This project studies how climate policy networks around the United States are evolving. It documents the ideological and policy networks operating around climate/clean energy issues and observes how they are changing over time. The research maps out what clusters are forming around particular climate-related issues, what explains the formation of these clusters, and how they are related to specific policy actors and outcomes. The methodology and findings in this project build on the NSF-funded COMPON project, for which Dana R. Fisher was Co-PI and ran the US case study (NSF BCS-0826892, PI-Broadbent). The project integrates data collected from public documents, social media, and from policy actors engaged in the debates around climate/clean energy issues.

Data were collected in 2016 and 2017 funded by grants from the MacArthur Foundation (#G-1604-150842 and # G-16-1609-151514-CLS). Along with the federal level, data collected during these two waves of the study focused on state-level activities in Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio. A new wave of data collection is currently in progress (Climate Constituencies Project 2021) funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG), and the Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research of the University of Bern.

Publications and Reports:

- Report on the findings of Social Media Analysis of Mention Networks Around the Clean Power Plan.

Peer-reviewed publications include:

Kammerer, Marlene, Paul Wagner, Dana R. Fisher, Antti Gronow, Tuomas Ylä-Anttila, and Yun Sun-Jin. 2021. “What Explains Policy Collaboration in High and Low Conflict Contexts? Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks in Four Countries.” Policy Studies Journal.

Dana R. Fisher and Philip Leifeld. 2019. “The Polycentricity of Climate Policy Blockage.” Climatic Change.

Lorien Jasny and Dana R. Fisher. 2019. “Echo Chambers in Climate Science. ”Environmental Research Communication.

Lorien Jasny, Amanda M. Dewey, Anya Galli Robertson, William Yagatich, Ann H. Dubin, Joseph McCartney Waggle, and Dana R. Fisher. 2018. “Shifting Echo Chambers in US Climate Policy Networks.” PLOS ONE.

Dana R. Fisher, Anya M. Galli Robertson, Joseph McCartney Waggle, Amanda M. Dewey, Ann H. Dubin, and William Yagatich. 2018. “Polarizing Climate Politics in America.” in Ram Alagan , Seela Aladuwaka (ed.) Environment, Politics, and Society (Research in Political Sociology) Volume 25. Emerald Publishing Limited, pp.1 – 23.

Lorien Jasny, Joseph Waggle, and Dana R. Fisher. “An Empirical Examination of Echo Chambers in US Climate Policy Networks.” Nature Climate Change. 5: 782-786. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2666

Dana R. Fisher, Joseph Waggle, and Lorien Jasny. 2015. “Not a Snowball’s Chance for Science.”  Contexts. Fall: 44-49. DOI: 10.1177/1536504215611896

Dana R. Fisher, Joseph Waggle, and Philip Leifeld.  2013. “Where Does Political Polarization Come From? Locating Polarization Within the U.S. Climate Change Debate.”  American Behavioral Scientist. Volume 57, Issue 1: 70 - 92.

Dana R. Fisher, Philip Leifield, and Yoko Iwaki. 2013. “Mapping the Ideological Networks of American Climate Politics."  Climatic Change. Volume 116: 523-545.


Research tools:

2016 and 2017 Data:

Survey Instruments, Data, and Code are all archived here at OSF

2016 Data:

Note On 2016 Data

2016 Survey Instrument.

2016 Dataset analyzed in 2018 PLOS ONE paper (formatted in accordance with the Institutional Review Board at the University of Maryland [IRB Protocol #878998]).

2016 Codebook for analysis of 2016 data

2016 Code for running the analysis in R (for findings presented in PLOS ONE [Jasny et al. 2018])


2010 Data:

2010 Survey Instrument.

2010 Dataset used in articles published in 2015 (formatted in accordance with the Institutional Review Boards at Columbia University [IRB Protocol # IRB-AAAG2612] and the University of Maryland [IRB Protocol #10-0751].

2010 Codebook for analysis of 2010 data

2010 Code for running the analysis in R (for findings presented in papers published in 2015)



department of sociology ▪ university of maryland ▪