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David J. Hess

Vanderbilt University

Based in

United States
North America

David J. Hess is a Professor in the Sociology Department at Vanderbilt University and Chair of Climate and Environmental Studies. He does social science research on science, technology, health, and the environment. He is the recipient of the Robert K. Merton Prize, the Diana Forsythe Prize, the Star-Nelkin Prize (shared with coauthors), the William H. Wiley Distinguished Faculty Award, and the General Anthropology Division Prize for Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship. David has been a Fulbright Scholar and the PI and Co-PI on grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and FIPSE. View his web site here.

Country(ies) of Specialty

United States Brazil

Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Fossil fuels Renewable energy Social movements

How to Connect



David J. Hess. (2023). Conflict and uneven development in the multidecade distributed solar energy transition in the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hess, David J., and Kaelee Belletto. (2023). “Knowledge Conflicts: The Strategic Use and Effects of Expertise in Social Movements.” Sociological Inquiry.

Joshua A. Basseches,  Rebecca Bromley‑Trujillo, Maxwell T. Boykoff, Trevor Culhane, Galen Hall, Noel Healy, David J. Hess, David Hsu, Rachel M. Krause, Harland Prechel, J. Timmons Roberts, Jennie C. Stephens. 2022. Climate policy conflict in the U.S. states: a critical review and way forward, Climatic Change, 170(3-4).

David J. Hess & Dasom Lee. 2020. “Energy Decentralization in California and New York: Value Conflicts in the Politics of Shared Solar and Community Choice,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (April 2020).

Dasom Lee & David J. Hess. 2019. “Incumbent resistance and the solar transition: changing opportunity structures and framing strategies,” Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions (November 2019).

David J. Hess. 2019. “Cooler Coalitions for a Warmer Planet: A Review of Political Strategies for Accelerating Energy Transitions,” Energy Research & Social Science (November 2019).

David J. Hess & Haley Gentry. 2019. “100% Renewable Energy Policies in U.S. Cities: Strategies, Recommendations, and Implementation Challenges,” Sustainability: Science, Practice, Policy (October 2019).

David J. Hess. 2019. “Energy Politics in the Public Sphere: Frames, Values, and Symbolic Power.” In Energy Justice across Borders, Energy Justice across Borders. Cham, Switzerland: Springer (October 2019).

David J. Hess & Alexander Maki. 2019. “Climate Change Belief, Sustainability Education and Political Values: Assessing the Need for Higher-Education Curriculum Reform,” Journal of Cleaner Production (August 2019).

Jonathan Köhler et al. 2019. “An Agenda for Sustainability Transitions Research: State of the Art and Future Directions,” Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions (June 2019).

David J. Hess. 2019. “Coalitions, framing, and the politics of energy transitions: Local democracy and community choice in California,” Energy Research and Social Science (April 2019).

David J. Hess & Madison Renner. 2019. “Conservative Political Parties and Energy Transitions in Europe: Opposition to Climate Mitigation Policies,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (April 2019).

David J. Hess. 2018. “Social Movements and Energy Democracy: Types of Processes of Mobilization,” Frontiers in Energy (December 2018).

David J. Hess & Magdalena Sudibjo. 2018. “Supporting Regional Cleantech Sectors in North America,” Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy (November 2018).

David J. Hess. 2018. “Energy Democracy and Social Movements: A Multicoalition Perspective on the Politics of Energy Transitions,” Energy Research and Social Science (June 2018).

David J. Hess, Quan D. Mai, Rachel Skaggs, & Magdalena Sudibjo. 2018. “Local Matters: Political Opportunities, Spatial Scale, and Support for Green Jobs Policies,” Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions (March 2018).

David J. Hess and Quan Mai. 2017. “The Convergence of Economic Development and Energy Transition Policies in State-government Plans in the United States,” Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy (October 2017).

David J. Hess & Rachel G. McKane. 2017. “Renewable Energy Research and Development: A Political Economy Perspective.” In Routledge Handbook of the Political Economy of Science, Routledge (April 2017).

David J. Hess. 2016. “Social Movements, Civil Society, and Sustainability Politics” In Pragmatic Sustainability: Theoretical and Practical Tools, Second Edition, MIT Press (2016).

David J. Hess & Kate Pride Brown. 2016. “Green Tea: Clean-Energy Conservatism as a Countermovement,” Environmental Sociology (September 2016).

Kate Pride Brown & David J. Hess. 2016. “Pathways to Policy: Partisanship and Bipartisanship in Renewable Energy Policy” Environmental Politics (July 2016).

David J. Hess. 2016. “The Politics of Niche-Regime Conflicts: Distributed Solar Energy in the United States,” Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions  (June 2016).

David J. Hess, Quan D. Mai, & Kate Pride Brown. 2016. “Red States, Green Laws: Ideology and Renewable Energy Legislation in the United States,” Energy Research and Social Science (January 2016).

David J. Hess, Jonathan S. Coley, Quan D. Mai, & Lucas Hilliard. 2014. “Party Differences and Energy Reform: Fiscal Conservatism in the California Legislature,” Environmental Politics (December 2014)

David J. Hess & Quan D. Mai. 2014. “Renewable Electricity Policy in Asia: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Factors Affecting Sustainability Transitions,” Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions (September 2014).

David J. Hess. 2014. “When Green Became Blue: Epistemic Rift and the Corralling of Climate Science,” Political Power and Social Theory (August 2014).

David J. Hess. 2014. “Political Ideology and the Green-Energy Transition in the United States.” In Routledge Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society, New York: Routledge (June 2014).