Social Sciences

Emily Burchfield, PhD


Agricultural Adaptation to Changing Climate in Georgia

Given the Anthropocene’s triple challenge of preventing biodiversity loss, mitigating the effects of climate change, and sustainably and equitably providing resources for a growing human population, transformative adaptation of many agricultural systems will be necessary and inevitable. This research frames agricultural adaptation as emerging from the interactions of three levels—the macro-landscape, meso-regimes, and local niches—and links this framework to a generalizable approach that iteratively engages stakeholders to: (1) an understanding of how the current agricultural came to be (what is), (2) co-produce scenarios of probable agricultural futures (what could be), (3) envision desirable agricultural futures (what should be), (4) and converge to distill transition pathways towards alternative agricultural realities (towards a renewed what is). URC funds would support this growing research initiative by supporting a series of key informant interviews with agricultural experts, farm operators, and food system stakeholders in the state of Georgia. These interviews will enable us to (1) elicit feedback on the first phase of our project and co-produce the next phase in collaboration with stakeholders, (2) collect new data to support grant applications, (3) generate much-needed research describing the challenges and vision of agricultural stakeholders in Georgia and (4) initiate the slow, deliberate, and important work of building long-term relationships with agricultural stakeholders across the state to support future research endeavors at Emory University.

Michael Leo Owens, PhD


Cityhood by Secession: Survey of Support for Buckhead City

Politics create cities in the US. Some cityhood campaigns seek to create new cities by breaking off portions of existing cities for new municipal governments. This includes the current campaign for city of Buckhead City. The cityhood campaign styles itself “color-blind,” which is common claim of many cityhood campaigns, especially those requiring partition from existing cities. Creating Buckhead City, however, would partition the city of Atlanta by removing the most resource-rich portion of the majority/plurality-Black city, one with the longest legacy in US local history of strong Black municipal empowerment. A key question is how much, if at all, race, along with other factors (e.g., dissatisfaction with city services), is associated with support for the cities by partition. No published empirical studies of contemporary cityhood have identified the preferences of the masses behind mobilization efforts to create cities via partition. Recent scholarship on cityhood addresses elite perspectives, the broader political dynamics of cityhood, and the potential consequences of successful cityhood campaigns. Plus, there is a lack of high-quality public survey data regarding cityhood via partition, particularly data from the residents of areas targeted for the creation of new cities. The proposed study will examine public support for cityhood by partition by conducting a survey among the residents of Buckhead. The novelty of the study is its focus on cityhood by partition, which is the rarest of means for creating new cities, and the use of individual-level data, as extant studies of cityhood solely rely on cross-sectional, city-level, and county-level data.