Environmental management, sustainability, and climate protection pose complex public challenges that transcend political, administrative, and scholarly boundaries They are also objectives around which local governments have emerged as policy leaders.

Under this umbrella, three central questions motivate my recent work:

  1. How does fragmented political and functional authority shape policy design and implementation?

  2. What dynamics influence successful collaboration around transboundary public objectives?

  3. Given the expanding scope of local government responsibilities, how are capacity and political will built and deployed around the pursuit of “non-traditional” local policy aims?

My research engages theories of urban governance, the selection and use of policy tools, collaboration, and the influence of institutions on policy and management decisions to explore these substantive issues.

Rachel Krause discusses how cities elected council members can influence sustainability initiatives.

Although the influence of local interest groups often receives attention, how cities elect council members may be key to how they organize sustainability initiatives, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas professor.

"With every additional council member that is elected by district, the likelihood that a city has a specialized sustainability unit increases," said Rachel Krause, a KU assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration.

Krause was lead author in the study "The Administrative Organization of Sustainability Within Local Government" published recently in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.