Jonah Walters

Postdoctoral Fellow

3365 LSB

PhD, Geography
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Jonah Walters is a human geographer whose research examines state and popular responses to mass social vulnerability. At ISG, he studies the sociotechnical construction of lethality in medicolegal death examination as a member of the BioCritical Studies Lab under the direction of Associate Professor Terence Keel. His current project interrogates the practices through which police agencies, commercial munitions manufacturers, and civilian scientists maintain the expert consensus that certain categories of armaments, notably oleoresin capsicum (pepper spray), are non-lethal.

He received his PhD in 2021. His dissertation analyzed the social reproduction of Nicaragua’s “popular economy,” a subjective economic community imagined by its protagonists to be outside the sphere of capitalist sociality. Linking conjunctural class analysis with science and technology studies, the dissertation advocated a new framework for understanding state action and grassroots cooperativism in the aftermath of frustrated neoliberal transition.

He is also an experienced freelance journalist covering joblessness, militarism, and mass incarceration in the United States and Central America.

Selected publications:

2019. “The Sandinista Labor Paradox,” NACLA Report on the Americas 51(3), pp. 276-283.

2019 (with Balakrishnan, R., Elson, D. and Heintz, J.). Auditing Economic Policy for Human Rights: A Guide for Activists and Advocates, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

2017. “Capitalism a la Sandinista: Deciphering Nicaragua’s ‘Market Economy with a Preferential Option for the Poor,’” in NACLA Report on the Americas 49(1), pp. 7-10.

Selected reporting:

Parole Justice Now: Confronting Death by Incarceration in New York,” Nonprofit Quarterly. 3/22/22

People with convictions cast ballots in New Jersey,” the Guardian. 7/7/20

Cause of Death: Passive Hanging,” The Outline. 2/5/20