Rebecca LaurentPhD Student, Civil Society and Community Research


Rebecca Laurent is pursuing a joint PhD in Civil Society and Community Research and in Sociology. Rebecca’s work is focused on environmental politics and (in)justice, especially with respect to fossil fuels and climate change. In particular, she is interested in barriers to effective mitigation of the climate crisis, including the entanglement between oil and state, cultural hegemony of fossil fuels, and repression of environmental activism. Rebecca employs qualitative methods to study the complex interactions of ideology, rhetoric, institutions, and identity that animate energy contestation in the US.

Education and Relevant Experience

Rebecca obtained a master’s degree in 2021 in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her master’s thesis analyzed the criminalization of anti-pipeline protest in the United States and its effect on policing and resistance in Southern Louisiana. Rebecca obtained bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois in 2019.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Johnson, M.F., Laurent, R.L., & Kwao, B. (2020). Constructing a Crisis: The Effect of Resource Curse Discourse on Extractive Governance in Ghana. The Extractive Industries and Society, 7(3), 956-974.

Laurent, R.L., and M.F. Johnson. (2021). Oil is Life? Challenging the Hegemony of the Oil-State Complex in the US. International Studies Association Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV.

Portrait of Rebecca Laurent, a white woman smiling in a blue striped, collared shirt, a white cardigan, and black pants.

Degree Program

  • Civil Society & Community Research


Phone: 618-830-4903