Photo of Professor David Dolowitz

Professor David Dolowitz Ph.D

Professor Politics


General Research Interests

I have a range of research interests which surround the development and spread of information, knowledge and policy. My most philosophical oriented interest concern issues of democracy and the role that social capital and voting regimes play in this. As part of this I am also interested in conceptions of 'happiness' and how this can be understood in ways beyond economic wellbeing and success. I am actively researching issues involved in how policy transfer can be linked to and work with ideas of learning and knowledge updating. Empirically I am using these concepts to analyse how and why stormwater management policies and techniques move (or don't) from Europe to the United States. The core of this work involves examining why learning appears to be softer than could be expected given the range and length of experiences that exist in several European Nations (such as Germany and the Netherlands) . A second aspect of this research explores why it appears that where learning does occur it tends not to lead to the same levels of utilisation at the federal or state level as may be expected.

In addition to the international spread of SUDS techniques internationally, I am involved in several studies looking at the movement of LID techniques from one jurisdiction to another within the United States and the UK. This work focuses on why knowledge updating amongst policymakers appears to be limited and often vanishes into the black box of the policy process. A third strand of my ongoing research concerns power relationships between nations engaged in policy transfer. More specifically I am working with academic examining the range of resistance techniques 'weaker' countries utilise when 'forced' to engage in policy adaptation by stronger political entities - such as the EU or international lending agencies.

In the past I have also been involved in examining the philosophical and policy underpinnings of the Labour Party under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. At its core this research involved looking at how Rawlsian and endogenous growth paradigms could combine to help explain the social and economic direction of the Party during the later part of the 1990s and how both could help explain the transfer that was occurring between American and British Social policies.

PGR Supervision

I specifically invite PGR applications in the following areas:

• All areas of lesson-drawing, learning, and policy transfer between political systems – whether that occurs at or between the local, national, international levels of governance.
• All areas of knowledge updating related to policymaking.
• Areas involving the role of ground level implementation and its impact on policy outcomes.
• Issues associated with sustainable urban development – particularly water systems and the use of SUDS/LID.
• All areas of comparative policy analysis.
• Ideas of Democracy and Social Capital.
• Topics Associated with American and comparative public and social policy.

Recent Grants

(and Kelley, M, Maderis, D., Nickel, D., and Schönfelder, W.), $49,750, EPA Project Grant, RFQ-OH-11-00015, Potential Improvements To Urban Water Resources Through Trans-national Sharing of Experience and Technology: Comparative Analysis of German and American Experience.

Learning and Teaching Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics: £5,000
This Project was selected as a best practice research study by the UK Higher Education Academy and led to an award winning article ‘The Big E: How Electronic Information Can be Fitted Into the Academic Process, Political Science Education, 3:2 (2007) 177-190.

Research Collaborations

Sabine Saurugger

External: Sciences Po - Grenoble

We are working on a project examining the resistance techniques employed by political systems involved in power relations 'requiring' them to import foreign models or ideas into their governing structures.

Sarah Bell

External: UCL, UK

While in its early stages, we are examining (with Melissa Keeley) why BMP's appear not to transfer from one location to another within a nation. In particular why the UK is a laggard despite the passage for he EU water Directive and the UK 2010 Flood Bill.

Rodica Plugaru

External: Sciences Po - Grenoble

We are working on a project examining the resistance techniques employed by political systems involved in power relations 'requiring' them to import foreign models or ideas into their governing structures.

Dale Medearis

External: Northern Virginia Regional Commission

Research into the movement of environmental policies between Europe and the US

Melissa Keeley

External: George Washington

Research into environmental policy development

Fionnghuala Sweeney


Internet Research