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Austin Beacham

Dissertation Fellow
UC San Diego

Austin Beacham is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at UC San Diego. He received an M.A. in political science from UCSD in 2021, and a B.A. in business administration and applied language & intercultural studies from Georgia Tech in 2017. His research is focused on international environmental politics, particularly biodiversity conservation and land use. In the context of a worsening global biodiversity crisis, his current work examines the institutions and distributive conflicts that determine the locations and effectiveness of protected areas for ecosystem conservation. He is especially interested in the role that international actors play in influencing this highly contested political space. In his research, he combines novel geospatial data sources and techniques with other quantitative data and processing tracing to understand how conservation outcomes are affected by institutions, economic incentives, and interest group contestation. Austin’s work highlights how actors and institutions that are normally perceived as “weak,” such as international organizations and NGOs, can influence local distributive conflicts over land use.

Proposal Title: Conserving What’s Left: The International Political Economy of Protected Areas and Biodiversity

Austin Beacham

Expertise & Interests

  • Environmental politics
  • International organization