John Hultgren

John Hultgren

John Hultgren's work explores the theoretical and ideological foundations of environmental political struggles.


Hultgren’s research explores how efforts to protect “the environment” are mediated by “social” forces – like sovereignty, nationalism, race, and capitalism. He is the author of Border Walls Gone Green: Nature and Anti-immigrant Politics in America (University of Minnesota Press, 2015), which explains and critiques the strange intersections that exist between the environmental movement and the immigration restriction movement. His current projects include an analysis of environmentalist alliance-building efforts with other social actors (such as labor unions and immigrants’ rights organizations) and a historical and theoretical exploration of the relationship between environmental politics and class formation. At Bennington, Hultgren teaches environmental politics and policy, as well as courses in political theory and immigration politics. He received his PhD in Political Science from Colorado State University (2012) and has previously taught at Colorado State and Northern Arizona University. Hultgren joined the Bennington faculty in Fall 2016.


Brian Petersen and John Hultgren. Forthcoming. “The Case for a 21st Century Wilderness Ethic.” Ethics, Policy, & Environment.

David Bond and John Hultgren. 2020. "History, Once More, in the Gear of Social Change." International Karl Polanyi Society, June 30.  

John Hultgren. 2020. "Undoing the Oikos, Awakening Resistance? Neoliberalism, Democracy, and the Environment in 'Trump Country.'" Theory & Event 23 (1): 271-296. 

John Hultgren and Dimitris Stevis. 2020. “Interrogating Socio-Ecological Coalitions: Environmentalist Engagements with Labor and Immigrants’ Rights.” Environmental Politics 29 (3): 457-478. 

John Hultgren. 2019. “Polanyi Returns to Bennington: The Role of Liberal Arts Colleges at a Moment of ‘Great Transformation’.” Europe Now, Issue 25.

John Hultgren. 2018. “‘Those Who Bring From the Earth’: Anti-Environmentalism and the Trope of the White Male Worker.” Ethics, Policy, & Environment 21 (1): 21-25. 

Hultgren, John. 2018. “American Environmental Ideologies in the 21st Century: A Re-Evaluation.” Journal of Political Ideologies 23:1, pp. 54-79.

Hultgren, John. 2018. “Representing Posthumans: Citizenship and the Political Production of Bodies and Technology.” Chapter in Erika Cudworth, Stephen Hobden and Emilian Kavalski (eds.), Posthuman Dialogues in International Relations. Oxford, UK: Routledge.

Hultgren, John. 2017. “Discourse, Nature and Critical Political Economy: American Environmentalists Debate Immigration.” Chapter in Johnna Montgomerie (ed.), Critical Methods in Political and Cultural Economy. Oxford, UK: Routledge.

Hultgren, John. 2016. “Nature, Place, and the Politics of Migration.” Book chapter in Harald Bauder and Christian Matheis (eds.), Migration Policy and Practice: Interventions and Solutions. London and NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Hultgren, John. 2015. Border Walls Gone Green: Nature and Anti-immigrant Politics in America. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Hultgren, John. 2014. “The ‘Nature’ of American Immigration Restrictionism.” New Political Science 36:1, pp. 52-75.

Hultgren, John. 2012. “Natural Exceptions to Green Sovereignty? American Environmentalism and the ‘Immigration Problem’.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 37:4, pp. 300-316.