Jonas Nahm is assistant professor of energy, resources, and environment at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Dr. Nahm’s research interests focus on the intersection of economic and industrial policy, energy policy, and environmental politics. In particular, he studies the role of the state in processes of industrial restructuring that accompany responses to climate change and clean energy transitions more broadly. His work utilizes China’s clean energy transition in comparative perspective to engage two debates in political economy: (1) the role of the state in shaping the international division of labor in highly globalized industries, and (2) sources of state capacity in interest group politics during periods of industrial restructuring.
Dr. Nahm’s book manuscript, “Collaborative Advantage: Forging Green Industries in the New Global Economy,” uses the development of renewable energy sectors to investigate the political economy of innovation and industrial development in highly globalized industries. The manuscript shows that new possibilities for collaboration among firms in the global economy have reinforced national patterns of industrial specialization. It challenges the notion that globalization is primarily about competition, highlighting instead the central role of international collaboration in determining both firm strategy and the preservation of distinct national institutions and industrial practices. The manuscript showcases the continued importance of history for understanding the position of nations in the new global economy, but offers a new, firm-based mechanism to explain the endurance of distinct national political economies. Most importantly, it demonstrates the importance of global collaboration, and the important contributions of developing economies, in creating the technological innovations needed for climate mitigation and adaptation.
In addition to his work on renewable energy industries, Dr. Nahm has ongoing research projects on China’s role in greening the global auto sector and the subnational determinants of climate policies in China.
Dr. Nahm’s work has been published in journals including Governance, Review of International Political Economy, and The China Quarterly. He has written for The Washington Post and been interviewed by CNN, NPR, PRI, CBC, The Boston Globe, and Wired Magazine, among others. His research has been funded by the Minerva Research Initiative and the U.S. Army Research Office, the German National Academic Foundation, the World Bank Institute and the Korean Development Institute, the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, the Harvard Center for European Studies, the MIT Center for International Studies, and the Caroll Wilson Foundation. Dr. Nahm was an MIT Energy Fellow and a fellow of the German National Academic Foundation.
Prior to coming to SAIS, Dr. Nahm was a postdoctoral fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT and speaks German and Mandarin Chinese.