Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Christian Elliott

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow


Christian Elliott is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University's Climate Solutions Lab. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, where he held the SSHRC Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from 2020-2023. His research examines how the environmental impacts of market actors are governed beyond borders, especially for banks, insurance companies, and pensions.


Christian researches how international organizations, states, firms, and non-governmental organizations govern markets and their environmental impacts transnationally. Substantively, he focuses on the governance of “sustainable finance,” i.e., the rules, standards, or policies reorienting the relationship between the financial sector and environmental issues like climate change. His work speaks to ongoing debates on the evolution of global governance, the relationship between international organizations and public policy, and the opportunities of and limits to non-state rulemaking.
In addition to a book project and a series of papers on why financial corporations join global environmental governance efforts and what the implications of that may be for politics and markets, Christian is commencing a project on the recent “ESG backlash” in the United States. This effort, supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, principally examines the relationship between the domestic politicization of climate change and the ability of international organizations to orchestrate the governance of transnational market actors.


Elliott, Christian. 2023. “Whitewashing Green Swans: Private Finance, Climate Risk, and the Epistemic Foundations of Policy Paradigms” in Uncertainty in Global Politics, eds. Anastasia Sheterinina and Miriam Matejov. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003426080-11

Elliott, Christian, Amy Janzwood, Steven Bernstein, and Matthew Hoffmann. 2023. “Rethinking Complementarity: The Co-evolution of Public and Private Governance in Corporate Climate Disclosure.” Regulation & Governance. https://doi.org/10.1111/rego.12550

O’Connell, William, and Christian Elliott. 2023. “States and New Markets: The Novelty Problem in the IPE of Finance”. Review of International Political Economy, 30(2): 403-420. https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2023.2165529

Elliott, Christian, Steven Bernstein, and Matthew Hoffmann. 2022. “Credibility Dilemmas Under the Paris Agreement: Explaining Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform References in INDCs.” International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law, and Economics, 22: 735-759. https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2023.2165529

Chavara, Carley, Christian Elliott, Matthew Hoffmann, and Matthew Paterson. 2021. “Continuity and Change in Carbon Markets Politics” In Oxford Handbook of Comparative Environmental Politics, eds. Jeannie Sowers, Stacy VanDeveer and Erika Weinthal. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780197515037.013.42

Elliott, Christian, and Le-Yin Zhang. 2019. “Diffusion and Innovation for Transition: Transnational Governance in China’s Green Bond Market Development”. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 21(4): 391-406. https://doi.org/10.1080/1523908X.2019.1623655