Paul Tobin

Paul Tobin


  • Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in Politics, Politics
  • Phone0161 275 4672
  • Email
  • 4.006 Arthur Lewis Building, Oxford Road

    M13 9PL Manchester

Personal profile


Dr. Paul Tobin is a Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in Politics at the University of Manchester, specialising in environmental, European, and comparative politics, and public policy. He is currently the Convenor of the Environmental Politics Group.

Paul’s research has examined a variety of interconnected topics, such as:

The role of ‘climate intermediaries’ in policymaking (Open Access Introduction to a Special Issue of eight articles)

Explaining variations in states’ climate policies (Open Access)

EU environmental policy following the Global Financial Crisis (Open Access)

EU member states’ climate strategies in the aviation sector (Open Access)

EU policy termination across all policy areas since 1971 (Open Access)


For the full list of his publications, see ‘Research output’ below.

Paul has co-edited two books; the first entitled The Impact of the Economic Crisis on European Environmental Policy, and the second, Climate Governance Across the Globe: Pioneers, Leaders and Followers. His third book, on politicisation in climate governance, is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Since 1st January 2020, Paul has been leading a £300,000 ESRC New Investigator project entitled 'Polycentric pioneers? Explaining variations in governance models and their impacts on local climate change policy'. The project involves multi-level and multi-actor analysis of climate policy in Western Europe.

Paul believes in a close link between research and teaching. He is a Senior Fellow of the HEA/Advance HE, and has won several teaching prizes, including 'The Best Humanities Lecturer' and 'The Most Inspiring Lecturer' at Manchester, awarded by the University of Manchester Students' Union. 

Currently, Paul is an Editor of Manchester University's Press European Politics Series - do email him if you are considering submitting a book proposal to the series. Outside Manchester, Paul has been the Honorary Secretary of the Political Studies Association, as well as a member of its Senior Leadership Team and Executive Committee.

During 2022-2023, Paul is Visiting Scholar at Stockholm University, Sweden. Previously, Paul has been a Visiting Research Fellow at Heidelberg University in Germany, Lund University in Sweden, and at the Institute for European Studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium.



PhD Supervision

Paul is currently co-supervising Joshua Barrit's PhD on political ecology, marine conservation and public policy with Dr. Carl Death.

He would be interested in supervising potential Ph.D. students in the following areas:

  • European and EU politics
  • Comparative politics
  • Environmental politics
  • Public policy
  • Python programming language as a tool in Social Science

If you would like to apply for a PhD under his supervision, please email him your CV and a 1,500 word (excluding bibliography) thesis proposal on the topic that you would like to research.

Prizes and awards

Paul has been proud to win a number of prizes during his career, including:

2022 Best 'University of Manchester HNAP' Workshop, for his session with new academics on teaching

2021 Journal of European Public Policy 'Best Paper 2020' with Charlotte Burns and Peter Eckersley

2021 Faculty of Humanities 'Outstanding Teaching Award'

2018 ‘Best Paper in the INOGOV Action 2014-2018’, plus €2,000 for permanent Gold Open Access;

2018 'Special Commendation- INOGOV Best Paper Prize 2018’;

2017 The University of Manchester Students' Union 'Most Inspiring Lecturer Prize';

2017 The University of Manchester Students' Union 'Best Humanities Lecturer Prize';

2016 The UACES 'Best PhD Thesis Prize';

2016 The PSA 'Specialist Group of the Year';

2015 The BISA-Higher Education Academy 'Post-Graduate Who Teaches of the Year';

2014 The York University Students' Union 'Post-Graduate Who Teaches of the Year';

2014 The University of York 'Politics Department Teaching Prize'.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Awarded UACES PhD Prize: "Explaining Climate Policy Variation in Developed States", University of York

Award Date: 18 Jul 2015

Master of Arts, Distinction: "International Relations: Conflict, Development and Security"

Award Date: 16 Jul 2011

Bachelor of Arts, First Class Honours: "International Relations and Politics"

Award Date: 18 Jul 2009

External positions

Honorary Secretary, Political Studies Association

Jun 2016Jun 2019

UK Representative and ECIN Board Member, INOGOV: Innovations in Climate Governance (COST Action)

Jun 2015Jun 2018

Areas of expertise

  • JA Political science (General)
  • Europe
  • European Union
  • comparative politics
  • climate change
  • environmental politics

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Manchester Urban Institute


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