Governance and Policy Development
Vanderbilt goes beyond making research and innovation breakthroughs to bring those breakthroughs to communities in need by influencing policy and practice in government and the private sector.
Policy and Practice: Influencing Public and Private Governance
Vanderbilt faculty Michael P. Vandenbergh has been named a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow to support his research in overcoming political polarization to address the causes of climate change and the issues it is creating for communities. In this work, Vandenbergh draws on insights from social psychology, law and policy to propose strategies to bypass polarization and foster the development of large-scale interventions. For example, in early 2022 Vandenbergh published an analysis in Nature Climate Change about the potential of carbon labelling systems and how these could lead to organizational change independent of strong consumer response.
Vandenbergh and another Vanderbilt faculty member, Jonathan Gilligan, have partnered together on other projects that showcase how the private sector can take initiative to address major environmental and social issues. In that vein, Vandenbergh and Gilligan co-authored Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, 2017), which was favorably reviewed in Science, Nature Climate Change and Legal Planet; won Vanderbilt’s 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Research; and was named by The Environmental Forum as one of the most important environmental policy books of the last 50 years. Vandenbergh and Gilligan co-authored the article Beyond Gridlock on the same topic; the article won the 2015 Morrison Prize for North America’s best sustainability article.
Watch experts discuss why climate change can no longer be a partisan issue and what realistic solutions could look like. This event was hosted by the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy.
Integrating insights from social and behavioral science, engineering, and legal scholarship, Gilligan also leads an NSF Sustainable Regional Systems project for Connecting Rural and Urban Environments for Equitable Access to Transportation, Telecommunications and Energy (CREEATTE) with yet another Vanderbilt faculty member, Janey Camp. The CREEATTE project seeks to address urban-rural disparities by focusing on intersectional issues related to infrastructure, namely transitions to clean electricity and electric vehicles as well as access to broadband telecommunications.