Department of Political Science


Dr Colin Provost

Colin Provost

Dr Colin Provost

Associate Professor in Public Policy

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Colin Provost joined the UCL School of Public Policy in 2007. He received his PhD in political science from Stony Brook University and prior to coming to UCL, he was a Prize Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford University. Colin 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 regulation of business, public administration, judicial politics and American politics.  

Much of Colin’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.  A current project investigates the interactions between state AGs, private law firms and former AGs that go into private practice.

In environmental policy, Colin studies the implementation of policies to combat environmental inequity or racism, within the United States and also comparatively.  With Dr. Brian Gerber (Arizona State University), he also is researching how local governments adapt to climate change.  

In transnational labour markets, Colin 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 the relationship between corporate reputation and labour practices within global supply chains.  

Colin 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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  • Whitford, Andrew and Colin Provost. In Press. “Government Promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from the EU Eco Management and Audit Scheme,”  Review of Policy Research.
  • Provost, Colin and Brian J. Gerber. In Press. “Political Control and Policymaking Uncertainty in Executive Orders: the Implementation of Environmental Justice Policy,” Journal of Public Policy.
  • Nolette, Paul and Colin Provost.  2018.  “Change and Continuity in the Role of State Attorneys General in 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. 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

  • Provost, Colin.  In Press.  “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 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 and Tereza Capelos. “Corporate Reputation, Reputation Components and the UK Modern Slavery Act.”
  • Provost, Colin and Brian J. Gerber.  “Interests, Institutions and Reputations in U.S. Environmental Rulemaking.”  Invited chapter for the Edward Elgar Handbook on U.S. Environmental Policy, ed. David Konisky.
  • Kagan, Jennifer, Brian J. Gerber and Colin Provost.  “An Administrator’s Prerogative? Bureaucratic Discretion and Local Government Action on Climate Change and Natural Hazards Management.”
  • Provost, Colin.  “The Complexity of Revolving Doors in Regulation: Evidence from the American States.”
  • Gerber, Brian J., Colin Provost, Ashley Ross and David Sanderson.  “Governance and Changing Hazards Vulnerability: A Comparative Assessment of Climate Change and other Hazards Adjustment Practices in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

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Blog Posts

  • “In the U.S., Black, Brown and Poor People Suffer the Most from Environmental Contamination,” (with Brian J. Gerber), Washington Post Monkey Cage, September 18, 2018.
  • “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