Soviet urban planning and post-Soviet urban and social welfare transformation; infrastructure and politics; neoliberalism and governmental rationality; emergency government in the United States; urban vulnerability and resilience; insurance and climate change.
- B.A. (1994) Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Ph.D. (2001) Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
Trained as an anthropologist, Stephen Collier held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University before teaching for fifteen years in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School in New York City. He joined the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley in 2018.
Collier’s work examines city and regional planning from the broad perspective of the forms of political rationality in modern societies—the way government is taken up as a problem of expert reflection and is constituted as a field of intervention. He has studied the planning of cities, and planning in cities, in relationship to problems such as national development, military mobilization, social welfare, vulnerability, and resilience. Much of his research has focused on infrastructure system, as these have been planned, built, programmed, and reformed to address such problems. His work lies at the intersection of geography, anthropology, sociology, and science and technology studies, and touches on themes that have been central to these fields in recent years, including neoliberalism, risk society, splintering urbanisms, and the political category of emergency.
Collier is co-founder and co-editor of Limn (www.limn.it), a scholarly magazine addressing contemporary issues at the intersection of expertise and politics.
- Selected Publications
The Government of Emergency: Vital Systems Security and American Biopolitics. With Andrew Lakoff. In preparation.
Post-Soviet Social: Neoliberalism, Social Modernity, Biopolitics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011
Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question.
Edited with Andrew Lakoff. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008
Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems. Edited with Aihwa Ong. Malden, Mass: Blackwell, 2005
“Vital Systems Security: Reflexive Biopolitics and the Government of Emergency” (with Andrew Lakoff). Theory, Culture, and Society 26, 6, 2015, pp. 78-108.
“Neoliberalism and Natural Disaster: Insurance as Political Technology of Catastrophe.” Journal of Cultural Economy 7, 3, 2014.
“Neoliberalism as Big Leviathan, Or…?” Social Anthropology 20, 1, 2012, pp. 186-195.
“Topologies of Power: Foucault’s Study of Political Government beyond ‘Governmentality.’” Theory, Culture, and Society 26, 6, 2009, pp. 1-31.
“Enacting Catastrophe: Preparedness, Insurance, Budgetary Rationalization.” Economy and Society 37, 2, 2008, pp. 224-250.
“Distributed Preparedness: Notes on the Genealogy of ‘Homeland Security.” With Andrew Lakoff. Environment and Planning D: Space and Society 26, 1, 2008, pp. 7-28.
“Beyond the Deficit Model: Reflections on the Georgian Case.” With Lucan Way. Post Soviet Affairs 20 (July/September), 2004, pp. 258-284.
“Ethics and the Anthropology of Modern Reason.” With Andrew Lakoff. Anthropological Theory 4(4) 2004.
“Biosecurity: Proposal for an Anthropology of the Contemporary” With Andrew Lakoff and Paul Rabinow. Anthropology Today 20(5) October 2004.
“The Death of the Social or the Neoliberal Social?” In Tobias Rees, ed., Anthropology Beyond Society and Social Theory. In preparation for submission to UC Press.
“Neoliberalism and Rule by Experts.” In Vaughan Higgins and Wendy Larner, eds. Assembling Neoliberalism: Expertise, Practices, Subjects. Palgrave, MacMillan. 2017.
“Pipes and Wires.” With Nino Kemoklidze. In Nigel Thrift, Adam Tickell, Steve Woolgar, and William H. Rupp, eds. Globalization in Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
“Health, Security, and New Biological Threats: Reconfigurations of Expertise.” With Andrew Lakoff. In Chloe Bird, Peter Conrad, Allan Fremont, and Stefan Timmeman, eds., Handbook of Medical Sociology, 6th edition. Vanderbilt University Press, 2010.
“Infrastructure and Event.” With Andrew Lakoff. In Bruce Braun and Sarah Whatmore, eds., The Stuff of Politics: Technoscience, Democracy, and Public Life, University of Minnesota Press, 2009.
"The Vulnerability of Vital Systems: How “Critical Infrastructure” Became a Security Problem." With Andrew Lakoff. In Myriam Dunn and Kristian Soby Kristensen, eds., The Politics of Securing the Homeland: Critical Infrastructure, Risk and Securitisation. Routledge, 2008.
“Distributed Preparedness: Security, Space-Making, and Citizenship in the United States” With Andrew Lakoff. In Deborah Cowen and Emily Gilbert, eds. War, Citizenship, and Territory, Routledge, 2007.
“Budgets and Bio-politics.” In Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems. Aihwa Ong and Stephen J. Collier, eds. Malden, Mass: Blackwell, 2005.
“On Regimes of Living” With Andrew Lakoff. In Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems. Aihwa Ong and Stephen J. Collier, eds. Malden, Mass: Blackwell, 2005.
“Pipes.” In Patterned Ground, edited by Steve Pile, Nigel Thrift, et al., Reaktion Press, 2004.
Issues of Limn
Limn 9: Little Development Devices/Humanitarian Goods. Edited with Jamie Cross, Peter Redfield, and Alice Street.
Limn 7: Public Infrastructures, Infrastructural Publics. Edited with James Christopher Mizes and Antina von Schnitzler.
Limn 5: Ebola’s Ecologies. Edited with Chris Kelty and Andrew Lakoff.
Limn 1: Systemic Risk. Edited with Andrew Lakoff.