Home | People |

Zeke Baker


  • PhD Candidate (ABD), Sociology, UC Davis, Expected completion: 6/2018
  • MA, Sociology, UC Davis, 2013
  • BA, Sociology (Minor: Urban Studies), Wheaton College, 2009


I work in the areas of Political Sociology, Environmental Sociology, and Science & Technology Studies. I primarily utilize historical-comparative sociological methods. My dissertation research analyzes the relationship between climate knowledge, governmentality, and state-making, primarily in the U.S., across different time periods, beginning in the late-eighteenth century. This project is motivated by recent developments in the politics of climate change, not only struggles against both climate scientists and those seeking to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but also efforts to render projected climate-change impacts governable in the present. How is it that climate became a 'governable' object? More broadly, how are scientific developments linked to historically dynamic forms of social power? I address these questions by tracing the historical configurations of climate knowledge and power, bearing on topics as diverse as population health, state-territorial expansion, racial politics, economic valuation of climate, and military strategy. To do so, I draw from theoretical traditions in environmental and political sociology and interdisciplinary literature in environmental history, political ecology, and science & technology studies(STS).

Other research includes work on the formation and use of climate information among water managers in California, especially regarding how resource managers variously imagine the future in a way that informs their experience of weather and climate and their social practice. Work with John R. Hall also takes up issues of the 'social temporalities' of climate change with respect to the historical and currently vexed domains of science, the state, religion, and social movements.

I am always looking for scholars and students interested in collaborative research, mentorship/research assistant experience, or simply a good conversation and exchange of ideas!

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Research Articles

Baker, Zeke, Julia Ekstrom and Louise Bedsworth. Forthcoming, 2018. “Climate Information? Embedding Climate Futures within Temporalities of California Water Management.” Environmental Sociology. DOI: 10.1080/23251042.2018.1455123

Baker, Zeke. 2018. “Meteorological Frontiers: Climate Knowledge, the West, and US Statecraft, 1800-1850.” Social Science History. DOI :10.1017/ssh.2017.51.

Baker, Zeke. 2017. “Climate State: Science-State Struggles and the Formation of Climate Science in the US from the 1930s to 1960s.” Social Studies of Science 47(6): 861-887.

Book Chapters

Baker, Zeke. Forthcoming, 2018. “Three Propositions towards a Cultural Sociology of Climate Change.” In: Hall, John R., Ming-Cheng Lo, and Laura Grindstaff (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology. New York: Routledge.

Hall, John R. and Zeke Baker. Forthcoming, 2018. “Climate Change Apocalypse and the Future of Salvation.” In: Andersson, Jenny and Sandra Kemp (eds.) Futures: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Futurity. London: Oxford University Press.