Ernest J. Yanarella

  • Professor, Political Science; Interim Director (2016-17), Environmental & Sustainability Studies Program
  • Appalachian Center
  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies
  • Peace Studies
  • Political Science
1659 Patterson Office Tower
859-257-2989
Education and Honors

Dr. Yanarella received his BA from Syracuse University in 1966 and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in August 1971. After coming to the University of Kentucky in August 1970, he was promoted to associate professor in 1975 and to professor in 1986.  In 1991, he was selected for the College of Arts and Sciences’ Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award.  In 1997, he was earned the Chancellor’s (now Provost’s) Distinguished Scholar Award for a Tenured Faculty Member.  He was chosen as the inaugural Endowed Professor, UK Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, 2007-2010, and then became Chellgren Faculty Fellow, 2011--.  He was also chosen by a College review committee as the 2009-2010 Arts and Sciences Distinguished Research Professor, the College’s highest accolade and delivered its annual lecture to a College assembly in 2010.  During the same year, he was awarded the William E. Lyons Distinguished University Service Award for his extensive service activities to the University of Kentucky and the Lexington community.

Biography

Dr. Yanarella is a Professor in the Political Science Department.  For several decades, he served as the Associate Director of the Center for Sustainable Cities and Director of Environmental Studies Program in the College of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Yanarella's teaching and research interests align well with the mission of this program, and his experience as an administrator provides valuable guidance to the program. After serving as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Graduate studies for several stints, from 2011-2017, he went on to serve as Chair of the Department of Political Science at a time of rebuilding during which the Deartment experienced the infusion of eight new faculty members, all of whom have been either promoted and tenured or are making steady progress toward that goal. In his last year as departmental chair, he served as acting Director of the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program.

Research

As a professor of Political Science, his primary teaching and research interests are in the areas of critical policy studies (urban, energy and environment, and agricultural and ecological policy), political theory (early, modern, and critical traditions), substainable urban design, and politics and literature. His most recent research grants have involved him in fieldwork on issues of political economy, labor, and sustainable cities in Canada and extensive field studies in eco-cities in China.

Dr. Yanarella's books include: The Missile Defense Controversy (1977), Energy and the Social Sciences (1982), The Acid Rain Debate (1985), The Unfulfilled Promise of Synthetic Fuels (1987), Political Mythology and Popular Fiction (1988), The Politics of Industrial Recruitment (1990), North American Unions In Crisis: Lean Production as Contested Terrain (1996), The Cross, the Plow and the Skyline: Contemporary Science Fiction and the Ecological Imagination (2001), The Missile Defense Controversy: A Technology in Search of a Mission (2002, 2011), The City as Fulcrum of Global Sustainability (2011), and Getting from Here to There? Power, Politics, and Urban Sustainability in North America (2016). He is currently completing his next book derived from his current 2017-18 sabbatical, tentative titled, Getting from Here to Where? China’s Uncertain Quest for Urban Sustainability. His three dozen scholarly articles have appeared in a wide variety of professional journals, among others: International Interactions, Social Science Quarterly, Polity, Theory and Society, Review of Politics, Journal of Peace Research, Futures, Canadian Journal of Sociology, Built Environment, Quebec Studies, Sustainability: the Journal of Record, and others.

Areas of Specialization

Critical policy studies (energy and environment, agricultural and ecological policy, and national security and arms control), political theory (early, modern, and critical traditions), sustainable urban design, public ethics, and politics and literature.

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