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Tabitha M. Benney


Prof. Tabitha M. Benney, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Utah. She is also affiliated faculty in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program, Center on Global Change and Sustainability, Public Policy Program, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, International Studies, and the Center for Genomic Medicine at the University of Utah. Dr. Benney is also a Research Fellow for the Earth Research Governance Network, and an Affiliated Researcher with the Evolving Securities Initiative (ESI) at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She received her BSFS (2001) and MA in International Affairs (2007) from Georgetown University and her PhD in Political Science, in the subfields of International Relations/ International Political Economy, Environmental Governance, and Research Methods, from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB, 2013). From 2001-2007, she was also a Junior Program Officer in the Policy and Global Affairs Section of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Benney’s interdisciplinary research focuses on mapping interactions within complex coupled systems to develop research-based policy applications that address a range of technical governance issues with an emphasis on inequality. Her current research agenda is focused on health disparities and inequality related to the impacts of energy, climate/heat, and air quality, which she studies with a talented group of researchers at varying scales (national, subnational, county, and zip code levels) and regions (locally in Utah and internationally, mainly in developing and emerging economies). She also investigates areas of international political economy that focus on systems of the global economy, such as: low carbon energy transitions, varieties of capitalism, energy coalitions, social inequality, and environmental justice and production systems.

Prof. Benney’s work has been published in Review of International Political Economy, Science of the Total Environment, Energy Policy, Environmental Research, Atmosphere, and Wiley’s Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change – among others. Her books include, Making Environmental Markets Work: The Varieties of Capitalism in Emerging Economies (Routledge Press, 2015) and Agency in Earth System Governance – co-edited with Michele. Betsill and Andrea Gerlak (Cambridge, 2020). In addition, she has received numerous awards, fellowships, and grants including, the International Studies Association (ISA) Catalytic Research Workshop Grant, the Interdisciplinary Research Pilot Program (IRPP) Grant, the Louis G. Lancaster’s International Relations Award, the Betty Glad Research Grant, the Distinguished Teaching Award (University of Utah), and, most recently, the Emerging COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 Health Science Research Grant.

air qualitycapitalismcarbon marketscarbon pricingclimate changeemerging economiesenergy transitionenvironmental justiceinequalitypolitical economy

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