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Staff photo Malcolm Fairbrother

Malcolm Fairbrother

+46 90 786 80 14

Hus Y, Beteendevetarhuset & Norra beteendevetarhuset Mediagränd 14, Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

I am a comparative political sociologist who studies environmental policy and politics, economic globalization, trust, and social science research methods—and the relationships among them.

  • Presentation

    Originally from Vancouver, Canada, I received my PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked for ten years in Bristol, England. I moved to Umeå in mid-2017.
    My earlier research focussed largely on the origins of economic globalization in the 1980s and 90s: Why did the governments of so many countries around the world stop restraining international economic integration, and begin encouraging it instead? This work was qualitative and historical, and I studied how and why Mexico, the U.S., and Canada created the North American Free Trade Agreement.
    More recently, I have become a quantitative researcher, developing methods for analyzing international survey data, and applying those methods in studies of trust and public attitudes towards environmental protection. What I've found, using a mix of surveys and survey experiments, is that most people around the world are genuinely concerned about environmental problems, but they are sceptical about the #1 thing environmental policy experts most recommend doing: putting a price on pollution. The reason is that the price would be a tax, and most people are very hostile to taxation—even though new green taxes could easily be offset by cuts to other taxes that people dislike even more.

  • Latest publications

    Quality and quantity, Springer 2019, Vol. 53, (2) : 1051-1074
    Bell, Andrew; Fairbrother, Malcolm; Jones, Kelvyn
    Quality and quantity, Vol. 52, (5) : 2031-2036
    Bell, Andrew; Jones, Kelvyn; Fairbrother, Malcolm
  • Research projects