Department of Political Science


Dr Colin Provost

Colin Provost

Dr Colin Provost

Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

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On sabbatical leave for Term 1, 2016/2017.


Colin Provost joined the UCL School of Public Policy in 2007. He received his PhD in political science from Stony Brook University in 2004 and prior to coming to UCL, he was a Prize Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford University. Dr. Provost teaches Global Business Regulation, Law and Regulation, and Public Management: Theories and Innovations and is also Director of the MSc in Public Policy programme. His primary research interests are government regulation, as well as public administration, judicial politics and American politics.  Within the field of government regulation, Dr. Provost’s research deals with American federalism, environmental policy, financial regulation and regulation of transnational labour markets. 

Much of Dr. Provost’s research has focused on regulation through litigation in the American states, specifically on the role of state attorneys general in enforcing state and federal laws in consumer protection, competition (antitrust) and finance.  He is currently researching the multi-state activities of AGs in the Trump and Obama Administrations, and how they affect relations between states and between groups of states and different actors within the federal government (with Dr. Paul Nolette, Marquette University). 

In environmental policy, Dr. Provost is researching the implementation of federal policies to combat environmental inequity or racism in the United States, as well as how local governments adapt to climate change, both with Dr. Brian Gerber (Arizona State University).  He is also studying the role of governments in getting companies to join voluntary environmental programmes in the E.U. (with Professor Andrew Whitford, University of Georgia). 

In transnational labour markets, Dr. Provost is examining how corporate reputation affects the compliance of multi-national companies with the UK Modern Slavery Act.  This is part of a larger project with Dr. Tereza Capelos (University of Birmingham), funded by the British Academy, which examines how corporate reputation affects the speech and actions of companies when faced with allegations of labour and human rights abuse in their supply chains. 

Dr. Provost is also in the early stages of a project on post-crisis financial regulation in the United States and the United Kingdom, in which he analyses the impact of new institutions and policies on consumer protection and the safety, soundness and profitability of banks (with Dr. Mike Seiferling, UCL). 

Finally, he is also examining how public services are contracted out to private companies in the United Kingdom (with Dr. Marc Esteve, UCL). 

Dr Provost welcomes potential PhD students who are interested in researching government regulation, corporate social responsibility, public management and/or the intersection of law and politics.

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Edited Book

  • Provost, Colin and Paul Teske, eds. 2009. President George W. Bush’s Influence Over Bureaucracy and Policy: Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Powers. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.

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  • Esteve, Marc and Colin Provost.  Forthcoming.  “Collective Action Problems in the Contracting of Public Services: Evidence from the UK Ministry of Justice.”  Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation.
  • Capelos, Tereza, Colin Provost, Maria Parouti, Julie Barnett, Jonathan Chenowith, Chris Fife-Schaw, Tanika Kelay.  2016.  “Ingredients of Institutional Reputations and Citizen Engagement with Regulators.”  Regulation and Governance 10 (4): 350-367.
  • Provost, Colin.  2016.  “Competition and Coordination in Bank Regulation: the Financial Crisis of 2007-09.”  International Journal of Public Administration 39 (7): 540-551.
  • Gleason, Shane and Colin Provost.  2016.  “Representing the States before the U.S. Supreme Court: State Amicus Brief Participation, the Policy Making Environment and the Fourth Amendment.” Publius: the Journal of Federalism 46 (Spring): 248-273. 
  • Provost, Colin.  2014.  “Antitrust Law and Distributive Politics in the American States.” Law and Policy 36 (October): 408-431. 
  • Gieve, Sir John and Colin Provost.  2012.  “Ideas and Coordination in Policy Making: the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009.” Governance 25 (January): 61-77.
  • Provost, Colin.  2011.  “When to Befriend the Court?  Examining State Amici Curiae Participation before the U.S. Supreme Court.”  State Politics and Policy Quarterly 11 (March): 4-27.
  • Provost, Colin.  2010.  “When is AG Short for Aspiring Governor?  Ambition and Policy Making Dynamics in the Office of State Attorney General.”  Publius: the Journal of Federalism 40 (Autumn): 597-616. 
  • Provost, Colin.  2010.  “An Integrated Model of State Attorney General Behavior in Multi-State Litigation.”  State Politics and Policy Quarterly 10 (Spring): 1-24. Reprinted in State and Local Government, 2010-11 Edition, ed. Kevin B. Smith.  Washington D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press. 
  • Provost, Colin.  2006.  “The Politics of Consumer Protection: Explaining State Attorney General Participation in Multi-State Lawsuits.”  Political Research Quarterly 59 (December): 609-618
  • Provost, Colin.  2003.  “State Attorneys General, Entrepreneurship, and Consumer Protection in the New Federalism.”  Publius: The Journal of Federalism 33 (Spring): 37-53
  • Huddy, Leonie, Stanley Feldman, Tereza Capelos and Colin Provost.  2002.  “The Consequences of Terrorism: Disentangling the Effects of Personal and National Threat.”  Political Psychology 23 (September): 485-511. 

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Book Chapters

  • Teske, Paul and Colin Provost. 2014. “State Regulatory Policy,” in Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government, ed. Donald Haider-Markel. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Provost, Colin. 2012. “Governance and Voluntary Regulation,” in Oxford Handbook of Governance, ed. David Levi-Faur. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • Provost, Colin and Paul Teske. 2009. “Extraordinary Powers, Extraordinary Policies?” from President George W. Bush’s Influence Over Bureaucracy and Policy: Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Powers, eds. Colin Provost and Paul Teske. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. 
  • Provost, Colin, Brian Gerber and Mark Pickup. 2009. “Flying Under the Radar? Political Control and Bureaucratic Resistance in the Bush EPA,” from President George W. Bush’s Influence Over Bureaucracy and Policy: Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Powers, eds. Colin Provost and Paul Teske. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. 
  • Provost, Colin. 2009. “Evaluating Policy in the Bush II Presidency,“ from President George W. Bush’s Influence Over Bureaucracy and Policy: Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Powers, eds. Colin Provost and Paul Teske. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
  • Teske, Paul, Scott Graves and Colin Provost. 2004. “Legal Actors in the Regulatory Process,” from Regulation in the States by Paul Teske. Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

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Other Publications

  • Provost, Colin. 2011. “Bureaucracy” and “Deregulation”. International Encyclopedia of Political Science. Congressional Quarterly Press.
  • Provost, Colin. 2009. Review of The Transformation of Citizenship in the European Union by Jo Shaw. Law and Politics Book Review, (May): 321-323. 
  • Provost, Colin. 2008. Review of The Intersection of Rights and Regulation, ed. Bronwen Morgan. Law and Politics Book Review, (September): 768-773. 
  • Provost, Colin. 2007. “Regulatory Negotiations.” In Encyclopedia of Governance, ed. Mark W. Bevir. Sage Publications, Inc.

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Selected Works in Progress

  • Provost, Colin.  “Managing Hazards in the United States and the European Union.”
  • Whitford, Andrew and Colin Provost.  “Bounded Rationality, Firm Participation and Convergence in the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme.”
  • Provost, Colin and Brian Gerber.  “Political Control and Policymaking Uncertainty in Executive Orders: the Implementation of Environmental Justice Policy.”

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Blog Posts

  • “Donald Trump and Climate Change: What Can He Actually Accomplish?” UCL Global Governance Institute, November 16, 2016
  • “The Trump Administration Is Likely to Run into Major Obstacles in Policy Implementation,” UCL Constitution Unit, December 8, 2016