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).

CV            Email me         @thomasnhale



New publications

with David Held, "Why is the anti-global backlash happening now?" Global Agenda, World Economic Forum, 29 November 2017
with David Held, "The world is in economic, political and environmental gridlock – here’s why," The Conversation, 8 November 2017
with David Held, "Beyond gridlock in world politics," Open Democracy, 13 October 2017
with David Held et al., Beyond Gridlock. Cambridge: Polity, 2017.
with Liliana Andonova and Charles Roger, "National Policy and Transnational Governance of Climate Change: Substitutes or Complements?" International Studies Quarterly
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. 


Google Scholar analytics

Articles in peer-reviewed journals


Edited books and special issues 

Book chapters

  • “What is the Effect of Transnational Commercial Arbitration on Trade?,” in Walter Mattli and Thomas Dietz, Eds., International Arbitration and Global Governance: Contending Theories and Evidence (Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • with Anne-Marie Slaughter, “International Relations, Principal Theories,” in Rudiger Wolfrom, Ed., Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Oxford University Press: forthcoming).
  • with Charles Roger, “China and Transnational Climate Governance,” in Scott Kennedy, Ed., The Dragon’s Learning Curve (Routledge: forthcoming).
  • with Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Transgovernmental Networks,” in Mark Bevir, Ed., The Handbook of Governance (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publishing, 2010).
  • with Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Transgovernmental Networks and Multilevel Governance,” in Enderlein, Henrik, Sonja Wälti, and Michael Zürn (Eds.): Handbook on Multi-Level Governance (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2010).
  • with Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Transgovernmental Networks and Emerging Powers,” in Alan S. Alexandroff and Andrew F. Cooper, Eds., Rising States; Rising Institutions: Can the World Be Governed?(Washington: Brookings Press, 2010).
  • with Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Calling All Patriots: the Cosmopolitan Appeal of Americanism,” in Cultural Transformations, Henrietta L. Moore and David Held, Eds. (Oneworld Press, October 2007).
  • with Anne-Marie Slaughter, “A Covenant to Make Global Governance Work,” in David Held, Ed., Debating Globalization (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005). 

Selected conference papers

  • “Under what conditions does international review alter national policy? Refining Concepts and Building Theory”
    • American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, September 1-3, 2016
    • Political Economy of International Organizations, Zurich, January 2017
  • with Liliana Andonova and Charles Roger, “Diffusion or Domestic Politics? Explaining Global Patterns of Participation in Transnational Climate Governance”
    • IX Annual Global Administrative Law Conference, Viterbo, Italy, June 13-14, 2013
    • Annual Meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System, Lund, Sweden, June 17-19, 2013
  • “Privatization, Expertise, and the Accountability of Governance beyond the State: Evidence from Private Arbitral Tribunals,” International Studies Association Annual Meeting, April 3-6, 2013, 
San Francisco

  • with Charles Roger, “Domestic Politics and Transnational Climate Governance: A Research Agenda,” Earth Systems Governance conference, Tokyo, January 28-31, 2013.

  • “Gridlock: Why Multilateralism Is Failing when We Need It Most,” WTO Public Forum, Geneva, September 25, 2012.

  • “Sources of the Rule of Law in the Global Economy,” International Studies Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, April 1-4, 2012. (WINNER: Lawrence Finkelstein Award for best paper on international organization presented by a PhD student)

  • with Charles Roger, “China and Transnational Climate Governance
    • Conference on China and Global Governance, Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business, Indiana University, Bloomington, March 22-24, 2012.  
    • International Studies Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, April 1-4, 2012.
    • Bridges Dialogue, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Geneva, September 2012.
  • “No Global Governance, No Democracy,” Global Demos Conference, London School of Economics, July 1-2, 2011.
  • with Charles Rogers, “Orchestration and Transnational Climate Governance”
    • European Consortium of Political Research Joint Session, St. Gallen, Switzerland, April 13-17, 2011
    • European University Institute, December 16-17, 2011.
  • “The de Facto Free Trade Area in Asia,” Third Annual Conference on the Political Economy of International Organizations, Georgetown, Washington D.C., January 28-30, 2010.
  • ’Info-courts’ and the Accountability of International Organizations: Evidence from the World Bank Inspection Panel,” IV Global Administrative Law Seminar, Viterbo, Italy, June 13-14, 2008

Selected other publications

Book reviews


The article includes a quote from Thomas Hale
The Economist - Thursday, 14 December, 2017
Thomas Hale writes about the crisis of modern democracy
The Conversation - Wednesday, 8 November, 2017
Article on President Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement. Mentions Tom Hale.
UnHerd - Friday, 11 August, 2017
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