Watts was named the 2003 Guggenheim fellow, selected from more than 3,200 applicants and chosen based on distinguished achievement and exceptional promise for future accomplishments. Watts received his bachelor's degree in geography and economics from London's University College in 1972 and his PhD in 1978 from the University of Michigan. He joined the faculty of the geography department at UC Berkeley in 1979, and served from 1994 to 2004 as Director of the Institute of International Studies, a program that promotes cross-disciplinary global and transnational research and training.
- Faculty page
- The Hettner Lectures: Geographies of Violence. Heidelberg: University of Heidelberg, 2000.
- "2001 Black Acts", New Left Review, 9, pp.125-140, 2001.
- "Petro-Violence: Nation, Identity and Extraction in Nigeria and Ecuador", in N. Peluso and M. Watts (eds.), Violent Environments. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp.189-212.
- "1968 and all that...", Progress in Human Geography, 25/2, pp.157-188, 2000.
- "Violent Geographies: speaking the unspeakable and the politics of space", City and Society, XIII/1,pp.83-115, 2000.
- "Development Ethnographies", Ethnography 2/2, pp.283-300, 2000.
- "Development at the Millennium", Geographische Zeitschrift, 88/2, pp.67-93, 2000.
- "Political Ecology", in T. Barnes and E. Sheppard (eds.), A Companion To Economic Geography, Oxford, Blackwell, pp.257-275, 2000.
- "The Great Tablecloth", in G. Clark, M. Gertler and Feldmann (eds.), A Handbook of Economic Geography. London, Oxford University Press, pp.195-215, 2000.
- "Islamic Modernities," in James Halston (ed)., Cities and Citizenship, Durham, Duke University Press, pp. 67-102, 1999
- "Collective Wish Images: Geographical Imaginaries and the Crisis of Development," in John Allen and Doreen Massey (eds.), Human Geography Today, Cambridge, Polity Press, pp. 85-107, 1999