Rabe’s influential book on climate change policy to receive prestigious APSA award

May 31, 2017

Barry Rabe’s influential book about the politics behind U.S. climate change policy, Statehouse and Greenhouse: The Emerging Politics of American Climate Change Policy (Brookings 2004), will be honored with the American Political Science Association’s Martha Derthick Best Book Award at a ceremony this September.

The Derthick Award, bestowed annually, honors a single book—published 10 or more years earlier—that has made a long-lasting contribution to the study of federalism and intergovernmental relations. Rabe's Statehouse and Greenhouse, published by the Brookings Institution in 2004, is just such a book. It has won praise from scholars and policy leaders across the political spectrum for years.

“The emergence of states as potent regulators is possibly the most interesting aspect of the climate change debate,” wrote Paul Portney, then-president of Resources for the Future, in 2004. “The emergence of Barry Rabe’s book is definitely the most interesting development in scholarly research on this phenomenon.”

 
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Michael Greve, then-director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Federalism Project, hailed Rabe’s newly-released book as “a significant contribution to our understanding of federalism’s promise, and pitfalls, in a global economy.”

In a 2005 book review, Martha Derthick herself wrote that Rabe’s book, “written in a fluid, graceful style,” effectively argued that state government climate change policies “deserve more attention than they have been getting from journalists, scholars, and environmentalists.”

“While the federal government has been paralyzed in regard to climate change policy since the early 1990s,” wrote Derthick, “states have been making surprising progress.” In Statehouse and Greenhouse, Rabe outlines that progress, and paints a nuanced picture of how and why states have been able to lead so effectively.