Previously David Toke worked in journalism and school teaching. He studied for a PhD at the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) at the University of Birmingham from 1997-2001 before becoming a Research Fellow in POLSIS. In 2006 he became a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Policy and later Senior in Lecturer Energy Policy in the Departments of Sociology and POLSIS at University of Birmingham. He joined the University of Aberdeen in April 2013.
He has had over 50 papers published in refereed journals in different disciplines, most of all in Political Science, but also including Geography, Energy and Public Policy. He has published five single-authored monograph books
Besides the academic publications mentioned above he has published two widely read public interest books on energy policy. He has also written several book chapters and co-edited a book collection. He has written numerous influential reports for different NGOs. His work, including a report published by the World Future Council, proved to be a prime early influence (in 2007-2008) leading to the adoption of a system of feed-in tariffs for smaller renewable energy projects in the UK. He continues to be a leading advocate for effective policies to promote renewable energy, as can be seen from his 'green energy blog ', at http://realfeed-intariffs.blogspot.co.uk/ He has been active in the debate leading up to the UK Government's 'Electricity Market Reform'. He has advised and recently produced publications with environmental and green NGOs. Friends of the Earth published his report 'A Proven Solution: How to Grow Renewables with a Fixed Feed-in Tariff' at the end of 2012. See http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/david_toke_fits.pdf
He served as a member of a group of experts advising the European Green Group of MEPs about developing EU Renewable Energy policy. This project was organised by the Heinrich Boll Foundation and the report for which David Toke was a contributing expert can be seen at http://www.boell.eu/web/288-877.html
In 2017 he published a report for Scottish Green Party talking about how Scotland could implement a wind power based electricity policy.
He continues to write journalism, with recent articles appearing in the 'Huffington Post', 'Energy Economist', 'Utility Weekly' and numerous letters appearing in the Guardian and other newspapers.
In 2020 he took the lead in the formation of the non-profit campaigning group 100percentrenewableuk Ltd. This publishes information, reports and campaigns in favour of renewable energy.
Energy Policy, various aspects of renewable energy and energy efficiency policy, nuclear power and particularly onshore and offshore wind power focusing on planning issues and financial support mechanisms
Environmental policy, focusing on decision making and governance issues, including ecological modernisation theory
Particular theories of governance including policy network theory, usage of discourse, rational choice and interest group theory
Food and countryside issues, especially foxhunting and The Countryside Alliance
He is currently researching and writing about:
a) the politics of integration of EU energy markets. What are the implications of this for EU integration theory?
b) Comparisons of politics of nuclear power in different countries - including a paper comparing nuclear power outcomes in the UK and Germany and another paper comparing the UK with Scotland. These analyses involve deploying social movement theory.
c) Follow-up from the ESRC funded project 'Delivering Renewable Energy Under Devolution' - featuring a paper on the impact of the case study on federalist theory
d) Renewable energy policies in different countries, including a study of the emergence of renewable energy policies in South Africa and the implications of this case study for neoliberal theory