James Bohland

Professor James Bohland has a PhD and an MA in Geography, both from the University of Georgia, and a BA in History from Western Michigan University. After 11 years at the University of Oklahoma, he joined the faculty in Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech in 1980, and he retired as a full professor in August 2018. Upon retirement, he was appointed emeritus professor for the School of Public and International Affairs. During his tenure at Tech, he chaired the Urban Affairs and Planning program. He was also the founding director of the School of Public and International Affairs; a senior fellow for Biomedical, Bioengineering and Health; director of the Institute for Community Health; interim provost; vice-president and executive director for the university’s National Capital Region Operations; and senior research leader for the Global Forum and Urban and Regional Resilience. His most recent publications include: “The Resilience Machine” (with Jennifer Lawrence and Simon Davoudi, eds.) and “The Disaster Resiliency Challenge: Transforming Theory to Action” (with Jack Harrald and Deborah Brosnan, eds.).

American Democracy: We Have Misread the Signs of the Coming Storm

February 11, 2021

The January 6 storming of the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election has left many of us pondering the future of democracy in the United States. The symbol of American democracy withstood the onslaught this time, but...

Will the Pandemic Revitalize Ideas of the Global Common Good?

January 05, 2021

Two decades into the 21st century, humanity is faced with a plethora of unprecedented global crises. After SARS-1, multiple novel avian influenza strains, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the current COVID-19 pandemic is by far the most severe and widespread public health crisis in at least a century....

Social Learning Can Help Transform Crisis Into Opportunity

November 25, 2020

Global events, such as announcements that an effective COVID-19 vaccine could be available before the year’s end or the outcome of the US election, have raised hopes that the schism between science and populist ideology may become a thing of the past. That, in our view, is somewhat naïve. Unless...

A New Social Contract Amid a Crisis

October 20, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic coincides with a worldwide movement toward more authoritarianism and fewer civil liberties — a movement that has been going on for some time, well before the outbreak. Populism, conspiracy theories, disinformation campaigns, right-wing political extremism and the rise of autocratic governments are not a new phenomenon. However,...

Scientists’ Social Engagement Is Needed to Stem the COVID-19 Pandemic

September 18, 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the unpreparedness and inability of many countries to effectively manage complex risks and ensure community resilience. An important dimension of this dangerous flaw is the sharp divide between those who rely on science to shape policies and actions, and those who undermine or dispel...