Michael Mascarenhas

Michael Mascarenhas

Associate Professor

Photo of Michael MascarenhasPhoto of Michael Mascarenhas

Associate Professor

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of British Columbia
  • Ph.D. in Sociology, Michigan State University

Michael Mascarenhas is a sociologist with scholarly interests in the fields of Post-colonial and Development Studies, Environmental Justice and Racism, and Science and Technology Studies.  His research examines the political, social, and environmental tensions and controversies surrounding recent transnational changes in the governance of water regimes.
Mascarenhas’ first book project examines how contemporary neoliberal reforms are woven through and shape contemporary racial inequality in Canadian society.  This research has been published as a book monograph titled, Where the Waters Divide. Neoliberalism, White Privilege, and Environmental Racism in Canada (Lexington Books, 2012).  Where the Waters Divide brings together theories and concepts from four disciplines — sociology, anthropology, Aboriginal studies, and environmental studies — to build critical insights into the race relational aspects of neoliberal reform in Canada.
His second book project examines how the practices of non-profits are shaping contemporary notions of humanitarianism and sovereignty worldwide.  This current work is funded by Framing the Global, a five-year initiative of Indiana University Press and the Indiana University Center for the Study of Global Change, funded by a $755,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  The project seeks to support scholarly research and publication that will develop and disseminate new knowledge, approaches, and methods in the field of global research
Mascarenhas says water development offers enormous potential for unintended consequences. Water development NGOs tend to draw their leadership from for-profit corporations that provide similar services. Such leadership tends to emphasize the technical side of developing water resources.
“On the one hand, I don’t want to be too critical—I think this work has to be done, people need water,” Mascarenhas says. “But we’re missing the real problems.  Water provision alone cannot solve global inequality.  And by focusing on a particular symptom of poverty, the real social problem is eclipsed.”

While in Rwanda, I was the feature scientist for The New York Times “Scientists At Work” blog, which can be accessed at: (scientistatwork.blogs.nytimes.com/author/michael-j-mascarenhas/).


Contact info:
Office number: SA5118
Phone number: 518.276.2106
Fax number: 518.276.2659
Email Address: mascam@rpi.edu