Rerouting Mountain Governance
Rafi Youatt is Assistant Professor of Politics at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College. His work explores the multiple ways that politics works across, through, and in spite of species differences. His first book, Counting Species: Biodiversity in Global Environmental Politics (Minnesota, 2015), examined the politics of global biodiversity and the changing modes of environmental governance that have worked in its name.
His current project involves a rethinking of international relations as a form of interspecies politics. Focusing on stateled practices of ecological management in American borderlands, the project so far has examined the ways that interspecies practices and logics are constitutive of the exercise and thinking of sovereignty, territoriality, and security.
As a GIDEST fellow, Rafi will be developing research in a new site, looking at the interplay between transnational and international politics in pilgrimage routes around Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas. His paper for the seminar, Heritage Politics, Sustainabilities, and Sacred Landscapes, explores the ways that these routes have recently become a focal point for heritage politics as "sacred landscapes" that variously promote tourism, community development, and ecological sustainability.