Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Climate Pipeline Project


Human-caused climate change is an existential problem for modern society. Preventing catastrophic and widespread harm will require not only technological innovation and creative engineering but will also necessitate effective economic, social and political innovation. Decarbonization will be disruptive of political economies and societies around the world, with disorienting psychological and political effects. It will be difficult but imperative for societies to understand these disruptions and anticipate barriers to progress and political backlash.

In the field of political science, the lack of depth in studying climate change is emblematic of a broader lack of attention by the discipline. The situation is worsened by the fact that few current and recent Ph.D. students are currently studying climate change politics at many major research universities.

The Climate Pipeline Project seeks to address this problem by fostering younger scholars, from graduate students to untenured professors. By spotlighting their work and helping them develop connections with senior scholars, we hope to encourage rapid growth in attention to the social science study of climate change.

We are a group of scholars who have come together to turbo-charge the field by enlisting the energy and creativity of younger scholars and building networks between them and us and among them.

In political science, scholarship from any sub-field of political science, including comparative politics, international relations, American politics, political theory and combinations thereof, is encouraged. We also encourage interdisciplinary work linking political science with other social sciences, humanities or other natural sciences studying climate change. Breadth is also encouraged in sociology and economics.

The Climate Pipeline Project was born out of convenings by Robert Keohane's Balzan Prize in International Relations and Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences.

Initial support for the project has come from Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, facilitated by Dustin Tingley, Robert Keohane, and a range of Harvard-based scholars, Brown's Climate Solutions Lab under the direction of Jeff Colgan and a range of generous senior scholars.

Parallel efforts, such as the University of Washington's Duck Family Graduate Workshop on Environmental Politics and Governance, aim to enhance scholars and scholarship by the next generation of political scientists and other social scientists.




2023 June Harvard economics convening on June 20, 2023: program available here.

2023 Brown University Climate Solutions Lab convening on May 19, 2023: program available here.

2022 Harvard Weatherhead/Brown undergraduate scholars meeting, December 8, 2022. program available here.

2022 Harvard Weatherhead Center convening on June 16, 2022: program available here.

2021 Brown University Climate Solutions Lab convening on November 12, 2021: program available here.

2021 Harvard Weatherhead Center Virtual convening on October 29, 2021: program available here.


Shanuki Tillekeratne