Core faculty

Barry Rabe

J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy; Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; Professor of Environmental Policy; Professor of Political Science; Professor of the Environment

Barry Rabe is the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy at the Ford School. He is also the Arthur Thurnau Professor of Environmental Policy, with courtesy appointments in the Program in the Environment, the Department of Political Science, and the School for Environment and Sustainability. A non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Barry directed the Ford School's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) from 2012-2019 and was a visiting fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2015. His research examines climate and energy politics, and his most recent book, Can We Price Carbon? (MIT Press) was released in 2018. He has received four awards for his research from the American Political Science Association, including the 2017 Martha Derthick Award for long-standing impact in the fields of federalism and intergovernmental relations. In recent years, Barry has chaired the Assumable Waters Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has served on recent National Academy of Public Administration panels examining the Departments of Commerce and Interior as well as the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. He is currently a member of the U-M Carbon Neutrality Commission.

View Barry's profiles on the Brookings Institution and National Academy of Public Administration sites.

Educational Background

  • BA in history, Carthage College
  • MA and PhD in political science, University of Chicago

Professional Affiliations

Think Tanks


  • American Political Science Association (Chair, Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations Section)
  • Midwest Political Science Association
  • Canadian Political Science Association
  • Association for Canadian Studies in the United States

Editorial Boards

  • Political Research Quarterly
  • Publius: The Journal of Federalism
  • Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions
  • Review of Policy Studies
  • American Review of Canadian Studies

Current Research

Intergovernmental climate policy development and implementation, with particular focus on policy diffusion and regionalization; comparative federalism and climate policy in North America and Europe; renewable energy politics and policy in North America; federalism and environmental policy development in the United States and Canada; comparative governance of nanotechnology; public opinion on climate, energy and environmental protection.

Methane extraction in Utah


Rabe: "Taxing Flaring and the Politics of Methane"

Representing a new line of research, Ford School professor Barry Rabe explores the politics around taxing methane gas releases.
Learn more.