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Barry Rabe

Barry Rabe

J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Environmental Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Director, Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Phone: (734) 615-9596
Fax: (734) 615-4623
Office: Weill Hall
735 S. State St. # 5234
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091
E-mail: brabe@umich.edu

Go to Barry Rabe’s Home Page

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Environment
  • Health
  • Nonprofit and Civil Society
  • Politics, Institutions & Processes: National
  • Politics, Institutions & Processes: State & Local
  • Science and Technology

Educational Background:

B.A. Carthage College, History
M.A., Ph.D. University of Chicago, Political Science

External Appointments:

Brookings Institution, Washington, DC Non-resident Senior Fellow in Governance Studies

Fellow, National Academy of Public Administration

Current Research:

Intergovernmental climate policy development and implementation, with particular focus on policy diffusion and regionalization; comparative federalism and climate policy in North America and Europe; renewable energy politics and policy in North America; federalism and environmental policy development in the United States and Canada; comparative governance of nanotechnology; public opinion on climate, energy and environmental protection.


Barry Rabe is a Professor of Public Policy in the Ford School and also holds appointments in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Program in the Environment. He is a non-resident senior fellow in the Governance Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. Much of his recent research examines state and regional development of policies to reduce greenhouse gases, which has been conducted in collaboration with the Brookings Institution, the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. In 2006, Rabe became the first social scientist to receive a Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in recognition of his contribution to both scholarship and policy making. His 2004 Brookings book, Statehouse and Greenhouse: The Evolving Politics of American Climate Change Policy, received the 2005 Lynton Keith Caldwell Award from the American Political Science Association in recognition of the best book published on environmental politics and policy in the past three years.

Rabe has also written extensively about such topics as nuclear and hazardous waste management, cross-border and cross-media transfer of pollutants in federal regulatory systems, and the conditions necessary to achieve intergovernmental cooperation in the implementation of federal grant and regulatory programs. During the 2008-09 year, he was a visiting professor at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, where he organized the National Conference on Climate Governance and edited a series of subsequent publications. In 2004, he completed a ten-year term as editor of the American Governance and Public Policy book series for Georgetown University Press. At Michigan, he previously served as Director of the Program in the Environment and as Interim Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment. In 2007, he received the Daniel Elazar Award for Career Contribution to the Study of Federalism from the American Political Science Association. In 2009, he was named a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.


American Political Science Association (Chair, Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations Section); Midwest Political Science Association; Canadian Political Science Association; Association for Canadian Studies in the United States.

Editorial Boards: Political Research Quarterly; Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions; Review of Policy Studies, American Review of Canadian Studies.

Academic Appointments:

  • Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
  • Program in the Environment, College of Literature, Sciences and the Arts
  • School of Natural Resources and the Environment