Photo of Brian F. O’Neill

Brian F. O’Neill

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
United States
Email brianfoneill1731 [at] gmail [period/dot] com

Brian F. O’Neill’s research and teaching draw primarily on engagements with environmental sociology, (urban) political ecology, political sociology, and political economy. The underlying question throughout his empirical work is: what is the nature of the recent, intense interest in “green” practices invoked by climate adaptation strategies? In problematizing existing adaptation efforts, he has explored issues of environmental injustices, public opinion, and inequalities in debates around policymaking at the nexus of the water and energy sectors (e.g., rivers and dams, desalination, wind, natural gas). He maintains a robust interest in visual theory and methodologies.

Brian F. O’Neill’s Website.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

O’Neill, Brian F. (2022). “Water for whom? Desalination and the cooptation of the environmental justice frame in Southern California.” Forthcoming in Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.

O’Neill, Brian F. and Matthew Jerome Schneider, (2021). “A Public Health Frame for Fracking? Predicting Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing.” The Sociological Quarterly. Vol. 62, Issue 3: 439-463.

O’Neill, Brian F. (2020). “The World-Ecology of Desalination: From Cold-War Positioning to Financialization in the Capitalocene.” Journal of World-Systems Research. Vol. 26, No. 2: 318-349.

O’Neill, Brian F. and Anne-Lise Boyer, (2020). “Water Conservation in Desert Cities: From the Socioecological Fix to Gestures of Endurance.” Ambiente & Sociedade. Vol. 23.

Brice, Becky, Christopher Fullerton, Kelsey L. Hawkes, Megan Mills-Novoa, Brian F. O’Neill, and Wincenty M. Pawlowski, (2017). “The Impacts of Climate Change on Natural Areas Recreation: A Multi-Region Snapshot and Agency Comparison.” Natural Areas Journal. January 2017: Vol. 37, Issue 1: 86-97.

Cortinas, Joan, Murielle Coeurdray, Brian O’Neill, et Franck Poupeau, (2016). “Les mégaprojets hydriques de l’ouest étasunien: histoire d’État(s) et gestion des ressources naturelles.” VertigO – la revue électronique en sciences de l’environnement. Décembre 2016, Vol. 16 numéro 3.


Boyer, Anne-Lise and Brian F. O’Neill, (2022). “Water Conservation in Arizona Desert Cities: A Socioecological Fix to the Oasis Lifestyle?” In Chloé Nicolas-Artero, Sébastien Velut, Graciela Schneier-Madanes, Franck Poupeau, and Carine Chavarochette (ed.): Luttes pour l’Eau dans les Amériques. Mésusages, Arrangements et Changements Sociaux. Chapter 11, pg. 254-274. Éditions de l’HEAL Collection n°2. Aubervilliers, France. ISBN 978-2-37154-145-0

O’Neill, Brian F., Joan Cortinas, Murielle Coeurdray, and Franck Poupeau, (2018). “Reinventing Water Conservation: Coalitions for Water Policy in the American West.” In Franck Poupeau, Lala Razafimahefa, Jérémy Robert, Delphine Mercier, Gilles Massardier, and Pedro Roberto Jacobi (ed.): Water Conflicts and Hydrocracy in the Americas: Coalitions, Networks, Policies. Chapter 10, pg. 293-326. November 2018. University of São Paulo Press, São Paulo, Brazil.

O’Neill, Brian F., Murielle Coeurdray, Franck Poupeau, Joan Cortinas, (2016). “Laws of the River: Conflict and Cooperation on the Colorado River.” In Franck Poupeau, Hoshin Gupta, Aleix, Serrat-Capdevila, Maria A. Sans-Fuentes, Susan Harris, and László G. Hayde (ed.): Water Bankruptcy in the Land of Plenty. Chapter 4, pg. 43-62. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA. ISBN: 978-1-138-02969-9.

Public Sociology

O’Neill, Brian F. (2022). “Desalination and the Political (Blue) Economy of Climate Adaptation.” EnviroSociety, March 7, 2022.

O’Neill, Brian F. and Matthew Jerome Schneider, (2021). “Fracking, Public Health, and Biden’s Green New Deal.” Special Feature in The Society Pages, July 21, 2021.

Review Essay

O’Neill, Brian F. and Matthew Jerome Schneider, (2022). “Demystifying the Global ‘Just Transition’ – On Power Struggles and Electric Mountains.” Online first at Forthcoming in Human Geography.