Choose which site to search


Stephen Macekura

Assistant Professor
GISB 1021, (812) 856-7721

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., History, University of Virginia, 2013
  • M.A., History, University of Virginia, 2008
  • B.A., Dartmouth College, 2006

Region(S) of Interest

  • The United States
  • The Global South

Research Topics

  • History of political economy and international development
  • History of U.S. foreign relations and international politics
  • Environmental history

Research Summary

I am a scholar of U.S. and international history, with a particular focus on political economy, international development, U.S. foreign relations, and environmentalism.  My first book, Of Limits and Growth: The Rise of Global ‘Sustainable Development’ in the Twentieth Century, has just been published by Cambridge University Press.  It analyzes how environmental NGOs struggled to implement environmental protection measures in the developing world in the 1950s and 1960s and then critiqued and reformed the development policies of the U.S. government, World Bank, and UN system in the 1970s and 1980s.

I am beginning research on a second book project.  This book explores various critiques of economic growth since the 1960s by revealing how reformers have challenged and sought to rethink the ways in which the concept of “growth” has been defined, assessed, and measured. 

In addition to these book projects, I have also published articles and essays in edited volumes, periodicals, and scholarly journals on topics such as U.S. foreign policy, the origins of international development, and environmental policy and politics.

Representative Publications

  • “Development and Economic Growth: An Intellectual History,” in Iris Borowy and Matthias Schmelzer, eds. History of the Future of Economic Growth: Historical Roots of Current Debates on Sustainable Degrowth (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2017).
  • “Crisis and Opportunity: Environmental NGOs, Debt-for-Nature Swaps, and the Rise of ‘People-Centered’ Conservation,” Environment and History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (February 2016), 49-74.
  • Of Limits and Growth: The Rise of Global Sustainable Development in the Twentieth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  •  “The Point Four Program and U.S. International Development Policy,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 128, No. 1 (Spring 2013), 127-160.
  •  “The Limits of Community: The Nixon Administration and Global Environmental Politics,” Cold War History, Vol. 11, No. 4 (2011), 489-518.
  • “Our Mis-Leading Indicators,” PublicBooks (September 2014)
  • “The World’s Most Dangerous Political Issue,” Solutions, Vol. 4, No. 6 (November-December 2013), 66-71

External Links