Richard Widick

Richard Widick holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he lectured on theory, culture, media, globalization, social movements and environment before coming to the Orfalea Center.

He is the author of Trouble in the Forest: California's Redwood Timber Wars (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), an ethnography, cultural analysis and 150 year social and environmental history of the US colonization and industrialization of California's north coast Humboldt Bay redwood region—covering the Indian wars and labor trouble that set the legal, social and ecological conditions for the struggle to save Headwaters Forest.

In new research aimed at further integrating global studies and cultural sociology with media and environmental theory, Widick scales up his institutional analysis of US culture to the international scene of western modernity and the UN climate negotiations. Climate of Empire: Looking Ahead at the Coming Century of International Climate Wars is a theoretical, global ethnography of emergent global climate governance, for which Widick has conducted conflict-seeking participatory ethnography and research videography inside the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conferences of the Parties (COPs), where he has represented the University of California as an official UN Observer Delegate for the past seven years (COP 17, Durban, South Africa 2011; COP 18, Doha, Qatar, 2012; COP 19, Warsaw, Poland 2013; COP 20, Lima, Peru 2014; COP 21, Paris, France 2015; COP 22, Marrakech, Morocco 2016; COP 23, Bonn, Germany 2017). Widick documents this research at The International Institute of Climate Action & Theory (IICAT). At, Widick and research partner John Foran also publicize their joint climate-related work, including their current 5-year research project, Human Rights & Climate Justice After the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Academic Area
  • Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara