Michaël Aklin

Michaël Aklin is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh, and coauthor (with Johannes Urpelainen) of Renewables (MIT Press).

  • Escaping the Energy Poverty Trap

    When and How Governments Power the Lives of the Poor

    Michaël Aklin, Patrick Bayer, S. P. Harish, and Johannes Urpelainen

    The first comprehensive political science account of energy poverty, arguing that governments can improve energy access for their citizens through appropriate policy design.

    In today's industrialized world, almost everything we do consumes energy. While industrialized countries enjoy all the amenities of modern energy, more than a billion people in the developing world still lack energy access. Why is energy poverty persistent in some countries and not in others? Offering the first comprehensive political science account of energy poverty, Escaping the Energy Poverty Trap explores why governments have or have not been able to lead in providing modern energy to their least advantaged citizens.

    Focusing on access to modern cooking fuels and household electrification, the authors develop a new political-economic theory that introduces government interest, institutional capacity, and local accountability as key determinants of energy access. They draw on case studies from India, East Asia, Africa, and Latin America to offer the optimistic conclusion that governments can improve institutional capacity and local accountability through appropriate policy design. Energy poverty is a policy problem, the authors assert, and engaging with it as such offers new opportunities not only for ensuring equal energy access, but also for political, economic, and environmental development.

    • Hardcover $90.00
    • Paperback $35.00
  • Renewables

    Renewables

    The Politics of a Global Energy Transition

    Michaël Aklin and Johannes Urpelainen

    A comprehensive political analysis of the rapid growth in renewable wind and solar power, mapping an energy transition through theory, case studies, and policy.

    Wind and solar are the most dynamic components of the global power sector. How did this happen? After the 1973 oil crisis, the limitations of an energy system based on fossil fuels created an urgent need to experiment with alternatives, and some pioneering governments reaped political gains by investing heavily in alternative energy such as wind or solar power. Public policy enabled growth over time, and economies of scale brought down costs dramatically. In this book, Michaël Aklin and Johannes Urpelainen offer a comprehensive political analysis of the rapid growth in renewable wind and solar power, mapping an energy transition through theory, case studies, and policy analysis.

    Aklin and Urpelainen argue that, because the fossil fuel energy system and political support for it are so entrenched, only an external shock—an abrupt rise in oil prices, or a nuclear power accident, for example—allows renewable energy to grow. They analyze the key factors that enable renewable energy to withstand political backlash, andt they draw on this analyisis to explain and predict the development of renewable energy in different countries over time. They examine the pioneering efforts in the United States, Germany, and Denmark after the 1973 oil crisis and other shocks; explain why the United States surrendered its leadership role in renewable energy; and trace the recent rapid growth of modern renewables in electricity generation, describing, among other things, the return of wind and solar to the United States. Finally, they apply the lessons of their analysis to contemporary energy policy issues.

    • Hardcover $95.00
    • Paperback $35.00

Contributor

  • Global Climate Policy

    Global Climate Policy

    Actors, Concepts, and Enduring Challenges

    Urs Luterbacher and Detlef F. Sprinz

    Analyses of the international climate change regime consider the challenges of maintaining current structures and the possibilities for creating new forms of international cooperation.

    The current international climate change regime has a long history, and it is likely that its evolution will continue, despite such recent setbacks as the decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement of 2015. Indeed, the U.S. withdrawal may spur efforts by other members of the international community to strengthen the Paris accord on their own. This volume offers an original contribution to the study of the international political context of climate change over the last three decades, with fresh analyses of the current international climate change regime that consider both the challenges of maintaining current structures and the possibilities for creating new forms of international cooperation.

    The contributors are leading experts with both academic and policy experience; some are advisors to governments and the Climate Secretariat itself. Their contributions combine substantive evidence with methodological rigor. They discuss such topics as the evolution of the architecture of the climate change regime; different theoretical perspectives; game-theoretical and computer simulation approaches to modeling outcomes and assessing agreements; coordination with other legal regimes; non-state actors; developing and emerging countries; implementation, compliance, and effectiveness of agreements; and the challenges of climate change mitigation after the Paris Agreement.

    Contributors Michaël Aklin, Guri Bang, Daniel Bodansky, Thierry Bréchet, Lars Brückner, Frank Grundig, Jon Hovi, Yasuko Kameyama, Urs Luterbacher, Axel Michaelowa, Katharina Michaelowa, Carla Norrlof, Matthew Paterson, Lavanya Rajamani, Tora Skodvin, Detlef F. Sprinz, arild Underdal, Jorge E. Viñuales, Hugh Ward

    • Hardcover $90.00
    • Paperback $40.00