vietnam. In Climate Cultures: Anthropological Perspectives on Climate Change. J. Barnes and M. Dove, eds. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • 2012 - Gender and the global illegal trade in wildlife: Local and global connections in Vietnam. In Gender and Sustainability: Lessons from Latin America and Asia. M.L. Cruz-Torres and P.D. McElwee, eds. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Awards, Fellowships, and Grants

  • Principal investigator, National Science Foundation, Geography and Regional Science Division 2011-2015, "Downscaling REDD policies in developing countries: Assessing the impact of carbon payments on household decision-making and vulnerability to climate change in Vietnam.
  • Co-principal investigator, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 2004-05, Research and Writing Grant, Program on Global Security and Sustainability: "Environmental Consequences of State-Sponsored Rural-Rural Migration in Southeast Asia: A Comparison of Transmigration and Resettlement in Indonesia and Vietnam". With Chris Duncan, University of Missouri-Columbia.

Courses Taught

  • International Environmental Policy
  • Human Dimensions of Environmental Change: Nature/Social Theory (Graduate Course)
  • Human Dimensions of Environmental Change: Political Ecology of Climate (Graduate Course)
  • Social Dimensions of Climate Change