Fields: Political Theory, Public Policy, Science and Technology Policy (certificate)
Dissertation Title: Science in an Intergenerational Democracy
Dissertation Chair and Committee Members: Steven Vanderheiden (chair), Michaele Ferguson, Krister Andersson, TBD
Dissertation Description: My dissertation uses the problem of climate change's intergenerational effects to reevaluate the supposed tension between popular sovereignty and the need for expertise in governance. Once we accept that legitimacy requires democracy to account for future generations, there emerges a necessary role for science within democratic decisionmaking, in a way that fulfills rather than sets aside the ethical ideal of democracy. Emphasizing the practical implications of this approach, I examine questions of knowledge uptake and attitudinal legitimacy (from both empirical and normative perspectives), recommending political and institutional reforms that could provide this role for expertise while limiting the risk of technocratic overreach.
Expected defense: April 2020
Department Nominee to the CU Graduate School Graduate Teacher Excellence Award (Spring 2019)
CU Office of the Chancellor Recognized Student Leader (Fall 2016)
Graduate Dean's Fellowship ($5,000) (Fall 2014)
Publications: Terrence O’Sullivan and Roger Emmelhainz. 2014. “Reframing the Climate Change Debate to Better Leverage Policy Change: An Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Psychology”. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management 11(3): 317-336.
Teaching interests and experience: environmental political thought, environmental policy, science and technology studies (STS), democratic theory, quantitative research methods, intro to public policy analysis, intro to political theory