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Professor of Climate Politics, Cardiff University

I teach and research as a Professor in the Department of Politics in the School of European Languages, Translation and Politics at Cardiff University, with expertise in public policy, political economy and climate politics.

My current research on climate politics is devoted to identifying political strategies for governments that wish to do more on climate change while avoiding significant political damage. So far this has resulted in five books and a number of refereed articles, a selection of which is given below:

Compston, H. W. and Bailey, I. 2012. Climate clever: how governments can tackle climate change (and still win elections). Abingdon: Routledge.

Bailey, I. and Compston, H. W. eds. 2012. Feeling the Heat: The Politics of Climate Policy in Rapidly Industrializing Countries. Energy, Climate and the Environment. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Compston, H.W. 2010. Climate change: effective strategies for political action. Political Quarterly 81(1): 107-115.

Compston, H. W. and Bailey, I. eds. 2008. Turning Down the Heat: The Politics of Climate Policy in Affluent Democracies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

My previous project was aimed at using policy network theory to generate scenarios for the future of public policy across the full range of policy areas:

Compston, H. W. 2009. Policy networks and policy change: putting policy network theory to the test. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

I am currently working on identifying the nature, incidence and impact of anti-climate policies - policy changes that increase greenhouse gas emissions - in China, the US and EU, and on comparing the strength of (positive) climate policies in China, the US, the EU, Japan, India and Russia. Once these projects are complete, I intend to investigate options for ensuring that coal is left in the ground, and what theory and history tell us about the political viability of these.


  • –present
    Professor of Climate Politics, Cardiff University


  • 1990 
    Australian National University, PhD in Politics