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Oran Young

Oran Young in the mountains

Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Institutional and International Governance, Environmental Institutions

Bren Hall 4518



PhD, MA, Yale University
AB, Harvard


Oran Young is a renowned Arctic expert and a world leader in the fields of international governance and environmental institutions. His scientific work encompasses both basic research focusing on collective choice and social institutions, and applied research dealing with issues pertaining to international environmental governance and the Arctic as an international region. Among the more than 20 books he has authored are The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change, Governance in World Affairs, and Institutional Dynamics: Emergent Patterns in International Environmental Governance. Dr. Young taught a variety of classes on wide-ranging subjects that include environmental politics and policy, governance for sustainable development, environmental institutions, and the ecology of war.

Dr. Young has been involved in leading position in global change research for several decades, among others as founding chair of the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change of the US National Academy of Sciences; chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the international project on the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change; founding co-chair of the Global Carbon Project; and from 2005 to 2010 the Scientific Committee of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change. His recent books include Governing Complex Systems: Social Capital for the Anthropocene (MIT Press 2017) and Grand Challenges of Planetary Governance: Global Order in Turbulent Times (Elgar 2021).

Dr. Young's work as author or co-author of over twenty books and numerous scholarly articles includes: Governance in World Affairs; Creating Regimes: Arctic Accords and International Governance; International Governance: Protecting the Environment in a Stateless Society; Arctic Politics: Conflict and Cooperation in the Circumpolar North; and International Cooperation: Building Regimes for Natural Resources and the Environment.

Recently, Dr. Young has joined with a team of American, Australian, and Chinese colleagues to initiate a study of the challenges of adapting to the impacts of climate change. This has resulted in a major report entitled “Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change: A Comparative Study of Governance Processes in Australia, China, and the United States” available with open access.

Instructor Code: 06
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