Seminar: Gwen Arnold

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Gwen Arnold, UC Davis
Time of Event: 
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 11:00

National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401

Seminar presented by Gwen Arnold, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis.

Understanding local fracking regulation: Lessons from New York municipalities about policy advocacy and policy change

Professor Gwen Arnold

Abstract: When a major policy change occurs, policy entrepreneurs -- advocates who devote substantial time, energy, and resources to campaigning for a particular policy outcome -- are often credited as critical drivers. However, there is little systematic, cross-sectional study of the efficacy of policy entrepreneurs and how they shape outcomes. I investigate policy entrepreneurship in municipalities across New York, where local anti-fracking advocates successfully encouraged hundreds of localities to pass policies opposing high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking), 2008-2012. Analysis of original municipal survey data and an original archive of municipal policy actions shows that the presence of a policy entrepreneur significantly predicts a municipality’s likelihood of adopting an anti-fracking policy. Jurisdictions that experienced more policy entrepreneur advocacy adopted more policies. Under some conditions, they also were more likely to evince structural signatures of “salami tactics,” a tiered advocacy strategy policy entrepreneurs are theorized to employ. Anti-fracking policy entrepreneurs were more successful when they had a larger number of entrepreneurial characteristics, particularly local government political acumen and substantive policy knowledge. 


Arnold is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy and specializes in environmental policy. Arnold completed a Ph.D. in public policy at Indiana University. She joined the UC Davis faculty in 2013, coming from the Department of Political Science at University of Cincinnati.

Read more about Professor Arnold on the UC Davis website.


SESYNC seminars are open to all interested attendees. Join us in Annapolis!

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, funded through an award to the University of Maryland from the National Science Foundation, is a research center dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. Visit us online at and follow us on Twitter @SESYNC.

Event type: 
Event Attendance: 
Open to the Public
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