The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Ethan Tupelo

Ethan Tupelo

Professional Title: 

Doctoral Candidate
Teaching Associate


Thompson 710


Office Hours: 

Spring 2019: by appointment


B.A., International Studies, American University, Washington, DC (2004)



While primarily interested in political theory and comparative politics, my interests span multiple subfields.  Specifically, I am interested in philosophical and practical justifications of the State and the possibility of creating political institutions that are not ultimately based on the threat of force, how oppressive institutions can be effectively challenged by non-state actors, the decision making systems and institutional dynamics of participatory organizations, and how the organization of institutions shape and constrain the possibilities of individual human freedom as viewed on a personal level.

Current Research:

Since fall of 2014, I have been engaged in an ethnographic study with Pedal People, one of the main trash, recycling, and compost hauling businesses in Northampton.  Unlike similar businesses, they are a worker cooperative, make all decisions by consensus, and do all of their work by bicycle, pulling nine-foot long trailers carrying up to 300 pounds of waste.  This research provides insights at the intersection of environmental politics, collective ownership and decision making, and social justice.


Graduate Student Senate - Senator (2017-present)
Political Science Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) - Co-chair (2016-17)

Courses Taught: 

Teaching Associate for:

PolSci-111: Introduction to Comparative Politics RAP (Fall 2018)

Teaching Assistant for:

PolSci-111: Introduction to Comparative Politics (Spring 2018)
PolSci-111: Introduction to Comparative Politics (Fall 2017)
PolSci-171: Introduction to Political Theory (Spring 2017)
PolSci-111: Introduction to Comparative Politics (Fall 2016)
PolSci-111: Introduction to Comparative Politics (Spring 2016)
PolSci-203: American Political Thought (Fall 2015)
PolSci-111: Introduction to Comparative Politics (Spring 2015)
PolSci-255: American Foreign Policy (Fall 2014)
PolSci-101: American Politics (Spring 2014)
PolSci-277: Making a Global World (Fall 2013)


  • Political Science