PAUL G. HARRIS’S research explores global and environmental politics, policy and ethics. Most of his recent work focuses on climate change, including the international governance of climate change, climate ethics and justice, the politics and foreign policy of climate change, and American and Chinese climate change policies.
“My research philosophy is to undertake innovative analyses that enhance understanding of the human dimensions of global change. I aim to bolster comprehension and appreciation of some of the most vital issues of our time. I try to set a good example for colleagues — to make the best contribution that I can to our collective research efforts, thereby increasing transfer of knowledge that benefits our students, other scholars, the local and global communities, and the nonhuman world.” Paul G. Harris
Professor Harris’s research has been supported by highly competitive research grants, including the Research Grants Council’s General Research Fund and the Environment Bureau’s Sustainable Development Fund. He has directed research programs and many project teams, resulting in a large number of books and other scholarly publications.
Scroll down this page for some summaries of Professor Harris’s ongoing and past research projects. To learn about two dozen books and more than 100 journal articles and book chapters resulting from his research, click on Books and Articles & Chapters above. You may also find Professor Harris’s ORCID record to be useful.
- Climate Change Governance. This project analyzes the politics and governance of climate change at three levels: international, national and individual, aiming to understand means for overcoming obstacles to greater action by the global community, governments and citizens. A number of books, articles and chapters have resulted from this project, with more to come, including Pathologies of Climate Governance, a book being written for Cambridge University Press (see books for an abstract).
- Ethics and Justice of Climate Change. This long-term project seeks to illuminate and advance understanding of the practical implications of ethics and justice in global efforts to address climate change. An underlying assumption is that responses to climate change cannot be effective if they are not equitable, fair and just. The project has resulted in many books, book chapters and journal articles, with more in progress, including A Research Agenda for Climate Justice (see books for an abstract).
- The Governance of Oceanic Change. This project, involving about 100 scholars and experts from around the world, aims to understand how oceans and seas can and should be governed as the impacts of climatic and environmental changes progress. The results of this project include a major research volume published by Cambridge University Press in 2019 and a comprehensive scholarly handbook, co-edited with Erika Techera, to be published by Routledge (see books for an abstract).
- Experiential Learning in the Environment. To truly comprehend the environment, it is valuable (and possibly essential) to experience it firsthand. This project puts the researcher within the real-world “natural” environment that is the subject of political, diplomatic and policy negotiations. An objective is to compare environmental realities with non-experiential sources of environmental knowledge, and to use the resulting understanding to inform teaching, research and writing about environmental governance.
COMPLETED PROJECTS (partial list)
- The Politics of Adaptation to Climate Change. This project, in collaboration with John Barkdull and completed in 2018, examined the role of politics and political science in advancing understanding of adaptation to dangerous future climate change. It resulted in several articles in academic journals.
- Consumption and Compliance with Climate Change Agreements. This project, conducted with Taedong Lee and completed in 2016 with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea, resulted in a co-authored refereed journal article.
- Environment and Society in East and Southeast Asia. This collaborative project, co-directed with Graeme Lang, was completed in 2015 and resulted in an edited book.
- The Landscape of Global Environmental Politics: A Survey of the Discipline. This project involved nearly 50 scholars of Global Environmental Politics. Completed in 2016, it resulted in a comprehensive “handbook” of the discipline published by Routledge (a 2014 original edition and a 2016 updated paperback edition).
- China and Global Warming: Reconciling International Justice and the Realities of Climate Change. Funded by the Research Grants Council and completed in 2012, the output of this collaborative project included a number of journal articles, several books and a policy report.
- Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development in China and Education for Sustainable Development in Tertiary Education. Completed in 2011 with support from the Environment Bureau’s Sustainable Development Fund, these complementary collaborative projects resulted in several outputs, including a book and an educational website.
- Cosmopolitan Justice and Climate Change. This project, with support from the James Harvey Johnson Charitable Education Trust (through the Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs), was completed by 2011 and resulted in several articles and books.
- China’s Climate Change Policy and Climate Change and the Politics of Contemporary China. These two related projects, conducted in 2008 and 2010, resulted in government-commissioned policy reports.
- Environmental Change and Foreign Policy. Initiated and directed by Professor Harris, the Project on Environmental Change and Foreign Policy was a decade-long international research initiative that involved over 100 scholars. It was mostly completed by 2009 and resulted in ten books and a large number of articles and chapters.
- Environmental Attitudes in China and Future Climate Change: Reshaping Destructive Attitudes for Worldwide Benefits. With funding from the Minor Foundation for Major Challenges (Norway), this project was completed by 2008 and resulted in two journal articles and an educational website.
- The European Union and Environmental Change: Sharing the Burdens of Global Warming and Europe and Global Climate Change. Completed in 2006, these two projects resulted in several papers, chapters and an edited volume.
- The Global Politics of AIDS. In collaboration with Patricia Siplon and a team of experts, this project resulted in papers, a journal article, book chapters and an edited volume. It was completed by 2006.
- International Regimes and Environmental Policy Coordination in China. This project was completed in 2005 and resulted in several papers published as articles and book chapters.
- Global Governance and Environmental Ethics. With support from the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, this project from 2003 resulted in journal articles and book chapters.
- Environmental Values in a Globalizing World: The Case of China. With support from the Oxford Center for the Environment, Ethics and Society, and the Key Center for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, this 2002 project resulted in a book chapter.
- International Equity and Global Environmental Politics. This project, which benefited from support by the Institute for the Study of World Politics and Sun Life Assurance, examined the role of equity considerations in transnational environmental politics and policymaking, including a case study of the United States. It resulted in a number of publications, including a research report, journal articles, book chapters and a book monograph.
©2019 Paul G. Harris. All rights reserved. Photo credits: USGS, PGH.