Thomas Hale

Associate Professor in Public Policy (Global Public Policy)

Dr. Thomas Hale’s research explores how we can manage transnational problems effectively and fairly. He seeks to explain how political institutions evolve--or not--to face the challenges raised by globalization and interdependence, with a particular emphasis on environmental and economic issues. He holds a PhD in Politics from Princeton University, a masters degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics, and an AB in public policy from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. A US national, Hale has studied and worked in Argentina, China, and Europe. His books include Between Interests and Law: The Politics of Transnational Commercial Disputes (Cambridge 2015), Transnational Climate Change Governance (Cambridge 2014), and Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation Is Failing when We Need It Most (Polity 2013).

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New publications

Special Issue of International Interactions, The Comparative Politics of Transnational Climate Governance, 43:1
Intro: with Charles Roger & Liliana Andonova (2017) "The Comparative Politics of Transnational Climate Governance," International Interactions, 43:1, pp. 1-25.
All Hands on Deck”: The Paris Agreement and Nonstate Climate ActionGlobal Environmental Politics, Vol. 16, No. 3. 
with Harro van Asselt. “How non-state actors can contribute to more effective review processes under the Paris Agreement.” Stockholm Environment Institute Policy Brief. May 2016.
with Mathias Koenig-Archibugi, "Are Europeans ready for a more democratic European Union? New evidence on preference heterogeneity, polarisation and crosscuttingness," European Journal of Political Research, forthcoming. 

I am interested in problems that span national boundaries and the political institutions that seek to solve them. Globalization and interdependence challenge the ability of states and international organizations to provide the public goods on which global peace, prosperity, and welfare depend. Governments are unable to meet the basic needs of citizens without cooperating across boundaries, but cooperation has also become more difficult as problems penetrate deeper into societies. At the same time, a host of new actors ranging from private groups to sub-components of states has come to play a greater role in global governance. My research aims to track and explain these changes, and to imagine how we might effectively and democratically tackle the fundamental political transformations globalization has unleashed.

Masters in Public Policy

I teach international cooperation within the MPP course, including a special option course on climate change solutions. 

Supervising doctoral students

I seek doctoral students looking to combine world-leading social science with deep impact on public policy. I work with students in the field of political science with a focus on international relations and global politics and/or comparative national politics. I am particularly interested in supervising students working on questions of global economic governance, global environmental governance, or transnational governance in other issue areas. 
I expect doctoral students to employ state-of-the-art social science methodologies and to tackle research questions of significant value and interest to policymakers.  Students should master and deploy whatever combination of research tools, quantitative and qualitative, can best answer the question before them. Students who do not currently possess expertise in the relevant methodologies and skills (e.g. statistical analysis, case study analysis, archival and interview techniques, languages, modeling, programming, etc.) should expect to invest significantly in them during the first years of their doctoral work. I expect all students to read widely across their disciplinary fields and deeply in a number of subfields, as well as in the relevant policy literature. Developing a sophisticated understanding of research design is of paramount importance, as is an appreciation for the dynamics of policy work. 
Per Blavatnik School policy, please do not contact me when you are applying or considering applying. The School asks applicants not to contact faculty directly, but to send in a summary of their research proposal along with a CV that will be forwarded to the appropriate member of the faculty.  This process ensures that all enquiries can be tracked and responded to. I am not able to comment on the particulars of research proposals in advance of application. 


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Articles in peer-reviewed journals


Edited books and special issues 

Thomas Hale writes a piece about President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement
New Statesman - Friday, 2 June, 2017
Thomas Hale writes about how to limit the damage that a Trump presidency will pose to climate
Climate Home - Wednesday, 9 November, 2016
BSG's Thomas Hale comments the potential candidature of the UNFCCC chief
Climate Home - Tuesday, 28 June, 2016
BSG's Thomas Hale is among the 'top 30 climate change thinkers'
Origin Magazine - Monday, 30 November, 2015
Thomas Hale mentioned in relation to country pledges in the run-up to COP21 in Paris
Climate Home - Monday, 19 October, 2015