Craig Johnson

Department of Political Science
Phone number: 
519 824 4120 x53531
MCKN 514
Education (doctoral degree): 
London School of Economics and Political Science

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Craig Johnson (PhD, London School of Economics, 2000) is Professor of Political Science at the University of Guelph. His research lies in the field of environmental politics and global development, focusing primarily on the role of cities in global climate politics, the intersection of Indigenous, extractive and environmental politics in Latin America, and the politics of mining for a renewable energy transition. He is currently leading an international team of researchers that is investigating the political economy of lithium extraction in Canada, Australia, and the “lithium triangle” of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile (


Craig A. Johnson and Jonathan Khosravani (2024) "Greening the global battery chain? Critical reflections on the EU's 2023 battery regulations," The Extractive Industries and Society 


Johnson, C.A., T. Kramarz, M. McBurney & Y. Miraya Oscco (2023) “Accumulation through destabilization: manufacturing Indigenous consent for industrial mining in Latin America,” The Journal of Peasant Studies

Davis, J.M., Dicks, H. Johnson, C., Martel, A., & Paras, A. (2023) "Canada's Small INGOs: Growth Aspirations, Strategies, and Constraints," The Journal of Development Studies, DOI:

Dicks, H., Paras, A., Martel, A., Johnson., C., & Davis, J.M. (2023) "Tracing the Geography of NGOs: Exploring where Canadian Development Organizations Work and Why," VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations


McBurney, M. L.A. Tuaza, and C.A Johnson (2022) “Paying for Ecological Services in Ecuador: The political economy of structural inequality,” Journal of Agrarian Change


McBurney, M., L.A. Tuaza, C. Ayol and Craig Johnson (2021) “Land and livelihood in the age of COVID-19: Implications for Indigenous food producers in Ecuador,” Journal of Agrarian Change

Kramarz, T., S. Park and C. Johnson (2021) “Governing the dark side of renewable energy: A typology of global displacements,” Energy Research and Social Science

Johnson, C. (2021) “Creating a commons for global climate governance: Possibilities and perils in the Paris Climate Agreement,” in P. Nayak and F. Berkes (eds.) Making Commons Dynamic: Understanding Change Through Commonisation and Decommonisation London and New York: Routledge, pp. 211-229

Kramarz, S. Park, and C. Johnson (2021) “Some inconvenient truths in the race to a renewable energy transition,” The Hill Times 16 June, 2021

L.A. Tuaza, C. Johnson and M. McBurney (2021) Cambio climático y comunidades indígenas en los Andes del Ecuador Riobamba: Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo  


Luis Alberto Tuaza Castro, Craig Johnson and Matthew McBurney (2020) “Comunidad indígena de San Rafael de Chuquipogio, Chimborazo: transformaciones agrarias y cambio climático,” Revista de Historia, Patrimonio, Arqueología y Antropología Americana


David J. Gordon and Craig A. Johnson (2019) “From There to Here and Beyond: A Friendly Rejoinder to Davidson et al” Global Policy 10:4 doi: 10.1111/1758-5899.12756

Park, Susan, Teresa Kramarz, Craig Johnson and Stacy VanDeveer (2019), “Globalizing the Global Green New Deal: Harmful Extractives in the Green Energy Shift,” in The Green New Deal: Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy. Public Administration Review

Tim Forsyth and Craig Johnson (2019) “Elinor Ostrom” in David Simon (ed.) Key Thinkers on Development Routledge


Patricia Romero Lankao, Harriet Bulkeley, Mark Pelling, Sarah Burch, David Gordon, Joyeeta Gupta, Craig Johnson, Emma Lecavalier, David Simon, Priya Kurian, Laura Tozer, Gina Ziervogel, and Debashish Munshi (2018) “Realizing the Urban Transformative Potential in a Changing Climate,” Nature Climate Change [Paper #NCLIM-18040728B]

Bharat Punjabi and Craig A. Johnson (2018) “The politics of rural-urban water conflict in India: Untapping the power of institutional reform,” World Development 

David J. Gordon and Craig A. Johnson (2018) “City-networks, global climate governance and the road to 1.5C,” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (30): 35, pp. 35-41

Craig Johnson (2018) “Climate, migration and displacement: The politics of preventative action,” in the R. McLeman and F. Gemenne (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook on Environmental Displacement and Migration New York and London: Routledge, pp. 342-55

Johnson, C. (2018) The Power of Cities in Global Climate Politics London and New York: Palgrave/MacMillan


David Gordon and Craig A. Johnson (2017) “The Orchestration of Global Urban Climate Governance: Conducting Power in the Post-Paris Climate Regime” Environmental Politics VOL. 26, NO. 4, 694–714

Craig Johnson (2017) “Holding Polluting Countries to Account for Climate Change: Is “Loss and Damage” Up to the Task?” Review of Policy Research Volume 34, Number 1 (2017) 10.1111/ropr.12216, pp. 50-67

Craig Johnson, Iftekharul Haque, Yvonne Su and Kristy May (2017) “On the Waterfront: Building Urban Climate Resilience in Vietnam and Bangladesh,” in Ninan and Inoue (Eds.) Building a Climate Resilient Economy and Society: Challenges and Opportunities Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, pp. 183-95

Over the last three decades, Dr. Johnson has conducted extensive field research in Thailand, India, Bangladesh, and Ecuador, publishing in World Development, Nature - Climate Change, Environmental Politics, Development and Change, Development Policy Review, the Journal of Development Studies, the Journal of Agrarian Change, and Global Environmental Change, and other leading journals. He is author of two single-authored books: Arresting Development: The Power of Knowledge for Social Change (Routledge, 2009) and The Power of Cities in Global Climate Politics (Palgrave/MacMillan, 2018); and co-editor of two edited volumes: Policy Windows and Livelihood Futures: Prospects for Poverty Reduction in Rural India (Oxford University Press, 2006) and The Urban Climate Challenge: Rethinking the Role of Cities in the Global Climate Regime (Routledge, 2015 and 2017). His most recent book (co-authored with Luis Alberto Tuaza and Matthew McBurney) is Cambio climático y comunidades indígenas en los Andes del Ecuador (Climate change and Indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Andes). 

Dr. Johnson teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental politics, global development, humanitarian policy, and foreign aid. He has an established record of collaborating extensively with graduate and undergraduate researchers, and encourages enquiries about future supervisions that relate to his ongoing research interests. Outside of the University of Guelph, he maintains close affiliations with the University of Toronto’s Global Cities Institute, the Sydney Environment Institute, the Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo, the Universidad Andina de Simón Bolivar, and the Escuela Superior Politécnica Litoral.