Andrew William Pattison

Colgate University
Environmental Studies

210 Ho Science Center
USA |  Visit Personal Website

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My research interests include: local climate change and sustainability policy, public policy, policy process theories, policy and political learning, and issues of social equity in sustainability and climate policy.

“Ecological Modernization or Aristocratic Conservation: Examining the Impact of Affluence on Carbon Emissions at the Local Level." 2014. Andrew Pattison, Robert Habans, and Matthew Thomas Clement. Society and Natural Resources 27 (8):850-866.
Abstract: Social scientists have debated how affluence impacts carbon emissions at the national level. We conduct an exploratory study at the subnational level to expose another dimension of the affluence–emissions debate. Based on the notion of aristocratic conservation, we hypothesize that affluence is positively related to carbon emissions from consumption activities but negatively related to emissions from production activities. We test these hypotheses using county-level data in the United States for the year 2002. A spatial regression analysis demonstrates that median household income is positively associated with consumption-based emissions; nevertheless, we find evidence of an environmental inequality Kuznets curve in the relationship between median household income and production-based emissions. This finding suggests that the wealthiest counties are able to displace certain types of emissions, specifically those related to energy and industrial production. We discuss the theoretical and political implications of these results.
“Social Construction and Policy Design: A Review of Past Applications.” 2014. Jonathan J. Pierce, Saba Siddiki, Michael D. Jones, Kristin Schumacher, Andrew Pattison, and Holly Peterson. Policy Studies Journal 42 (1):1-29.
Abstract: One of the leading theories for understanding the policy process is the theory of social construction and policy design developed by Anne Schneider and Helen Ingram. The theory incorporates the social construction and power of target populations to understand the development and implications of policy design. In order to better understand its empirical breadth, depth, and general utility, our analysis reviews all past publications of the theory, focusing specifically on empirical applications (N = 111), from 1993 to 2013. Based on this review, we find: a recent increase in the number of applications of this theory; that these applications appear across a wide range of outlets, relate to numerous policy domains, and are conducted by a diverse group of domestic and international scholars; that the target population proposition has been applied with greater frequency than the theory’s feed-forward proposition; and that scholars have a notable interest in understanding causal mechanisms leading to changes in the positioning of target populations among advantaged, contender, dependent, and deviant target popu- lation categories. Following a descriptive review of past publications, we offer specific suggestions for theoretical development and future research.
“A Social-Ecological Infrastructural Systems (SEIS) Framework for Interdisciplinary Study of Sustainable City Systems: An Integrative Curriculum Across Seven Major Disciplines” 2012. Anu Ramaswami, Christopher Weible, Deborah Main, Tanya Heikkila, Saba Siddiki, Andrew Duvall, Andrew Pattison, Meghan Bernard. Journal of Industrial Ecology 16 (6):801-813.
Abstract: Cities are embedded within larger-scale engineered infrastructures (e.g., electric power, wa- ter supply, and transportation networks) that convey natural resources over large distances for use by people in cities. The sustainability of city systems therefore depends upon com- plex, cross-scale interactions between the natural system, the transboundary engineered infrastructures, and the multiple social actors and institutions that govern these infrastruc- tures. These elements, we argue, are best studied in an integrated manner using a novel social-ecological-infrastructural systems (SEIS) framework. In the biophysical subsystem, the SEIS framework integrates urban metabolism with life cycle assessment to articulate trans- boundary infrastructure supply chain water, energy, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission footprints of cities. These infrastructure footprints make visible multiple resources (water, energy, materials) used directly or indirectly (embodied) to support human activities in cities. They inform cross-scale and cross-infrastructure sector strategies for mitigating envi- ronmental pollution, public health risks and supply chain risks posed to cities. In the social subsystem, multiple theories drawn from the social sciences explore interactions between three actor categories—individual resource users, infrastructure designers and operators, and policy actors—who interact with each other and with infrastructures to shape cities to- ward sustainability outcomes. Linking of the two subsystems occurs by integrating concepts, theories, laws, and models across environmental sciences/climatology, infrastructure engi- neering, industrial ecology, architecture, urban planning, behavioral sciences, public health, and public affairs. Such integration identifies high-impact leverage points in the urban SEIS. An interdisciplinary SEIS-based curriculum on sustainable cities is described and evaluated for its efficacy in promoting systems thinking and interdisciplinary vocabulary development, both of which are measures of effective frameworks.
“Policy Analytical Capacity Inside and Outside Government: A Case Study of Colorado Climate and Energy Issues." 2012. Dallas Elgin, Andrew Pattison, and Christopher M. Weible. Canadian Political Science Review 6 (1):101-116.
Abstract: This paper examines the policy analytical capacity of government compared to the non-profit and private sectors and to the research/academic community. Based on original data from a 2011 questionnaire administered to policy actors in the context of energy and climate issues in the state of Colorado, the findings show that government is not as “hollowed out” as expected. While individuals from academia and consulting firms may have higher analytical capacity than government in conducting research, government is higher across most other measures. Nonetheless, nearly all respondents agree that government needs higher levels of policy analytical capacity to address climate and energy issues.
“Policy Analytical Capacity and Policy Activities." 2012. Christopher Weible, Dallas Elgin, and Andrew Pattison. Canadian Political Science Review 6 (1):125-137.
Abstract: The study of policy process involves the study of policy actors - people involved in the development of public policy in a particular geographic area. This paper investigates policy actors in the context of Colorado climate and energy issues with a particular emphasis on the types and levels of their engagement in policy activities. The conceptual framework guiding this study centers on policy analytical capacity, the ability to acquire and use information in the policy process. High policy analytical capacity is expected to be associated with high levels, and more diverse kinds, of policy activities. The findings partly confirm the expectations. Actors from government and the non-profit sector report the highest policy analytical capacity and highest and most diverse range of policy activities. However, researchers, despite relatively high levels of policy analytical capacity, report involvement in just a few activities beyond conducting research. Actors with strong educational backgrounds in the physical sciences are more likely to be involved in conducting research whereas those with strong backgrounds in the social sciences are more likely to be involved in evaluating and appraising policies and working with the public. The conclusion contextualizes the findings by focusing on the relationship between technical and scientific complexity of climate and energy issues and the necessity for participating actors to possess high levels of policy analytical capacity.
“Harnessing Expert-Based Information for Learning and the Sustainable Management of Complex Socio-Ecological Systems.” 2010. Christopher M. Weible, Andrew Pattison, and Paul Sabatier. Environmental Science & Policy 13 (6):522-534.
Abstract: Human-used and managed natural resources, such as watersheds, represent complex socio-ecological systems where learning from different knowledge sources is essential for sustainable management. Guided by the advocacy coalition framework, the paper presents a set of propositions that help explain the different functional uses of expert- based information, the network position of scientific experts, and learning within and between coalitions. Most importantly, the paper investigates common assumptions about the superiority of consensus-based institutions for integrating science into policy-making by examining two collaborative and two adversarial policy subsystems. The findings show that the scientists’ centrality as coalition allies and opponents is lower in collaborative policy subsystems than in adversarial policy subsystems. The findings suggest a more hospitable setting for learning and sustainability in the management of natural resources in collaborative compared to adversarial subsystems. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research in sustainability and learning.

Substantive Focus:
Energy and Natural Resource Policy
Environmental Policy PRIMARY
Urban Public Policy SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory PRIMARY
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation SECONDARY