PhD Candidate in Political Science
Tim Fraser’s research focuses on how cities adapt to climate change, through renewable energy, evacuation, and disaster recovery. He is a PhD Candidate in the Political Science Department, 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.
Related Schools & Departments
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 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
960A Renaissance Park
More Student Paths
- Savita is from Boston and is a graduate of the Boston Latin School.
- Originally a Cultural Anthropology major, Savita later became an English major with minors in Africana Studies and Writing Studies.
- Through the service-learning course, Boston in Literature, Savita volunteered with 826 Boston to tutor in English. She is now a service-learning teaching assistant.
- For her final project in Post-Colonial Women's Writers with Professor Aljoe, she researched Carnival and its cultural significance to Trinidad and Tobago.
- Inspired by Professor Aljoe, Savita joined the Early Caribbean Digital Archive, working on an exhibit about Caribbean Carnival and creating and gathering teaching materials.
- In 2020, she began a co-op with the Africana Studies program to learn more about the field of Black Studies.
- Savita wants to work to better her own community. In the future, she hopes to become a high school teacher or a college professor. ..
- Andrew grew up in Japan, and decided to pursue his undergraduate degree back in the U.S.
- Andrew applied to Northeastern as a Business major. As his high school career came to a close, he became more interested in Japanese politics, history, and social issues.
- When thinking about what truly engaged him, Andrew felt that Asian Studies and Political Science was a better fit and switched his major to Asian Studies.
- Andrew connected with Professor Daniel Aldrich after meeting him at a presentation of his book at the institute for social sciences at Tokyo University.
- From his first day of classes, Professor Aldrich encouraged and helped Andrew get involved in research projects.
- During his first semester, Professor Aldrich paired Andrew with Tim Fraser, a PhD candidate in Political Science with strong interests in disaster resilience in Japan.
- With Tim, Andrew collected biographical information on the committee members on all the reconstructional committees on municipal, prefectural, and national level. ..
- Emerson wanted a contextualized Political Science degree, and applied to Northeastern specifically for the PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) program.
- "Introduction to Economic Justice" with Professor Serena Parekh was one of Emerson's favorite courses, allowing her to study economic justice from a philosophical lens.
- Emerson was accepted by the Roosevelt Institute to do financialization research at Northeastern, examining economic priorities.
- Emerson also started a research thesis her freshman year to look at the link between modern dystopian literature and the the rise of female-led political movements.
- When Emerson found out about the HCL (History, Culture, and Law) major, she was immediately interested in adding the major to enhance her PPE studies.
- The Culture & Colonialism concentration allowed Emerson to double-credit and to develop the breadth of knowledge needed for someone who wants to work at the State Department.
- In January 2020, Emerson founded NU's Interdisciplinary Women's Collaborative (IWC) with the help of mentor and advisor Heather Hauck...
Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles chose to attend Northeastern because he was intrigued by the signature co-op program and wanted a curriculum that combined real-world experience without compromising thorough academic rigor.
- Initially an engineering student, Charles switched to a combined major in Economics and Mathematics to build upon his interest in economic and social justice work. He also has a minor in psychology.
- In his first year, Charles took Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South with Professor Shalanda Baker, which taught him to question systems as they exist, no matter how established.
- As part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Charles did community service, working on the Timebank team which helped him give back to Boston.
- For his first co-op, Charles split his time between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, like infrastructure and childcare.
- As Campaign Coordinator and Director of Northeastern’s Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams, Charles had spoken to people like Patrisse Cullors, Richie Reseda, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis.
- Over the summer of 2020, Charles was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign where he advocated for racial literacy courses and for a restorative and transformative justice center on campus...