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Department of Sociology Liévanos, Raoul S.
Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2013


Environmental & Urban Sociology; Race, Ethnicity, & Immigration; Organizations & Institutions; Social Movements; Spatial Pattern Analysis; Historical-Comparative Sociology; Qualitative Methods


Research Interests

My research program takes a three-pronged approach to examining various forms of social, spatial, and environmental inequality in the United States. First, I use case studies of environmental and climate justice policy implementation and associated methods of cumulative environmental risk assessment as avenues to explore dynamics of state power and the sub-politics of environmental risk and race in an era of supposed decreasing state power, environmental risk diffusion, and post-racial colorblind relations. Second, I use spatial statistics, qualitative methods, and historical research to examine the relationship between residential segregation and neighborhood-level risk of exposure to toxic contamination, climate-related sea level rise and flooding, food insecurity, and home foreclosure. I draw on theoretical frameworks from environmental and urban sociology to frame the accumulation of these neighborhood vulnerabilities and their intersections with race, class, and immigrant status as a “new urban-environmental crisis” in select metropolitan areas across the U.S. Lastly, and more recently, I am participating in research collaborations that explore patterns of sociospatial and environmental inequalities resulting from energy production, consumption, and waste. These research interests are reflected in my graduate seminars on spatial pattern analysis and environmental inequality and justice, as well as my undergraduate classes: society and environment, society and technology, urbanization and community organization, and development of social theory.


(509) 335-2460

Wilson-Short Hall 251

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Publications

Liévanos, Raoul S. 2015. “Race, Deprivation, and Immigrant Isolation: The Spatial Demography of Air-Toxic Clusters in the Continental United States.” Social Science Research 54:50-67.

Liévanos, Raoul S. 2012. “Certainty, Fairness, and Balance: State Resonance and Environmental Justice Policy Implementation.” Sociological Forum 27(2): 481-503.

Liévanos, Raoul S., Jonathan K. London, and Julie Sze. 2011. “Uneven Transformations and Environmental Justice: Regulatory Science, Street Science, and Pesticide Regulation in California.” Pp. 201-228 in Technoscience and Environmental Justice: Expert Cultures in a Grassroots Movement, edited by G. Ottinger and B. R. Cohen. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Shilling, Fraser M., Jonathan K. London, and Raoul S. Liévanos. 2009. “Marginalization by Collaboration: Environmental Justice as a Third Party in and beyond CALFED.” Environmental Science and Policy 12(6): 694-709.

London, Jonathan K., Julie Sze, and Raoul S. Liévanos. 2008. “Problems, Promise, Progress, and Perils: Critical Reflections on Environmental Justice Policy Implementation in California.” UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy 26(2): 255-289.