David Nugent


Senior Strategic Advisor, Master's in Development Practice
Professor, Department of Anthropology

Phone: 404-727-4164

Email: david.nugent@emory.edu



David Nugent holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University, and is professor of anthropology at Emory University.  He is also the past president of the American Ethnological Association, the oldest and largest association of cultural anthropologists in the US. Nugent's current research focuses on the role of politics, the state, law and human rights in the development process. He has done extensive theoretical and applied work in a variety of settings, from Latin America to East Africa to North America.

During the 1980s, Nugent conducted long-term research in the northern Peruvian Andes on regional patterns of economic growth and stagnation among peasants, artisans, merchants and small-scale industrialists. This research focused on the inter-relations of ecology, land tenure, irrigation, transport systems, and price structures. During the 1980s Nugent was also involved in a project in Kenya that examined the impact of land privatization on indigenous crop and tree farming communities. Nugent's work in North America compared the efforts of the national governments of Canada and the US to assist in the development of each country's indigenous groups. In Canada, Nugent examined the attempts of the national government to help Inuit/Eskimo peoples manage a shrinking resource base, and to design new forms of livelihood that would be sustainable over the long term. In the US, Nugent's work focused on government efforts to help indigenous peoples manage environmental contamination and habitat destruction, and to devise sustainable methods of utilizing natural resources that promote community well being. 

Dr. Nugent has published extensively in scientific journals and is the award-winning author and editor of numerous books, including Modernity at the Edge of Empire: State, Individual and Nation in the Northern Peruvian Andes, 1885-1935 (Stanford University Press, 1997), Locating Capitalism in Time and Space: Global Restructurings, Politics and Identity (Stanford University Press, 2001), and (with Joan Vincent) A Companion to the Anthropology of Politics (Blackwell Press; 2004, a Choice Magazine "Outstanding Academic Title of 2004"). He has recently finished a book manuscript entitled, Alternative Democracies: Rights, Governance and Development in Northern Peru.

In addition to development work, Nugent has long been involved in writing and performing music (especially blues). He is also passionate about international soccer-a game he played to distraction in former days.