Kate Pride Brown

Assistant Professor of Sociology, The Georgia Institute of Technology
Chapter Member: Georgia SSN
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About Kate

Brown studies power relationships and their impact on the natural world. She has done extensive ethnographic research on environmental protection movements around Lake Baikal in Russia. She has also examined environmental activism in Samara, Russia. Additionally, Brown has published on energy policy in U.S. states and water conservation policy in U.S. municipalities.


"Multilevel Governance and Minimum Flow: The Varying Conservation Outcomes of Water Conflict Resolution" Research in Political Sociology 25 (2018): 25-44.

Uses three case studies of urban water conflict in the United States in order to identify and compare solutions. Examines the different approaches that these three cities adopted in the face of water stress and conflict, as well as the relative strength each approach brought to water conservation. Finds that entrenched conflict over local water resources usually requires action from a higher governing authority. 

"The Politics of Water Conservation: Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Successful Policies" (with David Hess). Water Policy 19 (2017).

Finds that barriers to water conservation are often political, as well as those related to cost and lifestyle. Of particular importance are the distinctions between mandates and flexible policies and between end-use policies and infrastructure policies.

"Water, Water Everywhere (or, Seeing Is Believing: The Visibility of Water Supply and the Public Will for Conservation" Nature and Culture 12, no. 3 (2017): 219-245.

Puts forward one contributing factor to explain the apparent contradiction between arid locations and weak water conservation policies (and vice versa): the variable "visibility" of stressed water resources. 

"Green Tea: Clean Energy Conservatism as a Counter-Countermovement" Environmental Sociology 3, no. 1 (2017): 64-75.

Identifies fractures in conservative political movements around the issue of climate change. Shows how these "green" Republicans frame their concern for energy and climate differently than traditional environmentalists, but that opportunities exist for bridging across the political divide.

"The Prospectus of Activism: Discerning and Delimiting Imagined Possibility" Social Movement Studies 15 (2016): 547-560.

Examines the nexus between lived experience and subjective perceptions of possibility. In Russia, with high levels of corruption and unpredictable governance, it becomes difficult even to imagine that social activism makes a difference.

"Pathways to Policy: Partisanship and Bipartisanship in Green Energy Legislation" (with David Hess). Environmental Politics 25, no. 6 (2016): 971-990.

While partisan dominance often determines the passage of policy agenda, there are alternate pathways to achieve environmentally beneficial policy in conservative states: consensus structures, bureaucratic action, and mobilizing countervailing interests.

"In the Pocket: Regulatory Commissions, Industry Capture, and Campaign Spending" Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 12, no. 2 (2016).

Examines regulatory capture in state Public Utilities Commissions and finds that restricting campaign donations by regulated monopolies helps insulate commissioners from capture, particularly around issues related to the transition to non-carbon power.

"Red Times, Green Laws: Ideology and Renewable Energy Legislation in the United States" (with David Hess and Quan Mai). Energy Research & Social Science 11 (2016): 19-28.

Finds that some types of green energy policy are more likely to pass in Republican-dominated legislatures than others: those that appeal to conservative ideological commitments, such as market-driven solutions and tax breaks.