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Barry G. Rabe

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Governance Studies

Barry Rabe examines the political feasibility and durability of environmental policy, including efforts to address climate change in the United States and abroad. This has included analysis of the conditions under which political systems are capable of adopting and sustaining market-based carbon pricing policies such as carbon taxes or cap-and-trade, as examined in his 2018 MIT Press book, Can We Price Carbon? He is currently extending this analysis into examining the political and technical viability of applying market and regulatory tools to other greenhouse gases, including methane and hydrofluorocarbons.

Rabe’s research regularly considers political and policy questions in the context of federalism, including his 2020 Brookings Press book, Trump, the Administrative Presidency, and Federalism, co-authored with Frank Thompson and Kenneth Wong. This book examines the Obama and Trump presidencies, considering their heavy reliance on executive actions across multiple policy areas and the ability of state coalitions to lead effective efforts to thwart them. Federalism also looms large in previous Brookings books that he has authored or edited, including Greenhouse Governance (2010), Statehouse and Greenhouse (2004), Beyond NIMBY (1994), and When Federalism Works (1986). He also explores these issues in chapters of Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century, co-edited with Norman Vig and Michael Kraft and scheduled for 2021 publication by CQ/Sage.

Rabe is the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, where he also holds the Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship in Environmental Policy. He is the recipient of four American Political Science Association awards, including the 2017 Martha Derthick Award in honor of the book on federalism and intergovernmental relations that has had a lasting impact for more than a decade. This award recognized Statehouse and Greenhouse, which has previously won the Lynton Caldwell Award for its contribution to environmental politics and policy.

Recent policy engagement has included co-chairing the Assumable Waters Subcommittee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. An elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, he has served on panels examining governance challenges facing the Department of Interior, Department of Commerce, and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

Barry Rabe examines the political feasibility and durability of environmental policy, including efforts to address climate change in the United States and abroad. This has included analysis of the conditions under which political systems are capable of adopting and sustaining market-based carbon pricing policies such as carbon taxes or cap-and-trade, as examined in his 2018 MIT Press book, Can We Price Carbon? He is currently extending this analysis into examining the political and technical viability of applying market and regulatory tools to other greenhouse gases, including methane and hydrofluorocarbons.

Rabe’s research regularly considers political and policy questions in the context of federalism, including his 2020 Brookings Press book, Trump, the Administrative Presidency, and Federalism, co-authored with Frank Thompson and Kenneth Wong. This book examines the Obama and Trump presidencies, considering their heavy reliance on executive actions across multiple policy areas and the ability of state coalitions to lead effective efforts to thwart them. Federalism also looms large in previous Brookings books that he has authored or edited, including Greenhouse Governance (2010), Statehouse and Greenhouse (2004), Beyond NIMBY (1994), and When Federalism Works (1986). He also explores these issues in chapters of Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century, co-edited with Norman Vig and Michael Kraft and scheduled for 2021 publication by CQ/Sage.

Rabe is the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, where he also holds the Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship in Environmental Policy. He is the recipient of four American Political Science Association awards, including the 2017 Martha Derthick Award in honor of the book on federalism and intergovernmental relations that has had a lasting impact for more than a decade. This award recognized Statehouse and Greenhouse, which has previously won the Lynton Caldwell Award for its contribution to environmental politics and policy.

Recent policy engagement has included co-chairing the Assumable Waters Subcommittee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. An elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, he has served on panels examining governance challenges facing the Department of Interior, Department of Commerce, and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

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