I am a Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the School of Government & Public Policy and Chancellor’s Fellow in the Center for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde. I am also a Fellow at the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP), Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and Associated Researcher at the Centre for the Political Economy of Reforms at the University of Mannheim.
My research focuses on central questions in international cooperation and the political economy of environmental politics and energy policy. Current projects include work on the political economy of carbon markets, formal and statistical models of climate treaties, environmental cooperation through financial incentives, and climate politics in times of Brexit.
My work was published, among others, in the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Energy Economics, PNAS, and Science Advances. My book on Escaping the Energy Poverty Trap was published with MIT Press in 2018 and offers the first comprehensive political science account of energy poverty. I have written for The Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage, VoxDev, and ISEP. My work has been covered by The Economist.
My contact details can be found in my CV here.
European Union Sectoral Emissions Data (EUSED)
EUSED provides CO2 emissions for 33 countries (EU ETS member countries plus Switzerland and Turkey), disaggregated into 7 sectors which are matched between UNFCCC sectors (CRF) and EU ETS activities, 1990-2016. The data is available from Harvard Dataverse or can be downloaded here. Please read the codebook before using the data.
Acknowledgment: I gratefully acknowledge funding by the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant (SG171349, 1 January 2018 to 30 May 2019). Constantin Brod offered excellent research assistance.
A common argument in the international relations literature is that multilateral agreements either set ambitious policies and include few states, or they include many states at the expense of lax policies. This conclusion derives from a simple model that captures an important aspect of multilateral agreements: the trade-off between breadth and depth. However, the focus on this trade-off overlooks the cost of staying out. In cooperation problems, such as climate change, in which the cost of non-cooperation increases over time, ignoring this cost renders our understanding of multilateral agreements incomplete. In my game-theoretic model, I capture this aspect by allowing countries, with heterogeneous ideal points, to also vary in their noncooperation cost. Substantively, variation in this cost parameter could come from countries’ higher exposure to negative externalities or domestic opposition to non-cooperation. In such a setup, I can show that broad treaties can be sustained even for deep commitments when staying out is expensive. This result has two important implications for IR scholarship and the breadth depth trade-off literature in particular. First, as the distribution of non-cooperation costs across countries differs by issue, the breadth-depth trade-off must necessarily be issue-specific, too—an insight that is currently overlooked. Second, empirical models of treaty participation that ignore non-cooperation cost are likely misspecified due to omitted variable bias.
A central claim in the literature on economic competition and environmental regulation is that governments are expected to respond to economic competition by lowering environmental standards. Governments do so over fear that firms move abroad in the face of stringent regulation. Recognizing that firms differ in how likely they are to relocate, this paper advances a political theory of regulating different types of firms in a globalized world economy. I argue that relative to domestic producers foreign firms’ relocation threats are more credible, resulting in more favorable regulation. Drawing on an original, installation-level data set, I find that foreign-owned installations in EU carbon markets receive more valuable permits for free. Additional tests and qualitative evidence underscore the plausibility of the proposed relocation mechanism. These results extend research on economic competition and environmental regulation beyond classical command-and-control regulation and highlight the importance of firm heterogeneity in international regulatory politics.
With the negotiation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015, international climate governance has moved away from a top-down to a bottom-up approach. In this weakly institutionalized setup, national governments set their climate targets voluntarily. Since climate policy has distributional effects, ratcheting up climate ambition over time will only become politically feasible if the general public believes that their country can win from ambitious climate action. In this paper, we develop a theory of belief formation which anchors distributional effects from climate action at the sector level. Specifically, we study how knowing about these impacts shapes public beliefs about collective economic consequences from climate policy not only in a home country but also abroad. Findings from a nationally representative survey experiment in the United Kingdom demonstrate that respondents are biased towards their home country in assessing information about winning and losing sectors: while beliefs brighten for good news and worsen for bad news when home country information is provided, distributional effects from abroad are discounted for belief formation. We also show that feelings of international embeddedness, akin to globalization attitudes, make respondents consistently hold more positivebeliefs that the UK can benefit from ambitious climate action. Ruling out several alternative explanations, these results offer a first step towards a better understanding of how distributional effects in one issue area, such as globalization, can spill over to other issue areas, such as climate change.
International Institutions and Regimes (spring 2020, graduate) [Syllabus]
Global Energy Politics and Policy (spring 2021, graduate)