David Gordon

TitleAssistant Professor
DivisionSocial Sciences Division
DepartmentPolitics Department
Web Site Personal Webpage
Earth System Governance Profile
Office152 Merrill Annex
Office HoursWednesday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Campus Mail StopMerrill Faculty Services
David Gordon

Research Interests

Dr. Gordon's research addresses problems of global coordination and explores the opportunities and limitations of non-traditional (those involving actors other than states) modes of collective action. He focuses on identifying the politics and power relations that operate within such initiatives, and understanding how these internal dynamics influence governance outcomes.

His work contributes to the literature on global environmental governance and engages in active dialogue with multiple scholarly communities (International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Urban Politics). Working at the interstices of disciplinary borders opens up valuable analytic space, which he uses to explore novel efforts to generate collective action and produce meaningful and effective governance outcomes at both global and local scales.

Current research projects underway focus on the accountability of novel systems of global urban climate governance with an emphasis on better understanding (a) the power relations that shape global urban accountability initiatives, (b) the local impacts and implications of the globally accountable city, and (c) the potential for these systems to produce meaningful global effects.

Biography, Education and Training

PhD University of Toronto, Political Science (2015)                                                                                        M.A. University of Manitoba, Political Studies (2008)                                                                                     B.Comm (Hons) University of Manitoba, Commerce (2003)

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2015-2016)

  • Maureen Molot Prize for best article published in CFPJ in 2013

  • For a full list of awards, grants, and honours click here

Selected Publications


Global(izing) Cities: The Power and Politics of Networked Urban Climate Governance (manuscript under contract with Cambridge University Press, in preparation)

Peer Reviewed Articles and Chapters

Gordon, D. and C. Johnson. 2017. The Orchestration of Global Urban Climate Governance After Paris. Environmental Politics
26(4): 694-714

Gordon, D. and M. Paterson. 2017. 'Climate Change and International Politics' in Mark Beeson and Nick Bisley, eds. Issues in 21st Century World Politics. Palgrave Macmillan 

Gordon, D. April 2016. The Politics of Accountability in Networked Urban Climate Governance. Global Environmental Politics 16(2): 82-100

Gordon, D. May 2016. Lament for a Network? Cities and Networked Climate Governance in Canada. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 34(3): 529-545

Gordon, D. 2015. An Uneasy Equilibrium: The Coordination of Climate Governance in Federated Systems. Global Environmental Politics 15(2): 121-141

Gordon, D. and M. Acuto. 2015. “If cities are the solution, what are the problems? The promise and perils of urban climate leadership,” in Craig Johnson, Heike Schroeder, and Noah Toly, eds. The Urban Climate Challenge: Rethinking the Role of Cities in the Global Climate Regime. pp 63-81. New York: Routledge

Gordon, D. and D. Macdonald. 2014. Institutions and Federal Climate Change Governance: A Comparison of Intergovernmental Coordination in Australia and Canada, in I. Weibust, J. Meadowcroft, eds. Multilevel Environmental Governance: Managing Water and Climate Change in Europe and North America. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing

Gordon, D. 2013. Between Local Innovation and Global Impact: Cities, Networks and the Governance of Climate Change. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 19(3): 288-307 (Selected as the best article published in CFPJ for 2013)

Gordon, D., A. Crane-Droesch, A. Mershon, P. Kurukulasuriya. 2009. L’approche programmatizue de l’adaptation communautaire: le levier des projects locaux pour un effet global. Liaison Energie-Francophonie, 85 (9): 135-137

Technical Reports

Gordon, D. 2014. Market-Based Instruments, Climate Change, and Sustainable Transportation Governance in Cities. Sustainable Prosperity Research Report

Gordon, D. 2014. Climate Change and Transportation Governance: Looking for Lessons in New York City, London, and Paris. Sustainable Prosperity Research Report

Macdonald, D. D. Gordon, K. Kern, J. Monstadt, S. Scheiner, A. Pristupa, A. Hayden, A. Bidordinova. 2013. Emissions Allocation Amongst Jurisdictions in Four Federal Systems: Recommendations for Reforming Canadian Institutions of Climate Governance. University of Toronto, Centre for Environment

Bernstein, S., M. Hoffmann, B. J. Evans, D. Gordon, H. van der Ven. 2013. Creating Pathways to Decarbonization. Workshop report. Munk School of Global Affairs, Environmental Governance Lab

Gordon, D., A. Crane-Droesch, A. Mershon, P. Kurukulasuriya. 2009. Benefits of Programmatic CBA: Leverage Local Projects for Global Impact. UNDP Internal Report

Teaching Interests

  • Global climate governance

  • Transnational governance networks

  • Cities and global governance

  • Comparative climate politics

  • Urban transportation governance

  • IR Constructivism

  • Social field theory

  • Norm diffusion

Courses Taught

Theories of International and World Politics - Poli 160A
Global Political Ecology - Poli 174
Topics in Urban Governance -