David Nugent holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University, and is professor of anthropology at Emory University. He is also the past president of the American Ethnological Association, the oldest and largest association of cultural anthropologists in the US. Nugent's current research focuses on the role of politics, the state, law and human rights in the development process. He has done extensive theoretical and applied work in a variety of settings, from Latin America to East Africa to North America.
During the military regime of Manuel Odría (1948-56), government officials in the Chachapoyas region of northern Peru came to regard themselves as under grave threat from an underground political movement that could not be seen with the naked eye.