I study how governments, voters, and businesses understand and address long-term policy challenges, particularly climate change.
I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Public Policy in the Department of Political Science at University College London. I am also a Visiting Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Previously, I was a S.V. Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University.
I received my PhD in Political Science from the LSE’s Department of Government in 2019 under the supervision of David Soskice, Kai Spiekermann, and Joachim Wehner. During my PhD, I was also a visiting research student at UC Berkeley’s Department of Political Science.
My dissertation, Low Carbon for the Long Term: Essays on the Comparative Political Economy of Climate Change Policy, focuses on the distributional politics of adopting “climate policy investments”: mitigation measures that impose costs on society today to generate greater future benefits.
It was awarded the 2020 Virginia Walsh Dissertation Award for best dissertation in the field of science, technology and environmental politics by the Science, Technology & Environmental Politics (STEP) Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA).
My work is forthcoming in Comparative Political Studies and has appeared in the Socio-Economic Review and Climate Policy.
I hold an MRes in Political Science from LSE, an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from LSE, and a B.A. in Latin American and Latino Studies and Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Before my doctoral studies, I was a Research Analyst at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC where I worked on climate policy design and evaluation, particularly related to measurement, reporting and verification (MRV).
You can contact me at j.finnegan[at]ucl.ac.uk.