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Elliott Finn

headshot of Elliott Finn

PhD Student

Bren Hall 3017

BS Environmental Economics, Policy and Management, Oregon State University


Elliott studies the role public policy plays in empowering identity groups that can be mobilized. He is particularly interested in understanding how historical group power and conflict over policy shape public opinion, political behavior, and environmental outcomes more broadly. His research sheds light on how contemporary actors within institutions and interest groups can tailor their behavior and policies to address historically rooted social and environmental conflict. Elliott is currently on the academic job market. 

His book-style dissertation investigates this question by combining quasi-experimental and qualitative research methods to identify the causes and consequences of policy conflict in the American West. He shows that changes in federal land use policies created grievances among institutionally privileged groups and elites mobilize these grievances into anti-establishment behaviors. These policy changes make historically powerful groups and communities receptive to nostalgic appeals today. His job market paper examines the effects of federal land policy changes on governance nostalgia- a longing to restore a locality’s perceived ability to influence government processes and outcomes- as well as anti-establishment beliefs and behaviors via support for constitutional sheriffs, Republican Party sorting, and Tea Party support in rural communities in the West. You can find out more about his research at

When not in the office Elliott can be found hiking and backpacking across the public lands he enjoys studying.

Year Admitted

Research Areas
Investigating interactions between legislators and grassroots ecosystem management organizations through environmental politics, public policy and collaborative management

Faculty Advisor
Sarah Anderson (Social Science Group)

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