Research themes

My research spans comparative and global politics of climate change, environment, and energy, focusing on four principal strands:

Role of the EU in global environmental governance

I have published two books on the EU’s role in global environmental governance. My first book, European Climate Leadership in Question: Policies toward China and India (MIT Press 2015) examined the EU’s relations on climate change with China and India. More recently, I co-edited European Union External Environmental Policy: Rules, Regulation and Governance Beyond Borders (Palgrave 2018) along with Camilla Adelle and Katja Biedenkopf.

Leaders, followers, and policy diffusion in climate governance

I have written about leadership, followership, and policy diffusion in the context of EU relations with China and India on climate change. I have also written about the development of climate legislation in Ireland as a case of partial policy diffusion. I am co-editing and contributing to a Special Issue of the journal Environmental Politics on “Pioneers, Leaders and Followers in Polycentric Climate Governance” with Rudiger Wurzel and Duncan Liefferink.

Politics of climate change in small European states

I am co-editing a Special Issue of the journal Environmental Politics on “Climate Politics in Small European States” with Neil Carter and Conor Little. This Special Issue aims to analyse systematically how characteristics associated with small states enable and constrain climate policy and politics across a range of small European states. It brings together a diverse set of scholars, country cases, theoretical perspectives and methodologies.

Climate and energy governance in Ireland

I co-edited a symposium in the journal Irish Political Studies on the politics of climate change in Ireland along with Conor Little. My contribution to the symposium examined the development of climate legislation in Ireland. In 2017 I undertook a study funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency examining whether the existing energy governance framework in Ireland can deliver decarbonisation at the scale required. Currently, I am Principal Investigator on an 18-month project evaluating Ireland’s policy response to climate change since 1996 also funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency.