Inhwan Ko, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
headshot of Inhwan Ko
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Inhwan Ko is an assistant professor of environmental policy in the Political Science Department at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research and teaching interests include the political economy of climate change, energy and environmental politics, policy and justice, transnational environmental cooperation and movement, and a mixed-methods approach.

Ko's current work investigates local opposition to renewable energy projects and policies in South Korea and the United States. He is interested in how renewable energy projects have potential negative and disproportionate impacts on historically marginalized communities and how these communities respond to them. Other works examine the role of climate clubs in facilitating climate actions by state and non-state actors, drivers of renewable technology adoption by households and localities, and city-level climate actions from a comparative policy perspective.

Ko's doctoral dissertation, which examines two primary sources of opposition to solar energy in South Korea, is recognized by Renewable Energy Scholarship Foundation based in Portland, OR. Ko published his works in journals such as Energy Research & Social Science, Climatic Change, PLOS Climate, and Review of Policy Research and featured in media outlets and magazines such as Forbes, The Regulatory Review, and Reputation (Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation).

Ko received his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in political science from the University of Washington, Seattle, where he was a graduate chair at the Center for Environmental Politics and a graduate fellow at the Clean Energy Institute. During his doctoral program, he was a visiting scholar at the Energy Transition Forum Korea, where he researched the social acceptance of renewable energy, supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy of Korea. Before joining the doctoral program, he was a youth climate activist based in South Korea since 2016.

Selected Publications:

  • Ko, Inhwan. 2023. "Rural Opposition to Landscape Change from Solar Energy: Explaining the Diffusion of Setback Restrictions on Solar Farms across South Korean Counties." Energy Research & Social Science. 99: 103073
  • Ko, Inhwan, and Aseem Prakash. 2022. "Signaling Climate Resilience to Municipal Bond Markets: Does Membership in Adaptation-Focused Voluntary Clubs Affect Bond Rating?" Climatic Change. 171: 9
  • Ko, Inhwan, and Taedong Lee. 2022. "Carbon Pricing and Decoupling between Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Economic Growth: A Panel Study of 29 European Countries, 1996-2014." Review of Policy Research, 39(5): 654-673

Courses Taught:

  • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
  • Energy Politics and Policy


  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Washington, Seattle, 2023
  • M.A., Political Science, University of Washington, Seattle, 2021
  • M.A., Political Science, Yonsei University, Seoul, 2019
  • B.A., Political Science, Yonsei University, Seoul, 2017
  • B.I., Science, Technology and Society, Yonsei University, Seoul, 2017