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David McDermott Hughes

Rutgers University

Based in

United States
North America

David Hughes works as a professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey – where he also serves on the graduate faculty of Geography. He writes on aspects of energy democracy ranging from public ownership of wind and sunlight to civil disobedience against fossil fuels. His most recent book – Who Owns the Wind? – investigates opposition to wind farms in Spain. As an activist scholar, Hughes has contributed to panels of the Labor Network for Sustainability, Democratic Socialists of America, and the P2P Lab (Greece). Finally, Hughes serves on the Climate Justice Task Force of the American Federation of Teachers.

Country(ies) of Specialty

United States Spain Trinidad and Tobago Zimbabwe

Focus areas of expertise

Climate Justice Fossil fuels Renewable energy Social movements

How to Connect


Policy Reports

Hughes, D.M. 2020. “The wind
commons: public ownership for a full, just energy transition.” Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Brussels.


Hughes, D.M. 2022a. “What if the wind and sunshine belonged to everyone?” The Nation 314,11 (30 May): 24-27.

Hughes, D. M. 2022b. “Sunlight as
infrastructure,” Boston Review, 31 January 2022.

Hughes, D.M. 2021. “Sacrificing for the
climate,” Boston Review, 6 Oct. 2021.

Hughes, D.M. 2021. “Use sunlight or lose it,” Boston Review, 9 March 2021.

Hughes, D.M. 2020. “To save the climate, give up the demand for constant electricity,” Boston Review, 5 October 2020.

Hughes, D.M. 2017. “Who owns the wind?” Boston Review, 23 October 2017.

Hughes, D.M. 2017. “A jobless utopia.” Boston Review, 19 May 2017.

Hughes, D.M. 2013. “Climate change and the victim slot: from oil to innocence.” American Anthropologist 115(4): 570-81.


Hughes, D.M. 2021. Who Owns the Wind? Climate Crisis and the Hope
of Renewable Energy.” New York and London: Verso Press.

Hughes, D.M. 2017. Energy without Conscience: Oil, Climate Change,
and Complicity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.