Department of Political Science


Dr Colin Provost

Colin Provost
Associate Professor of Public Policy
Room: 3.06, 29/30 Tavistock Sq.
Tel: 020 7679 4903
Email: c.provost@ucl.ac.uk




Colin Provost is an Associate Professor of Public Policy.  He received his PhD in Political Science from Stony Brook University and prior to his time at UCL, he was a Prize Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford University.  His research focuses on how law, politics and administration affect the regulation of business.  This research, which has been supported by the British Academy and the National Science Foundation, has been published in numerous political science and public policy journals and handbooks (see publications below).  He also writes for public audiences in outlets such as The Conversation, The Globe Post and the Washington Post Monkey Cage, among others.  Colin is a research collaborator with the UCL Global Governance Institute, a member of the UCL Centre for U.S. Politics and a co-convener of ComplianceNet, an organisation of scholars devoted to studying the intersection of rules and human behaviour.  From 2011-2013, he was Director of Environmental Governance for the UCL Environment Institute.


Colin’s research focuses on regulatory governance and regulatory compliance, with a particular focus on state and federal regulation in the United States.  Much of his previous research has examined how U.S. state attorneys general work together to enforce consumer protection and market competition laws, through the use of multi-state lawsuits.  His current research analyses whether businesses comply with the requirements of such lawsuits, and whether their long-term regulatory compliance records improve as a result.  A second strand of this compliance research examines how the revolving door from state attorney general offices to private law firms affects enforcement of state regulations.  Colin is also working on a British Academy funded project to examine the effects of corporate reputation on compliance with labour laws, such as the UK Modern Slavery Act.  Finally, he has also published several articles and chapters on standard setting and enforcement in environmental regulations.


Journal Articles:

  • Provost, Colin., Dishman, Elysa. and Nolette, Paul. 2022. "Monitoring Corporate Compliance through Cooperative Federalism: Trends in Multistate Settlements by State Attorneys General." Publius: The Journal of Federalism.
  • Provost, Colin and Brian J. Gerber.  2019.  “Political Control and Policymaking Uncertainty in Executive Orders: The Implementation of Environmental Justice Policy.”  Journal of Public Policy, 39 (2): 329-358. 
  • Whitford, Andrew and Colin Provost.  2019.  “Government Promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from the EU Eco Management and Audit Scheme.”  Review of Policy Research, 36 (January): 28-49.  
  • Nolette, Paul and Colin Provost.  2018.  “Change and Continuity in the Office of State Attorney General: Evidence from the Obama and Trump Administrations.” Publius: the Journal of Federalism 48 (Summer): 469-494.  
  • Provost, Colin and Marc Esteve.  2016.  “Collective Action Problems in the Contracting of Public Services: Evidence from the UK’s Ministry of Justice.”  Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation 2 (September): 227-243.  
  • 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
  • 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.

Policy Reports:

  • Provost, Colin and Kumar, Sarabajaya. 2022. "Ableism and the Labour Market." Association of Disabled Professionals.

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.

Book Chapters:

  • Provost, Colin and Brian J. Gerber.  2020.  “The Contested Politics of Environmental Rulemaking,” in Edward Elgar Handbook on U.S. Environmental Policy, ed. David Konisky.
  • Provost, Colin.  2019.  “Multi-Level Environmental Governance in the European Union and United States,” in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Science, ed. Brian J. Gerber.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 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 J. 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.

Blog Posts and Media Pieces:

  • Provost, Colin and Nadia Hilliard.  2020.  “The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election: Nine Lessons,” UCL Constitution Unit, December 17.
  • Provost, Colin.  2020.  “With Biden’s Election, Johnson’s Irish Border Gambles Look Increasingly Risky,” LSE Brexit 2020, November 17.
  • Provost, Colin.  2020.  “Democrats Should Run--And Run Hard—On Health Care,” The Globe Post, April 1.  
  • Provost, Colin and Paul Nolette.  2019.  “The Opioid Litigation Has More than 2,000 Plaintiffs.  Here’s What That Means Behind the Scenes,” Washington Post Monkey Cage, September 21.    
  • Provost, Colin.  2018.  “Are American States Still Laboratories of Democracy?” The Globe Post, December 24.  
  • Provost, Colin.  2018.  “U.S. Midterms: What They Mean for Healthcare and the 2020 Presidential Race,” The Conversation, November 14.  
  • Provost, Colin and Brian J. Gerber.  2018.  “In the U.S., Black, Brown and Poor People Suffer the Most from Environmental Contamination,” Washington Post Monkey Cage, September 18.  
  • Provost, Colin.  2016.  “The Trump Administration Is Likely to Run into Major Obstacles in Policy Implementation,” UCL Constitution Unit Blog, December 8.
  • Provost, Colin.  2016.  “Donald Trump and Climate Change: What Can He Actually Accomplish?” UCL Global Governance Institute Blog, November 16.
  • Dr. Provost teaches PUBL0008 (“Public Management: Theories and Innovations”), PUBL0031 (“Law and Regulation”) and POLS0089 (“Regulating Big Business”) and he welcomes applications from prospective PhD students that focus on regulation of business behaviour or public management.