David Gordon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of California Santa Cruz. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto (2015) and was previously a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. His research interests include the role of sub-national actors and especially cities in global governance, global environmental politics, transnational governance networks, and climate governance. His research looks at the politics and power dynamics taking place in transnational city-networks that work to coordinate city actions and produce meaningful global effects, and the interplay between the global engagement of cities and the particulars of local governance.

His dissertation brings to light the politics and power dynamics of transnational city-networks engaged in global climate governance. Focusing specifically on the experience of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, his dissertation explains why and how the C40 has come to converge around a common set of governance norms – ideas as to what kind of problem climate change is, who governs it, and how it should be governed – and provides a foundation for better assessing their governance potential.

Dr. Gordon is currently developing a research agenda around the emergent phenomenon of global accountability in transnational urban climate governance. This research sets out to explain how, in what ways, and to what end cities are rendering themselves accountable as global climate governors; whether and how accountability serves to link cities to the broader climate governance regime; and what implications result when global accountability is translated into local contexts.

Selected publications

  • Gordon, David, and Craig Johnson. 2017. The orchestration of global urban climate governance: conducting power in the post-Paris climate regime, Environmental Politics 26(4): 694-714
  • Gordon, David, and Matthew Paterson. 2017. ‘Climate Change and International Politics,’ in Mark Beeson and Nick Bisley, eds. Issues in 21st Century World Politics, 3rd edition. London, Palgrave-Macmillan.
  • Gordon, David. 2016. The Politics of Accountability in Networked Urban Climate Governance. Global Environmental Politics 16(2): 82-100 Gordon, David. 2016. Lament for a Network? Cities and Networked Climate Governance in Canada. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 34(3): 529-545
  • Gordon, David. 2015. An Uneasy Equilibrium: The Coordination of Climate Governance in Federated Systems. Global Environmental Politics 15(2): 121-141
  • Gordon, David, and Michele Acuto. 2015. “If cities are the solution, what are the problems? The promise and perils of urban climate leadership,” in Craig Johnson, Heike Schroeder, and Noah Toly, eds. The Urban Climate Challenge: Rethinking the Role of Cities in the Global Climate Regime. New York: Routledge.
  • Gordon, David, and Douglas Macdonald. 2014. “Institutions and Federal Climate Change Governance: A Comparison of Intergovernmental Coordination in Australia and Canada.” In Inger Weibust and James Meadowcroft, eds. Multilevel Environmental Governance: Managing Water and Climate Change in Europe and North America. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Gordon, David. 2013. Between Local Innovation and Global Impact: Cities, Networks and the Governance of Climate Change. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 19(3): 288-307 (Awarded the Maureen Appel Molot Prize for best article published in CFPJ for 2013)
  • Gordon, David, Andrew Crane-Droesch, Andre Mershon, and Pradeep Kurukulasuriya. 2009. L’approche programmatizue de l’adaptation communautaire: le levier des projects locaux pour un effet global. Liaison Energie-Francophonie, 85 (9): 135-137