Jacob Nathaniel Kopas
Jacob Kopas is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Politics and International Relations in the Political Science Department at Columbia University in New York. He has been the recipient of a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant in Political Science, and developed a successful EGAP Metaketa grant for a field experiment measuring the impact of community-led forest monitoring on deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon.
Mr. Kopas' research focuses on two fundamental topics. The first focus is on the intersection of law and politics. His research pays special attention to the power of legal rights and international law to change political attitudes and mobilize social movements. His doctoral dissertation studies these effects, as results of large land titling projects in the countryside of Peru and Colombia, including an ambitious land restitution project aimed at victims of forced displacement in Colombia.
The second focus examines environmental politics and the political economy of environmental protection. Current research projects include studying the role of international human rights law in indigenous peoples' movements, and uncovering how politics affect incentives for designating protected areas or permitting large energy projects.
Mr. Kopas is a lawyer and a graduate cum laude from Harvard Law School. His professional portfolio includes international litigation related to human rights, indigenous peoples' rights and environmental protection. He has published policy reports on the legal implications of climate change and large development projects. His regional focus is in Latin America where he has researched, worked and lived for over 9 years.