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Christopher Rea

Assistant Professor

Dr. Chris Rea studies the politics and economics of environmental governance and regulation. The most basic question that motivates his research is, how and why do particular approaches to environmental protection emerge — or fail to emerge — when and where they do? This is a deeply pressing question, particularly as human impacts on climate and ecological systems reshape the character and organization of nothing less than life on Earth.

Rea earned his doctorate in sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and a bachelor’s in physics, both from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. During the 2018-2019 academic year, he held a dual appointment as an assistant professor at the Glenn College and also as a Voss Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

In the most expansive sense, Rea’s research explores the political dynamics of market economies, institutional and organizational change, economic and environmental regulation, and the politics and production of scientific knowledge. Although solidly grounded in sociology, his work is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing on political and economic sociology, institutional and organizational theory, social movement theory, political science, public affairs, environmental studies, political ecology, and science and technology studies. Rea's interests are wide-ranging; conversations and ideas loosely linked to the above areas — related to the environment or not — are most welcome any time.

Rea has published in leading sociological and interdisciplinary journals, including 
Theory and SocietyEnvironmental Politics and The Annual Review of Sociology. He has also been lucky enough to spend time as a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany; was a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results Fellow; is an alumnus of the Summer Institute on Organizations and Their Effectiveness at the 
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University; and was also honored to be named a Young Scholar in Social Movements by the Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University of Notre Dame.

Portable Innovation, Policy Wormholes, and Innovation Diffusion
Environmental Policy and Management
August 07, 2019
This article explores the effects of city managers' career paths on the diffusion of climate policy innovation among municipal governments in the United States.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Student Achievement on Ohio’s Third-Grade English Language Arts Assessment
January 27, 2021
This report draws on data from the fall administration of Ohio’s annual Third-Grade English Language Arts assessment to examine how the COVID pandemic has affected student learning in the state.
Whatever it Takes: Sexual Harassment in the Context of Resource Dependence
Social Policy
March 09, 2021
Research suggests powerful resource dependencies are present in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Glenn College Releases Review of Columbus Response to 2020 Protests
Civic Engagement, Advocacy and Volunteerism
April 26, 2021
In July 2020, Columbus City leaders commissioned an independent, outside after-action review of the City’s response to protests that took place last summer. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs were named the lead investigative team.
Resilience Decision Making in Repeated Disasters
Public Finance and Budgeting
June 07, 2021
The research, published in Environment Systems and Decisions Journal, examines resilience decision making in the context of repeated catastrophic events.
Maximizing the Efficiency of Active Case Finding for SARS-CoV-2 Using Bandit Algorithms
June 14, 2021
Using bandit algorithms, the authors of a paper in Medical Decision Making present and test an approach for finding otherwise undetected cases of COVID-19 before they lead to a widespread outbreak.
Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles
June 29, 2021
In this study, published in Economic Development Quarterly, the authors present a statistically valid typology of high-growth firms, also known as gazelles, to determine if payroll and job growth patterns differ between groups or clusters.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Student Learning in Ohio
August 27, 2021
Analysis of Spring 2021 Ohio State Tests
Informational Determinants of Large-area Hurricane Evacuations
Environmental Policy and Management
August 30, 2021
This study, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, presents an experimental design that overcomes the counterfactual problem present in all prior published experiments by relying on an actual storm with a known outcome.