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Timothy Fraser

PhD Alumnus in Political Science

Graduated in 2022

Tim received his PhD from Northeastern University in 2022. His research focuses on how cities adapt to climate change, through renewable energy, evacuation, and disaster recovery. He is a PhD Candidate in Political Science, and his research has been funded by a 2020 Japan Foundation doctoral fellowship at Tokyo University and 2016 Fulbright Fellowship at Kyushu University. He has published 16 peer-reviewed studies on disaster resilience and energy policy in the US and Japan. He uses mixed methods, including social network analysis, GIS, statistical modeling in R, surveying, interviewing, and fieldwork. He has taught on topics related to Public Policy, Comparative Politics, and Research Methods, and regularly conducts research with undergraduates and masters students.

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Research Interests
Tim’s primary research agenda focuses on how social networks help or hinder cities ability to adapt to climate change. His dissertation, titled Communities in Crisis: How Cities Adapt to Climate Change in the US and Japan, compares how certain policy toolkits invigorate social networks to enable renewable energy adoption, disaster evacuation, and disaster recovery. For this research, Tim surveyed or interviewed city officials in over 100 cities across Japan and created several novel datasets on renewable energy. Secondary research areas include the COVID-19 pandemic, nuclear power policy, and social network analysis methods.

See more on ResearchGate

Prior Work
Prior to enrolling in the PhD program, he researched Japanese energy policy on a 2016 Fulbright Fellowship at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. Researching in Andrew Chapman’s lab at the International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research, he examined why some cities benefit from introducing renewable energy more than others.

Timothy received his BA in International and Global Studies from Middlebury College in Vermont, and his MA in Political Science from Northeastern University. He spent five years training in Japanese language and nearly two years in the field interviewing Japanese citizens, activists, and policymakers about controversial energy projects in their community. In his spare time, he enjoys data visualization, foreign languages, and exploring the great outdoors in Massachusetts.

Fraser, T. (2020). Does Social Capital Boost or Block Renewable Energy Siting? South African Solar Politics in Comparison. Energy Research & Social Science (accepted).

Fraser, T., Cunningham, L., Bancroft, M., Hunt, A., Lee, E., Nasongo, A. (2020). “Climate Crisis at City Hall: How Japanese communities mobilize to eliminate emissions.” Environmental Innovations and Societal Transitions 37, 361-380.

Fraser, T., Aldrich, D.P. (2020). “The Fukushima effect at home: The changing role of domestic actors in Japanese energy policy.” WIREs Climate Change 11, e655.

Fraser, T., Cunningham, L., Nasongo, A. (2020). “Build back better? Effects of crisis on climate change adaptation in Japan and the US.” Global Environmental Politics (accepted).

Fraser, T., Aldrich, D.P., Small, A., Littlejohn, A. (2020). “In the Hands of a Few: Disaster Recovery Committee Networks.” Journal of Environmental Management (accepted).

Fraser, T. Chapman, A.J. (2020). “Drivers of social equity in renewable energy at the municipal level: The case of local Japanese energy policy and preferences.” Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 22(3), 397-412.

Fraser, T. (2020). “Japan’s Resilient, Renewable Cities: How Socioeconomics and Local Policy drive Japan’s Renewable Energy Transition.” Environmental Politics 29(3), 500-523.

Fraser, T. (2019). “How Governance and Disasters shape Renewable Energy Transitions: The case of Japanese mega-solar.” Social Science Quarterly 100(3), 975-990.

Chapman, A.J., Fraser, T., Dennis, M. (2019). “Investigating Ties between Energy Policy and Social Equity Research: A Citation Network Analysis.” Social Sciences 8(5), 135.

Fraser, T., Aldrich, D.P. (2019). “East Asia’s Nuclear Policies: Fukushima Effect or a Nuclear Renaissance?” Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs.

Lee, J., Fraser, T. (2019). “How do disasters affect individuals’ social ties? The impacts of disaster experiences and the perceived risks of disasters on participation in voluntary associations.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 34, 108-115.

Chapman, A.J., Fraser, T. (2019). “Japan’s Mega Solar Boom: Quantifying Social Equity Expectations and Realities at the Local Scale.” Sustainability Science 14, 355–374.

Fraser, T., Chapman, A. (2018). “Social Equity Impacts in Japan’s Mega Solar Siting Process.” Energy for Sustainable Development 42, 136-151.

Aldrich, D.P., Fraser, T. (2017). “All Politics is Local: Judicial and Electoral Institutions’ Role in Japan’s Nuclear Restarts.” Pacific Affairs 90(3), 433-457.

Chapman, A.J., Fraser, T., Itaoka, K. (2017). “Hydrogen Import Pathway Comparison Framework incorporating Cost and Social Preference: Case studies from Australia to Japan.” International Journal of Energy Research 41(14), 2374-2391.

Articles Under Review
Fraser, T. “The Road More Traveled: Evacuation Networks from 10 disasters in the US and Japan.”

Fraser, T. “Japanese Social Capital and Social Vulnerability Indices: Measuring Drivers of Community Resilience 2000-2017.”

Fraser, T., Aldrich, D.P. “The Dual Effect of Social Ties on COVID-19 spread in Japan.”

Fraser, T., Aldrich, D.P., Page-Tan, C. “Bowling Alone or Masking Together? The Role of Social Capital in Excess Death Rates from COVID19.”

Fraser, T., Aldrich, D.P., Small, A. “Connecting Social Capital and Vulnerability: A Citation Network Analysis of Disaster Studies.”

Fraser, T., Aldrich, D.P., Morikawa, L. “Do All Roads Lead to Sapporo? The Role of Linking and Bridging Ties in Evacuation Decisions.”

Other Selected Publications
Fraser, T., Page-Tan, C. Aldrich, D.P. Forthcoming. “Social Network Analysis for Disasters.” In Jason Rivera, ed. Research Methods of Disaster and Emergency Management: Social Science Approaches in Application.

Fraser, T., Chapman, A.J. (2020). “Social Sustainability in Cities: Urban Energy.” In Alvarez-Risco, A., Rosen, M., Del-Aguila-Arcentales, S, & Marinova, D. Building sustainable cities: Social, Economic and Environmental Factors, Springer-Nature.

Aldrich, D.P., Page-Tan, C., Fraser, T. (2018). “A Janus Faced Resource: Social Capital and Resilience Trade-offs.” International Risk Governance Council Resource Guide, vol 2, pp. 1-8.

Research Interests: Environmental Politics, Disaster Recovery, Japanese Politics, Civil Society

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