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Malcolm Fairbrother

Reader in Global Policy and Politics
School of Geographical Sciences
University of Bristol

Malcolm Welcome to my website, which summarises my work as a social science researcher and teacher/mentor in Bristol's School of Geographical Sciences. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, I have been at Bristol since 2007, soon after I received my PhD from the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. At Bristol I am also affiliated with the Cabot Institute and the Centre for Multilevel Modelling.

My research interests span a diversity of topics within the fields of political economy, nature-society relationships, and social science research methods. I have sought to explain the rise of international economic integration -- globalisation -- since the 1980s. I have largely studied globalisation using comparative-historical case studies of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, illuminating the reasons their governments each made the political decision to negotiate and ratify the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In other work, I use and develop quantitative/statistical research methods -- above all multilevel modelling and survey experiments. I use these methods largely to understand two critical features of public life: people's willingness to trust others, and their attitudes about the degradation and protection of the natural environment. My research shows that public support for environmental protection is heavily dependent on trust, including political trust.

All of this work has developed my expertise in public policymaking generally, including the roles of different kinds of actors (industry, bureaucrats, politicians, NGOs, think tanks, and the general public) in shaping policy outcomes.

In terms of teaching, aside from tutorials and supervising dissertations, my primary responsibilities are a second year undergraduate unit on Political Economy, and a unit on Environmental Policy and Politics for students taking our MSc in Environmental Policy and Management. Over the course of my career, I have had the good fortune to be hosted as a visiting researcher at leading universities and research institutes in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Sweden, Spain, and Italy.

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Site last updated: 2 August, 2016