About

Welcome!  Shiran Victoria Shen is a Stanford-trained political scientist and environmental engineer.  Her research seeks to improve understanding of how environmental change influences and is shaped by politics and policy, and in so doing, generate new insights for enduring questions on policymaking and implementation, political control of the bureaucracy, and public goods provision and allocation.  She aims to build a new field that integrates environmental sciences and engineering into political science and vice versa to illuminate new findings and solutions to climate change and environmental degradation.

Dr. Shen has a pipeline of research on local politics and environmental governance.  Her first book (under review), The Political Regulation Wave: A Case of How Local Incentives Systematically Shape Air Quality in China, examines how career-oriented local leaders in China cater to the policy preferences of their superiors, giving rise to changing policy prioritization and regulatory stringency during their tenure, creating what she calls “political regulation waves.”  In dissertation form, it was the recipient of two major association awards, the American Political Science Association’s Harold D. Lasswell Award and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management’s Ph.D. Dissertation Award.  Earlier versions of its parts received the American Political Science Association’s Paul A. Sabatier Award for the best paper in science, technology & environmental politics and the Southern Political Science Association’s Malcolm Jewell Award for the best overall graduate student paper.  A second book, The Renewable Energy Investment Gap: How Local Politics Impede the Greening of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, is in progress.

Dr. Shen has also published articles on the political economy of the environment, environmental attitudes and behavior, and environmental justice in academic journals.  She has been working to integrate political science into climate modeling.

Dr. Shen received a liberal arts education on a four-year, full merit scholarship at Swarthmore College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and with High Honors.  She subsequently forged her own path at Stanford University, where she simultaneously completed a Ph.D. in Political Science and an M.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering in five years.  She was the first to complete such joint degrees.  Upon graduation, she began as Assistant Professor of Environmental Politics in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, which was recruiting for UVa’s new environmental resilience initiative at the time.

Dr. Shen can be reached via email and found on Twitter @SVictoriaShen.

Recent News:

03/21: Becomes the subject of a feature story for Women’s History Month.

11/20: Serves as the speaker for this year’s NCUSCR local China Town Hall. Her talk is on U.S.-China environmental cooperation.

10/20: Serves as the program chair for the Environmental Politics and Policy Section at MPSA 2021. Submit your proposals today!

09/20: Ph.D. dissertation, The Political Pollution Cycle: An Inconvenient Truth and How to Break It, wins the Harold D. Lasswell Award from the American Political Science Association for “the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public policy in the past two calendar years.”  View the official announcement and award citation.

05/20: “Environmental Justice in India: Incidence of Air Pollution from Coal-Fired Power Plants” is published in Ecological Economics.