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Stephen Macekura is a Ph.D. candidate in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia. His scholarly work explores the history of American foreign relations and global environmental history. Other interests include the history of international development, civil society, and human rights. His current research explores the growth of environmental interest groups and their influence on international development approaches and policy.
Stephen’s dissertation explores the relationship between global environmentalism and international development. Specifically, this project investigates how leading environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) influenced the creation of new approaches to development from the late 1960s through the United Nations’ adoption of “sustainable development” as its policy framework at the 1992 Earth Summit. During the 1970s and 1980s, as existing models for modernizing society came under fire and foreign assistance policies shifted toward privatization, NGOs worked with a global network of scientists, scholars, and international elites to reformulate development practices. These environmental groups emphasized basic human needs, the use of appropriate technology, and the protection of natural resources. By focusing on how leading NGOs lobbied national governments and international institutions to reconcile developmental goals with environmental protection, his dissertation explains both past successes and enduring challenges of creating policies capable of protecting the global environment in an age of economic liberalization.
Articles by Stephen Macekura, available online:
"The Limits of the Global Community: The Nixon Administration and Global Environmental Politics," Cold War History