Wendy Godek

Professor Godek Photo
Wendy GodekAssistant Professor of Politics and International Relations

Contact Information

wgodek@rwu.eduCAS 112

Areas of Expertise

Latin American Politics, Food and Agrarian Politics and Governance, Politics of Development, Gender Politics


B.S. University of Oregon
M.S., PhD Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Wendy Godek is an Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations. She is serves on the advisory committees of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, the Food Studies Program, and the Sustainability Studies Program. She received her MS and Ph.D. in Global Affairs from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She also holds a BS in Sociology from the University of Oregon.

Dr. Godek’s research explores questions of power and change in development to deepen social and environmental justice, focusing on agrarian and agrifood politics, policy, and governance. She has conducted and collaborated on research in Latin America concerning food sovereignty movements and policy, agroecological transitions, gender and development, and multi-actor agricultural development initiatives. She is currently working on a co-authored book project that explores the coloniality of environmental justice and governance in relation to socio-environmental conflicts over extractivism.

Regarding teaching, Dr. Godek takes a critical pedagogical approach to exploring socio-political phenomena. She strives to incorporate a diverse range of teaching strategies that encourage students to explore counter-narratives and subaltern voices and histories with the goal of gaining a deeper and more balanced understanding of the construction and evolution of power and institutions. In addition to regular courses on comparative politics, she teaches interdisciplinary special topics courses related to her scholarly interests and research experience.

Selected Publications

Godek, W. 2020. “Food sovereignty policies and the quest to democratize food system governance in Nicaragua.” Agriculture and Human Values38(1), 91-105. DOI: 0.1007/s10460-020-10136-3.

Schiller, K., W. Godek, L. Klerkx, and M. Poorliet. 2020. “Nicaragua’s agroecological transition: Transformation or reconfiguration of the agri-food regime?” Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (Special Issue: Agroecology Now – Connecting the Dots to Enable Agroecological Transitions”) 40(5): 611-28. DOI: 10.1080/21683565.2019.1667939.

Godek, W. 2018. “The Global Politics of Food System Sustainability.” In Global Environmental Politics: Concepts, Theories and Case Studies (2nd edn.), Eds. Gabriela Kuetting and Kyle Herman, Routledge. 

Godek, W. 2015. “Challenges for food sovereignty policy making: the case of Nicaragua’s Law 693.” Third World Quarterly (Special Issue: “Food Sovereignty: Framework & campaign, social movements & alternatives”) 36(3): 526–43.   

Putnam, H., W. Godek, S. Kissmann, J. Luckson Pierre, S.H. Alvarado Dzul, H. Calix de Dios, and S. R. Gliessman. 2013. “Coupling Agroecology and PAR to Identify Appropriate Food Security and Sovereignty Strategies in Indigenous Communities.” Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Vol. 38(2): 165–98.

Courses Taught

  • POLSC 120 Comparative Politics
  • POLSC 328 Politics in Latin America
  • POLSC 330 Revolution & Social Change
  • POLSC 350 Political Theory
  • POLSC 392 Global Food Politics
  • POLSC 379 Special Topics: Gender & International Development
  • POLSC 379 Special Topics: Narcotrafficking and Land Grabs in Latin America
  • POLSC 379 Special Topics: Social & Environmental Justice in Latin America
  • POLSC 442 Senior Research Seminar
  • LALS 100 Introduction to Latin American & Latino Studies
  • HONR 300 Community Engagement Seminar