Ford School PhD graduate Michael Lerner (Political Science, 2021) has been chosen to receive the Virginia Walsh Dissertation Award for his dissertation, "Green Catalysts? The Impact of Transnational Advocacy on Environmental Policy Leadership.“ This award is given out annually by the American Political Science Association and its Science, Technology & Environmental Politics section to recognize the best dissertation in those fields.
The dissertation examines the impact of transnational advocacy on the development of national environmental policy. Through this project, he aimed to understand the circumstances under which interactions between policymakers and transnational advocates systematically lead to increased government leadership in the adoption and spread of new environmental policies.
He studied comparative environmental politics with a broad interest in questions related to challenges and strategies for adopting timely policy responses to environmental change. The research focused in particular on policy advocacy, including corporate lobbying on climate change and the effects of transnational advocacy networks on the innovation and diffusion of environmental policy.
Before returning to Ann Arbor for his PhD, he worked as a research associate at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington D.C. He received his B.A. from the U-M in Political Science and French with a minor in Earth and Environmental Studies.