The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Katharine Rietig

Lecturer in International Politics





PhD, London School of Economics and Political Science, 'Learning in Governance: The Role of Policy Entrepreneurs in European Climate Policy Integration' (2014)

Magister Artium in Political Science, Economics and International Law (distinction equivalent), Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (2011) 

MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation (with distinction), London School of Economics and Political Science (2010)

Teaching Qualifications 

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (full), London School of Economics and Political Science (2012)

Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (2013)

Certificate in Research Supervision, De Montfort University (2014)

Institutional Responsibilities and External Activities

Chair of Outreach Committee, International Studies Association - Environmental Studies Section (2018/19)

International Exchange and Erasmus Coordinator, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University (since 2016)

Widening Participation Coordinator for Politics, School of GPS, Newcastle University (2016/17)

Peer-reviewer for Review of International Organization, International Studies Review, International Environmental Agreements, the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Environmental Politics, Politics, Routledge and Oxford University Press

Member of International Studies Association, International Public Policy Association, International Political Science Association

Research Fellow at the Earth System Governance Network (since 2011)

Co-Chair of LSE Interdisciplinary Research Conference (2013)

Reviewer and Evaluator, FIBAA, German Higher Education Accreditation and Quality Assurance Agency (2010-13)

Previous Positions


Before joining Newcastle University in 2015, I was Lecturer in Politics and Research Methods at the Politics and Public Policy Department at De Montfort University Leicester and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Governance of Sustainable Pathways at the University of Leeds. I taught Environmental Governance, Environmental Management and Research Methods at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and contributed to research projects on Sustainable Development in the European Union (LSE Government Department) as well as on climate change legislation and diplomacy at the LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment/ Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy.

My non-academic work experience includes the European Commission (Directorate General for Climate Action), the German Foreign Office and the World Bank's Development Gateway Foundation.





Research Interests

My research sits at the intersection of International Relations/ Global Governance and European Public Policy. It evolves around the governance of socio-technical transitions to low carbon economies, with a special focus on new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, in energy and transport that allow us to address climate change as a key challenge of the 21st century.

My work focuses on three factors that can facilitate such sustainable transitions:

- Evaluating the influence of non-state actors, including cities, scientists, NGOs and business networks as well as the use of scientific knowledge in policymaking on the city/local, national, EU and global governance levels

- Examine the role of learning and leadership in achieving breakthroughs in international negotiations and public policy making

- Assess the interdependence between scientific findings, public concern about related societal challenges and policy change, e.g. how public opinion on new low carbon technologies and policymakers' perception of public concern influences and shapes innovation policies on the national, EU and global level

I am interested in supervising PhD/ research projects related to international organizations (EU, UN), non-state actors, public policy-making, environmental and climate change governance.

Engagement Activities

Since 2009, I have been regularly participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations (e.g. in Copenhagen 2009, Paris 2015, Marrakech 2016, Bonn 2017 and several inter-sessional meetings in Bonn). I participated in the Roundtable on Green Growth discussions, meetings of the Research and Independent Non Governmental Organizations, presented my research findings on improving the effectiveness of non-state actor participation in international climate change negotiations and co-organised a number of panel discussions (side events).

In 2012, I participated in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO 20) in Rio de Janeiro/ Brazil.

Funding Awards

British Academy Small Research Grant 2017/19 (PI) on non-state actor leadership in transitioning to a low carbon economy (£9,800)

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs project 2018/19 (Co-I with Graham Long and Emily Clough) on Evaluating Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals ($21,000)

ESRC Impact Accelerator Account 2016/19 (PI) on improving the effectiveness of non-state actor participation in international climate change negotiations (£14,650)

Newcastle University 2018/19 (PI) Small Research Grant on Learning and Capacity Building for Socio-Technical Transitions to Low Carbon Economies (£1,000)

Newcastle University 2017/18 (PI) Small Research Grant on the role of non-state actors in increasing climate policy stability (£1,000)

Newcastle University 2015/17 (PI); two Small Research Grants on the influence of learning among actors in international climate change negotiations (£2,000)

De Montfort University 2014/15 (PI); Grant on non-negotiation settings in climate negotiations (£1,500)

London School of Economics and Political Science Annual Fund 2013 (Co-Organiser); award for LSE Interdisciplinary Research Conference (£5,000)

External travel and conference grants from e.g. British Council, EU, Robert Bosch Foundation 2007-17 (~£12,000)

Murmann Fellow, Foundation of German Business/ German Ministry of Education and Research 2012/13; research grant for PhD at LSE (~£25,000)

London School of Economics and Political Science 2011/12; PhD research grant (£8,000)

German Academic Exchange Service DAAD 2010/11; PhD research grant (~£10,000)

Murmann Fellow, SdW/ German Ministry of Education and Research 2007-10; scholarship for M.A. at LMU Munich and semester abroad in China (~£40,000)

German Academic Exchange Service DAAD 2007; scholarship for semester abroad at American University, Washington D.C. (~£8,500)



POL3118: Environmental Governance and Policy (module leader)

POL3110: International Organization and Diplomacy (module leader)

POL3046: UG Dissertation (supervisor, lectures)

Previous Teaching: 

2015-17:       POL8098: PGR MA Dissertation (module leader)

2015-17:       POL8099: PGT MA Dissertation (module leader) 

2015/16:       POL3063: European Union Decision Making Simulation (UG, Newcastle)

2014/15:       Introduction to Politics (UG, DMU Leicester, module leader)

2014/15:       Political Analysis (UG, DMU Leicester)

2014/15:       Managing the Environment (UG, DMU Leicester, module leader)

2013/14:       Environmental Governance and Sustainability (PG, Leeds)

2011-13:       Environmental Governance (UG, London School of Economics)

2010/11:       Environmental Management (UG, London School of Economics)

2010/11:       European Environmental and Climate Change Policy (UG, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich)

2008-11:       Model United Nations preparation programme for Harvard WorldMUN (UG, LMU Munich)