Matto Mildenberger


Affiliated Assistant Professor

Thursday, 1:30-3:00

3706 Ellison Hall

Professor Mildenberger's Website


Comparative Politics, Environmental Politics, Public Opinion, Methodology


Ph.D., Yale University, 2015


Matto Mildenberger is Assistant Professor of Political Science. His research explores the political drivers of policy inaction in the face of serious social and economic threats posed by global climate change. Straddling comparative political economy and political behavior, Mildenberger's work focusses on comparative climate policymaking and the dynamics of US climate opinion. His current book project compares the politics of carbon pricing across advanced economies, with a focus on the history of climate reforms in Australia, Norway and the United States. Other ongoing work explores public environmental behaviors, political ideology, and the relationship between economic and environmental policy preferences. A previous book, Dependent America? How Mexico and Canada Construct US Power (Toronto 2011, with Stephen Clarkson), explored the political economy of North American trade and security relationships.


My research focuses on climate policy inaction in the face of dramatic economic and social costs associated with the climate crisis. A current book project explores variation in the timing and content of carbon pricing policies across advanced economies, with particular attention to the role of carbon polluters in shaping climate policy outcomes. I also study the dynamics of public climate and energy opinions. At UCSB, I co-run the Environment and Energy Transitions (ENVENT) Lab.

Please email me at for copies of any published research, particularly research that is not published under an open access license.

You can also read more about my research as part of my lab ebsite:

Under Review
“Legislative staff and representation in Congress” (with Alexander Hertel-Fernandez and Leah Stokes)

“The political logics of energy transitions” (with Hanna Breetz and Leah Stokes)

“Scientists’ political behaviors are not driven by individual-level government benefits ” (with Baobao Zhang)

“Local, spatially-resolved risk messaging can reduce climate concerns” (with Mark Lubell and Michelle Hummel)

Manuscripts (Available on Request)

The Logic of Double Representation in Climate Politics [Book Manuscript]

“Prisoners of the wrong dilemma: Why distributive conflict, not collective action, characterizes the politics of climate change” (with Michaël Aklin)

“Conservatism or conservation?: Political responsiveness to experienced environmental threats” (with Chad Hazlett) 

“Process-tracing, counterfactual comparisons and causal inference: A new bridge over the qualitative-quantitative divide”

“The effect of policy attributes on political and policymaking incentives” 

“Organized interest groups, state legislatures, and the construction of public opinion” (with Leah Stokes and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez 

Stephen Clarkson and Matto Mildenberger. Dependent America? How Canada and Mexico Construct US Power. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011).

Zhang, B., Mildenberger, M., Marlon, J., Howe, P., Rosenthal, S. and Leiserowitz, A. 2018. “Quota sampling using Facebook advertisements.” Forthcoming in Political Science Research Methods.

Zhang, B., van der Linden, S., Mildenberger, M., Marlon, J., Howe, P. and Leiserowitz, T. 2018. “Experimental effects of climate messages vary geographically.” Nature Climate Change. doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0122-0 [journal download] [journal commentary]

Mildenberger, M., Howe, P., Marlon, J., and Leiserowtiz, A. 2017. “The spatial distribution of Republican and Democratic climate and energy opinions at state and local scales.” Climatic Change. [journal download here] [data download] [online data visualization tool]

Mildenberger, M. and Tingley, D. 2017. “Beliefs about climate beliefs: The problem of second-order opinions in climate politics.” British Journal of Political Science. [journal download here] [replication materials]

Mildenberger, M. and Leiserowitz, A. 2017. “Public opinion on climate change: Is there an economy-environment trade-off?” Environmental Politics 26(5): 801-824 [journal download here]

Mildenberger, M, Howe, P., Lachapelle, E., Stokes, L., Marlon, J. and Gravelle, T. “The distribution of climate change public opinion in Canada.”  PLoS ONE 11(8): e0159774. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0159774 [open access download here] [data download] [online data visualization tool]

Leader-Maynard, J. and Mildenberger, M. 2015. “Divergence and convergence in the study of ideology: A critical review.” British Journal of Political Science. doi:10.1017/S0007123415000654 [journal download here]

Howe, P., Mildenberger, M., Marlon, J. and Leiserowitz, T. 2015. “Geographic variation in opinions on climate change at state and local scales in the USA.” Nature Climate Change 5: 596-603. [journal download here] [data download] [online data visualization tool

Homer-Dixon, T., Leader Maynard, J., Mildenberger, M., Milkoreit, M., Mock, S., Quilley, S., Schroeder, T., and Thagard, P. 2013. “A complex systems approach to the study of ideology: Cognitive-affective structures and the dynamics of belief systems,“ Journal of Social and Political Psychology 1(1): 337-363. [journal download here]

Mildenberger, M., Stokes, L., Savan, B., Dolderman, D. and Kolenda, B. 2013. “Beyond the information campaign: Community-based energy behavioral change at the University of Toronto"  Environmental Practice 15 (2): 147-155. [journal download here]

Stokes, L., Mildenberger, M., Savan, B., and Kolenda, B. 2012. “Analyzing barriers to energy conservation in residences and offices: The Rewire program at the University of Toronto" Applied Environmental Education and Communication 11(2): 88-98. [journal download here]

Flicker, S., Savan, B., Kolenda, B. and M. Mildenberger. 2009. “How to Facilitate (or Discourage) Community Based Research: Recommendations Based on a Canadian Survey,” Local Environment 14 (8): 783-796.

Flicker, S., Savan, B., Kolenda, B. and M. Mildenberger. 2008. “A snapshot of community-based research in Canada: Who? What? Why? How?” Health Education Research 23 (1): 106-114

Flicker, S., Savan, B., McGrath, M., Kolenda, B. and M. Mildenberger. 2007. “‘If you could change one thing…’ What community-based researchers wish they could have done differently,” Community Development Journal 43 (2): 239-253.

Google Scholar


"Geographic variation in US climate change opinion at state and local scales" (with Peter Howe, Jennifer Marlon, and Anthony Leiserowitz). Forthcoming. Nature Climate Change

Dependent America? How Canada and Mexico Construct and Constrain US Power (with Stephen Clarkson). University of Toronto Press: 2011.


You can also read more about my research as part of my lab website: