Professor David Gordon

May 08, 2017

David Gordon is an Assistant Professor of Politics. He received his Ph. D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council post-doctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa, and joined the Department of Politics at UCSC in 2016.

David’s research explores the intersection of global and urban politics, and aims to assess and better understand the role of cities in relation to complex issues on the global agenda. His research largely focuses on the global urban response to climate change, and the attendant politics and power dynamics that shape efforts at coordinating city efforts, objectives, and activities across national borders.

David is currently revising a book manuscript that examines the internal politics that have shaped the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a prominent network of cities engaged in global climate governance. The book documents the ways in which C40 cities have not only scaled up the amount and ambition of urban climate governance, but in addition have come to “do” climate governance in increasingly similar ways since the network was created in 2005. The book illuminates the political relationships at play between cities and a variety of other actors (philanthropic initiatives, multinational corporations, international financial institutions, and non-governmental organizations) and explains how these have conspired to produce a coherent and convergent global urban response.

Moving forward, David is looking to further explore the ways in which cities are “going global” and with what implications for both the governance of issues on the global agenda, and the lives and life experiences of urban citizens. Under this umbrella, he is currently pursuing research on accountability in global urban governance that explores what happens (globally and in local contexts) as cities increasingly render themselves accountable to global audiences, on the orchestration of a global urban response to issues such as sustainability and climate change, and on the ways in which discrete urban interventions can be scaled up to produce meaningful global effects.

David’s research has been published in a variety of scholarly journals, including: Global Environmental Politics, Environmental Politics, Environment & Planning C, and the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal. He is a Research Fellow with the Earth System Governance project, a Research Associate at the Munk School of Global Affairs Environmental Governance Lab, a member of the Innovations in Climate Governance Early Career Investigator’s Network.

At UCSC, David teaches courses on International Relations and World Politics (POLI 160A), Transnational Environmental Governance (POLI 174), and Cities in World Politics (POLI 190F).

Outside of work, David is a proud father of two beautiful and boundlessly energetic little ones, and can usually be found in the kitchen, at the playground, or marveling at the many ways in which Northern California is nothing like the Canadian prairies.