Amy Below, Ph.D

Below, Amy

Associate Professor

• E-mail:
• Phone: (510) 885-3221
• Office: SF 431
• Office Hours: By appointment

Dr. Below is a teacher-scholar of international relations and comparative politics specializing inenvironmental and climate politics and foreign policy with a regional emphasis in the Americas. She has published in academic journals such as Foreign Policy Analysis, Politics & Policy, Energy Policy, and European Political Science as well as contributed multiple chapters to edited books. Dr. Below has also published a book with Palgrave’s role theory series entitled Environmental Politics and Foreign Policy Decision Making in Latin America: Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol that investigates the Argentine, Mexican, and Venezuelan governments’ decisions to ratify the historic global climate treaty.

Dr. Below has also published research in the areas of teaching and learning, namely on the benefits of studying abroad and experiential learning opportunities. Dr. Below is active in the International Studies Association [hyperlink] where she regularly presents her research and has served in numerous leadership positions such as President of the ISA West region, executive board member of the Women’s Caucus for International Studies (WCIS), and Chair of the ISA Innovative Pedagogy Conference Planning Committee. Dr. Below enjoys mentoring students, namely as the faculty advisor of the Political Science Club and the campus chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. The club won a national best chapter award in 2020. She also participated in the inaugural offering of CSUEB’s Anti-Racist Liberatory Pedagogy Academy.

Dr. Below taught from 2009 to 2018 as an assistant and then associate professor at Oregon State University.

Professional Focus

US foreign policy
Latin American regionalism and foreign policy
US-Latin American relations
Role theory
Climate foreign policy (United States, Latin America)
Global Climate governance
Environmental and climate security
Pedagogy/teaching and learning: experiential learning, study abroad


“Climate Change: Splintered Multilateralism & Networked Transnationalism” (original research book chapter). Leslie Elliott Armijo, Sybil Rhodes and Markus Fraundorfer, eds.

Despite the increased occurrence of climate-related weather events and promises by the international community to act, the world’s countries have yet to agree on a strong and meaningful path forward. South American countries are no different. Without regional architecture to facilitate significant action, some countries have earned praise for their bold promises, others have been more than reluctant to take on the responsibility, and virtually all have fallen short of implementing meaningful policy changes. In its place is a splintered multilateralism, a division of the region into opposing coalitions, AILAC and ALBA, with other major countries like Argentina and Brazil joining neither. In response to this lack of unity in action, a growing and increasingly complex network of transnational climate advocacy has emerged spurred by entrepreneurial community leaders, scientists, and experts both in the region and from abroad. This chapter acknowledges their work and the role of subnational and international partnerships but argues that issue arena disincentives have hampered cohesive climate coordination. The complex nature of climate change, importantly its links to state sovereignty in national development and resource use, have created barriers to ambitious emission reduction pledges.

“Experiential Learning: Challenges and Opportunities” in The Oxford Handbook of International Studies Pedagogy. Mark A. Boyer, David J. Hornsby and Heather A. Smith, eds.

Building on early works by John Dewey (1938), Paulo Freire (1968) and Kolb (1984), this chapter discusses the objectives of and challenges and opportunities in adopting various
forms of experiential learning in our international studies curricula. With specific attention paid to study abroad, internships, and service-learning options, experiential learning differs from “traditional” modes of knowledge acquisition as it requires students and teachers to place themselves in potentially unfamiliar places (literally and/or theoretically) and become active participants in the co-creation of knowledge. Faculty become facilitators in helping students reflect on the learning process. Adopting such practices does require personal and pedagogical risk for all involved, but the potential rewards, especially in the long-term, can be invaluable and benefit all co-learners: faculty; students; local partners, co-facilitators, and communities alike.

“The UNFCCC Secretariat and the Challenge of Role Enactment” (original research book chapter) in International Organizations Amidst Global Crises, Diana Panke & Gordon Friedrichs, eds.

Created in 1992 by the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Secretariat has evolved into a complex architecture of approximately 450 individuals tasked with overseeing ongoing international negotiations, implementing the resulting climate agreements, and otherwise overseeing an array of governmental and non-Party stakeholders in efforts to address the global climate crisis. With a fundamental charge of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations at levels that will not endanger the climactic system, the Secretariat is beset with the daunting challenge of fostering economic, cultural, and social change worldwide. Its role conception, then, leans transformative and innovative. Fundamental changes are necessary to re-envision global systems less dependent on fossil fuels and that protect vulnerable nations and communities worldwide. However, housed under the United Nations where national sovereignty reigns and is victim to the veto power of the largest emitters, the Secretariat has made only incremental progress in solving the collective action problem. While the Secretariat has been successful at guiding climate conversations and raising awareness, the global status quo and greenhouse gas emissions remain largely the same. Role enactment has been challenged by systemic forces and its own member states.

PhD, University of Southern California (Politics and International Relations)
MA, University of Southern California (Environmental Law, Policy, and Management)
BA, University of California, Santa Barbara (Environmental Studies)

Spring 2023 Courses
POSC 300 Study of Political Science Seminar
POSC 327 Politics of Latin America

Below, Amy (2015), Environmental Politics and Foreign Policy Decision Making in Latin America: Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. New York: Routledge.

Below, Amy and Malasia Williams* (2021) “Executive Power and International Agreements: Trump’s Exit from the Paris Climate Accord” in Ralph G. Carter Contemporary Cases in US Foreign Policy: From National Security to Human Security. 6th edition. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. *CSUEB undergraduate student
Below, Amy, Amanda Nydeggar and Mary Jane Parmentier (2021), Experiential Learning through Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs in Scott J. et al, ed, Teaching International Relations. Northampton, MA:
Edgar Elgar Publishers.
Below, Amy (2019), Climate Change: The Existential Threat Multiplier in Understanding New Security Threats. Michel Gueldry, Gigi Gokcek and Lui Hebron (eds.) New York: Routledge.
Below, Amy (2017), Climate Change in Foreign Policy. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. 1-32.DOI:10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.357.
Below, Amy (2016),    Reflections on the OUS Cuba Program: Internationalisation via a Double Hybrid Model. European Political Science.15: 49-60.
Plaza, Dwaine and Amy Below (2014), Social Media as a Tool for Transnational Caregiving within the Caribbean Diaspora. Social and Economic Studies 63(1):25-56.
Below, Amy (2013), Obstacles in energy security: An analysis of congressional and presidential framing in the United States. Energy Policy. 62:860-868.
Below, Amy (2013), Parties, Campaign and Elections. In The Oxford Handbook on U.S. Environmental Policy. Sheldon Kamieniecki and Michael Kraft eds. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. 525-549.
Below, Amy (2010), Latin American Foreign Policy. International Studies Encyclopedia. International Studies Association Compendium Project. Wiley-Blackwell Publishers. 4806-4825.
Below, Amy (2008), U.S. Presidential Decisions on Ozone Depletion and Climate Change: A Foreign Policy Analysis. Foreign Policy Analysis 4(1):1-20.
Kamieniecki, Sheldon and Amy Below (2008), Equity Issues in Stormwater Policy Implementation: Disparities in Financial Burdens and Lifestyle Sacrifice. In Water, Place and Equity: Fair Practice in Apportioning Water Among Places and Values. Helen Ingram and Richard Perry eds. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.69-94.
Below, Amy (2007), The Missing Link: Regionalism as a First Step Toward Globalizing U.S. Environmental Security. Politics and Policy 35(4):702–715.

Educational Effectiveness Council (2022)
Political Science Student Club & Pi Sigma Alpha Advisor (2019-present) Panetta Institute Internship Program, Committee Member (2019-2022) Political Science Tenure-Track Search Committee (2021)
Political Science Scholarship Committee (2020, 2022)
A2E2 Committee, Political Science Representative (2021)
Faculty Support Grant Reviewer (2021)

Center for Climate Change, Health, and Sustainability Development Task Force (2020) Institutional Learning Outcomes (Sustainability), Assignment Guide Committee (2020)
CLASS Faculty Senator (2019-2020)
Institutional Learning Outcome (Sustainability), Rubric Pilot Committee (2019)
Institutional Learning Outcome Committee (Sustainability), Rubric Formation Committee (2019) Women on the Rise-Pioneers Transforming Politics, Committee Member & Event Moderator (2018)

To International Studies Association and the Profession at large:
Innovative Pedagogy Conference Planning Committee, Chair, ISA (2021-present)
Executive Board member, Woman’s Caucus in International Studies, ISA (2020-2022) International Studies Perspectives Editorial Board Member (2020-present)
Foreign Policy Analysis Editorial Board Member (2010-present)
Innovative Pedagogy Conference Planning Committee, ISA (2017-2020)
President Emeritus, ISA West (2017-2018)
Workshop Co-Facilitator, ISA-Innovative Pedagogy Conference (2018, 2019)
Pay it Forward Mentor (2015-2017)
President, ISA West (2016-2017)
Program Chair, ISA West (2015-2016)
Executive Council Member, ISA West (2014-2015)
Officer-at-Large, Foreign Policy Analysis Section, ISA
Peer Reviewer: ADVANCE Journal, Energy Policy, Environmental Politics, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Studies Perspective, International Studies Quarterly, International Studies Review, Journal of International Relations and Development, Political Research Quarterly, Politics & Policy, Policy Studies Journal, Review of Policy Research, CQ Press, MIT Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge