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Sarah Romano

Associate Professor of Social Sciences

Sarah Romano

Sarah T. Romano is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Global Studies in the Social Science Department. Her research in Nicaragua and the U.S. examines how societal actors engage in environmental management and decision-making, with an emphasis on state-society relations and new forms of political engagement in public policy processes. She teaches in the areas of Latin American politics, international relations, social movements, globalization, politics of developing states, and environmental politics and policy.

Sarah holds a BA from the University of Puget Sound in Spanish and International Affairs and a PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in Politics and Latin American & Latino Studies.  Her personal website is: https://sarahtromano.org

Selected Publications


2019 Romano, S.T. Transforming Rural Water Governance in Nicaragua: The Road From Resource Management to Political Activism. The University of Arizona Press.

2016  Romano, S.T. De la gestión de recursos al activismo social: Los CAPS y la gobernanza del agua rural en Nicaragua. Managua, Nicaragua: Edisa.

Refereed Journal Articles

2021  Romano, S.T., Nuñez, J., and LaVanchy, G.T. “Rural Water Provision at the State-Society Interface in Latin America.” Water International. DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2021.1928973.

2018  Romano, S.T. & Daum, C. “Transformative Practices of Teacher-Scholar-Activists in the Era of Trump.New Political Science 40(3): 515-527.

2018   Romano, S.T. and Daum, C. “Teacher-Scholar-Activists in the Era of Trump: Where Do We Go from Here?” New Political Science 40(3): 599-604.

2018  Romano, S.T. & Highby, W. “Environmental Activism of Teacher-Scholars in the Neoliberal University.” New Political Science 40(3): 581-598.

2017  Romano, S.T. “Transforming Participation in Water Governance: the Multisectoral Alliances of Water Committees and NGOs in Nicaragua.International Journal of Water Resources Development. doi: 10.1080/07900627.2017.1363722.

2017  Romano, S.T. “Building Sustainable Water Governance from the Grassroots: ‘Organic Empowerment’ and Its Policy Implications in Nicaragua.Society and Natural Resources, 30(4): 471-487.

2017  LaVanchy, G.T., Romano, S.T., & Taylor, M.J. “Challenges to water security along the ‘Emerald Coast’: a political ecology of local water governance in Nicaragua.” Water 9(9): 655.

2016  “Democratizing Discourses: Conceptions of Ownership, Autonomy, and ‘the State’ in Nicaragua’s Rural Water Governance.” Water International 41(1): 74-90.

2014  Lu, F., Ocampo-Raeder, C., Romano, S.T., & Crow, B. “Equitable water governance: Future directions in the understanding and analysis of water inequities in the global South.” Water International 39(2): 129-142. (Correction to authorship here)

2012  “From Protest to Proposal: The Contentious Politics of the Nicaraguan Anti-Water Privatization Social Movement.”  Bulletin of Latin American Research 31(4): 499-514.

Book Chapters

2021    Romano, S.T. and LaVanchy, G.T. “From Water Insecurity to Water Injustice: How Tourism Produces Environmental Injustice along Nicaragua’s ‘Emerald Coast.’” In  S. Ryder, K. Powlen, M. Laituri, S. Malin, J. Sbicca, and D. Stevis, eds., Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene: From (Un)just Presents to Just Futures (Routledge).

2018  Romano, S.T. & Highby, W. “Campus Organizing towards the Democratization of Shale Oil and Gas Governance in Higher Education.” In J. Whitton, M. Cotton, & K. Brasier, eds., Governing Shale Gas: Development, Citizen Participation and Decision Making in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Earthscan Routledge.

2017  “Building Sustainable Water Governance from the Grassroots: ‘Organic Empowerment’ and Its Policy Implications in Nicaragua.” In P.L. Taylor and D.A. Sonnenfeld, eds., Water Crises and Governance: Reinventing Collaborative Institutions in an Era of Uncertainty. Philadelphia and London: Taylor & Francis Publishers (originally published in Society and Natural Resources, 30(4)).

2017  “Democratizing Discourses: Conceptions of Ownership, Autonomy and ‘the State’ in Nicaragua’s Rural Water Governance.” In R. Boelens, et al., eds., Hydrosocial Territories and Water Equity: Theory, Governance, and Sites of Struggle. Routledge (originally published in Water International, 40(1)).

Commissioned Papers

2012 Lipshutz, R. & Romano, S.T. "The Cupboard is Full: Public Finances for Public Services in the Global South." Municipal Services Project, Occasional Paper No. 16 (March).

Other Publications

2020  Romano, S.T. Ambassador Susan Rice to Speak at Boston Speaker Series.” Professor’s Prologue, Lesley University.

2019  Romano, S.T. “Water Equity and the Pursuit of Justice.” Colorado Water (January/February): 33-39.