University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Profiles of University of Michigan Faculty Experts in State and Local Policy Areas

Professor Barry Rabe

Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Professor of Environmental Policy, School of Natural Resources and Environment

Years On UM Faculty: 20

Faculty website
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Regarding his interactions with policymakers, Professor Rabe states:

"I am always gratified to learn that both scholars and policymakers are engaged to some extent with my scholarly work. Throughout my time at Michigan, I have spent a lot of time with policymakers, both interviewing them in conjunction with various projects and then often being on the receiving end of inquiries that they have. In areas such as climate change, where I am currently working, I am surprised by how fragmented the scholarly and policy communities are and have enjoyed the opportunities to build bridges across a number of lines. In turn, as a scholar, I think contact with policymakers keeps you honest. I frequently get feedback from policy professionals who have read my work or heard a talk. They often offer critical comment or an idea I just never thought about working purely in academic circles."

Based on his research and interaction with the policy community, Professor Rabe was recently awarded a 2006 Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


North American environmental politics and policy, nuclear and hazardous waste management, pollution prevention and cross-media regulatory integration, anti-pollution regulatory coordination across state and national boundaries, and greenhouse gas reduction policies.


"Renewable Energy Mandates as a Climate Policy Tool" This study, supported by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, examines the rapid expansion of state government mandates to increase the amount of renewable energy provided in each state's electricity supply. Twenty-one states now have such renewable portfolio standards, covering more than half of the U.S. population. The study examines why so many states have adopted such policies, how this issue area changes as more states become involved and set more ambitious renewable targets, and early findings from implementation. This work is being supplemented with comparable analysis of renewable energy policy in Canada, and it builds on research published in an earlier book written by Professor Rabe, Statehouse and Greenhouse: The Emerging Politics of American Climate Policy, that won the 2005 American Political Science Association's Lynton Keith Caldwell Award for the best book published in environmental politics and policy during the past 3 years.


Health and public health policy; intergovernmental relations.

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University of Michigan Gateway Ford School Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy