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Mark Axelrod

Mark  Axelrod
  • Professor
  • Faculty
  • Case Hall Room N362
  • 842 Chestnut Rd
  • East Lansing, MI 48825
  • 517-258-0248


Mark Axelrod holds a joint appointment in James Madison College and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. His teaching and research center around international and comparative environmental governance, with a focus on justice outcomes. Professor Axelrod teaches International Environmental Law and Policy (MC/FW 450), Natural Resources and Environmental Governance (FW 813), Public International Law (MC 362), and Politics of International Economic Relations (MC 221), as well as 1st year and senior seminar courses. He also co-facilitated a 2011 workshop on conservation options in Malawi.

Mark’s current research addresses institutional change in international environmental law, local implementation of international environmental principles in India, policy impacts of scientific uncertainty, conflict resulting from climate-induced migration, and gendered impacts of marine fisheries policy in India and elsewhere.

His most recent work is published in Sustainability, Global Environmental Politics, Fisheries Research, and World Development.

Mark is a co-leader of the Michigan Chapter of Scholars Strategy Network. Beyond MSU, Mark is active with the International Studies Association Environmental Studies Section and the United Planet Faith & Science Initiative. He is also Associate Editor of Global Environmental Politics journal and sits on the Board of Contributors for the International Environmental Agreements Database.

Mark Axelrod CV



Gasteyer, S. P., Axelrod, M. L., Kendall, A. D., Lawrie, S. C., Woolford, A. P., Pokhrel, Y., CONFLICT AND CLIMATE CHANGE, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ESPP-AGBIORESEARCH INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM BUILDING INITIATIVE. $9,850. Date Awarded: 2019; Project Dates: November 2019 - 2021.

United States Geological Survey (WRRI 104b base grant), “Improving Ecosystem Services and Water Quality through Applied Research and Technology Advancements,” 2021-2022 (co-Investigator, with PI Dana Infante and 6 other co-Investigators), $125,000.

Component Project with PI Lois Wolfson and co-PIs Ruth Kline-Robach, Stephen Gasteyer, and Mark Axelrod: “PFAS and other Groundwater Contaminants: Assessing Attitudes and Perceptions Concerning Risks to Drinking Water in Michigan,” $14,990.


Mark Axelrod, Meghan Vona, Julia M. Novak Colwell, Kafayat Fakoya, Shyam S. Salim, D.G. Webster, and Maricela de la Torre-Castro, “Understanding Gender Intersectionality for More Robust Ocean Science,” Earth System Governance, 13, Article ID: 100148 (2022). doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esg.2022.100148

Natalia Ocampo Diaz, Maria Claudia Lopez, Patricia Norris, and Mark Axelrod, “Decentralizing the governance of inland fisheries in the Pacific Region of Colombia,” (accepted for publication in International Journal of the Commons, May 2022).

D.G. Webster, Semra Aytur, Mark Axelrod, Robyn Wilson, Joseph Hamm, Linda Sayed, Amber Pearson, Pedro Henrique Torres, Alero Akporiaye, and Oran Young, “Learning from the Past: Pandemics and the Governance Treadmill,” Sustainability 14(6): 3683 (2022). doi: 10.3390/su14063683

Daniel Boyd Kramer, Celia Hallan, Kara Stevens, and Mark Axelrod, “Getting Beyond Consumption Without Conscience and Production Without Prudence: The Governance of Globalizing Small-Scale Fisheries,” Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 19(4): 348-364 (2016). doi: 10.1080/13880292.2016.1248694

Mark Axelrod, “Blocking Change: Facing the Drag of Status Quo Fisheries Institutions,” International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 17(4): 573-588 (2017). doi: 10.1007/s10784-016-9337-6 

Julia Novak Colwell and Mark Axelrod, “Socio-economic impacts of a closed fishing season on resource-dependent stakeholders in Tamil Nadu, India: differences in income and expenditure effects by occupational group” Marine Policy 77: 182-190 (2017). doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2016.10.026

Julia M. Novak Colwell, Mark Axelrod, Shyam S Salim, and S. Velvizhi, “A gendered analysis of fisherfolk's livelihood adaptation and coping responses in the face of a seasonal fishing ban in Tamil Nadu & Puducherry, India,” World Development, 98: 325-337 (2017). doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.04.033

Novak Colwell, J., Axelrod, M. L., & Roth, B. M. (2019). Unintended consequences of a seasonal ban on fishing effort in Tamil Nadu & Puducherry, India. Fisheries Research. doi: 10.1016/j.fishres.2018.12.003


Mitchell, R. B., Andonova, L., Axelrod, M. L., Balsiger, J., Bernauer, T., Green, J. F., Hollway, J., Kim, R., & Morin, J.-F. (2020). What We Know (and Could Know) About International Environmental Agreements. Global Environmental Politics, 20(1), 103-121. doi: 10.1162/glep_a_00544


Mark Axelrod, Brian Roth, Daniel B. Kramer, Shyam S. Salim, Julia M. Novak, T V. Sathianandan, and Somy Kuriakose, “Cascading Globalization and Local Response: Indian Fishers’ Response to Export Market Liberalization,” The Journal of Environment & Development, 24(3): 315-344 (2015), doi: 10.1177/1070496515591577.

Julia M. Novak and Mark Axelrod, “Multi-level Fisheries Governance and Their Impact on Fishermen’s Adaptation Strategies in Tamil Nadu, India” Environmental Policy & Governance, 26(1): 45-58 (2016). doi: 10.1002/eet.1694.

Meredith Gore, Mark Axelrod, and Michelle Lute, Michigan Applied Public Policy Brief: Michigan Citizens’ Response to Aquatic Invasive Species Threats, Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (2015). http://ippsr.msu.edu/sites/default/files/MAPPR/Aquatic%20Invasive%20Species%20Threats.pdf

Meredith Gore, Mark Axelrod, and Michelle Lute, Michigan Applied Public Policy Brief: Michigan Citizens’ Response to Gray Wolf-related Risks, Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (2016). http://ippsr.msu.edu/sites/default/files/MAPPR/Michigan%20Citizens%27%20Response%20to%20Gray%20Wolf-Related%20Risks.pdf

2016 Convention of the International Studies Association, Atlanta, Georgia, March 16-19, 2016:

  • Mykala Ford, Houston Smith, Julia Novak Colwell, and Mark Axelrod, “Transboundary Fishing Conflict Resolution: Two-level Games, Leadership Change, and Confidence Building between India and Sri Lanka.”
  • Julia Novak Colwell and Mark Axelrod, “Human Security and Livelihoods: Preventing and Exacerbating Conflict during a Seasonal Fishing Ban in Tamil Nadu, India
  • Participant, Roundtable on Innovative Teaching of Global Environmental Governance and Policy.

Professor Mark Axelrod, Brian Roth, Daniel B. Kramer, Shyam S. Salim, Julia M. Novak, T V. Sathianandan, and Somy Kuriakose published “Cascading Globalization and Local Response: Indian Fishers’ Response to Export Market Liberalization” (accepted for publication in The Journal of Environment & Development, May 2015). doi: 10.1177/1070496515591577.

Professor Mark Axelrod and Julia M. Novak published “Multi-level Fisheries Governance and Its Impact on Fishers’ Adaptation Strategies in Tamil Nadu, India” (accepted for publication in Environmental Policy & Governance, May 2015).

Professor Mark Axelrod and Michelle L. Lute published, “Public preferences for wolf management processes in Michigan” in Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 20(7) (2015). doi: 10.1080/10871209.2015.956850.

 Professor Mark Axelrod published, “Clash of the Treaties: Responding to Institutional Interplay in EC-Chile Swordfish Negotiations” in European Journal of International Relations, 20(4): 987-1013 (2014). doi: 10.1177/1354066113499386.

Professor Axelrod became a member of the new United Planet Faith & Science Initiative and will contribute videos and discussions of his research www.upfsi.org (events tab, live conference calls).  

Professor Axelrod (with Meredith Gore, School of Criminal Justice and FW) received a Michigan Applied Public Policy Research (MAPPR) Grant for a project entitled: “Michigan Public Opinion Regarding Fish and Wildlife Threats and Policy Responses.”

Professor Axelrod hosted Dr. Shyam Salim from India’s Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute through a grant from the MSU Environmental Science & Policy Program, Visiting Scholars to Advance Science (VISTAS) program

Professor Axelrod presented papers at the 2014 Convention of the International Studies Association, Toronto, Ontario in March 2014: “Importing International Norms through Domestic Institutions: the Precautionary Principle in India” and “Finding the Sources of Support: An Analysis of Indian Fisheries Subsidies” (with JMC student Mykala Ford and FW student Julia Novak)

Professor Axelrod presented papers at the 2014 Norwich Conference on Earth System Governance, Norwich, UK, in July: “Beyond Effectiveness: Comparing Institutional Resilience in Ozone and Invasive Species Regimes” (with JMC colleagues Daniel Kramer and Matthew Zierler) and “Blocking Change: the Drag of Status Quo Fisheries Institutions”

Professor Axelrod was selected as member of program on “Legal Preparedness for Achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets”, supported by UN Convention on Biological Diversity and International Development Law Organization.

Professor Axelrod published “Clash of the Treaties: Responding to Institutional Interplay in EC-Chile Swordfish Negotiations” in the European Journal of International Relations, May 2013. The article will be published online by the end of 2013 and will be published in print in 2014 or 2015.

Professor Axelrod, with Katherine Groff, authored, “A Baseline Analysis of Poaching Incentives in Chiquibul National Park, Belize,” which was accepted for publication at Conservation and Society, November 2012). Publication is expected by the end of 2013.

Professor Axelrod co-presented a paper and was elected to the Environmental Studies Section Executive Committee for 2013-15 at the 2013 Convention of the International Studies Association, in San Francisco, California in April, 2013. He also co-authored a paper that was presented at the 2013 People and the Sea Conference VII: Maritime Futures, in Amsterdam, Netherlands in June, 2013, and is co-authoring a paper to be presented at the 2013 Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, in East Lansing, Michigan, which will be held from  October 25 to 27, 2013.

Professor Mark Axelrod co-facilitated a short course on "Payment for Ecosystem Services" in September at BundaCollege, University of Malawi, along with other MSU and University of Malawi faculty. This course was part of the USAID Higher Education for Development project including MSU, Lincoln University, and University of Malawi.

Mark Axelrod published the following articles:

"Savings Clauses and the "Chilling Effect": Regime Interplay as Constraints on International Governance/Law," inManaging Institutional Complexity: Regime Interplay and Global Environmental Change, Oberthür, Sebastian and Olav Schram Stokke, eds. (2011, MIT Press).

"Conservation Criminology and the Global Trade in Electronic Waste: Applying a Multi-Disciplinary Research Framework," with Carole Gibbs, Edmund McGarrell, and Louie Rivers, International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 35(4): 269-291 (2011).

"Climate Change and Global Fisheries Management: Linking Issues to Protect Ecosystems or Save Political Interests?," Global Environmental Politics, 11(3): 64-84 (2011); and, "Sustainable transboundary ground water management under shifting political scenarios: the Ceylanpinar Aquifer and Turkey-Syria relations," with Mehmet Öztan, Water International 36(5): 671-685 (2011).

Mark Axelrod, with Carole Gibbs and Edmund McGarrell, published "Transnational white-collar crime and risk: Lessons from the global trade in electronic waste" in Criminology & Public Policy 9(3): 543-560 (2010).