Skip to main content
Skip to main menu


Laura German

Associate Professor

Contact Info

255 Baldwin Hall
Phone Number:
Curriculum Vitae:

My scholarly interests are diverse, spanning academic and applied, critical and constructive research traditions, as well as the social and biophysical sciences. Themes of ongoing interest include land and environmental governance in the global South; social justice and the distributional effects of conservation/development interventions; state-society relations; and an orientation towards research traditions relevant to policy and practice. My current research draws on published and ethnographic evidence to interrogate global land governance discourses and practices. In addition to these academic pursuits, I am regularly engaged as a visiting lecturer for the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training Taiwan (where I give a course entitled, ‘Situating the Local in Land Relations’ for the Regular Session on Land Policy for Sustainable Rural Development) and as a land governance consultant for NGOs, consultancy firms, certification schemes and foreign governments.

Prior to my return to academia, I worked as Scientist / Acting Coordinator for an ecoregional action research program hosted by the World Agroforestry Center and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (2002-2007), and as Senior Scientists / Domain Leader for the Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia (2007-2011). This work is profiled in a book and two edited volumes: Integrated Natural Resource Management in the Highlands of Eastern Africa: From Concept to Practice (Earthscan 2012); Beyond the Biophysical: Knowledge, Culture and Politics in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (Springer 2010); and Governing Africa’s Forests in a Globalized World (Earthscan 2010).


PhD, Anthropology, University of Georgia, 2001

Research Interests:
  • Property rights
  • Land and environmental governance
  • Critical agrarian and development studies
  • Institutional theory
  • Process
  • Customary land rights (threats to, governance of)
  • The governance of tropical forests and multi-functional, multi-actor landscapes
  • Community-based natural resource management and self-governance of the commons
  • Commercial pressures on land and forests
  • Biofuels (social and environmental impacts of, governance of)
  • Integrated natural resource management
  • Multi-stakeholder collaboration and institutional innovation
Selected Publications:

German, L.A. and L. Parker (2018) The social construction of “shared growth”: Zambia Sugar and the uneven terrain of social benefit. Journal of Agrarian Change.

German, L., A. Goetz, T. Searchinger, G. de L.T. Oliveira, J. Tomei, C. Hunsbergerf and J. Weigelt (2017) Sine Qua Nons of sustainable biofuels: Distilling implications of under-performance for national biofuel programs. Energy Policy 108: 806-817.

German, L., E. King, R. Unks and P.W. Naiputari (2017) This side of subdivision: Individualization and collectivization dynamics in a Maasai group ranch held under collective title. Journal of Arid Environments 144: 139-155.

Articles Featuring Laura German

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 2:11pm

Walker DePuy, Katie Foster, Suneel Kumar, and Kristen Lear, along with co-authors Jacob Weger, Anya Bonanno, Raul Basilio, and Laura German, receive the J. Peter Brosius Integrative Conservation Research Award for their paper, “Environmental Governance:…

Support Anthropology at UGA

Your support helps bring in speakers of note, provides student research funding, assists in student fieldwork and conference travel, and creates new resources to further enrich each learner's experience. Learn more about how you can support the Department of Anthropology.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.