My research focuses on comparative institutional analyses of water laws, policies, property rights, and compacts in the western US. I am particularly interested in the design and performance of polycentric systems of water governance and how well such systems of water governance adapt to changing environmental, legal, and social circumstances. Journals I have published in include Land Economics, Policy Studies Journal, Publius, and the American Journal of Political Science. I am co-author of two books on western water governance, Common Waters, Diverging Streams: Linking Institutions and Water Management in Arizona, California, and Colorado (with William Blomquist and Tanya Heikkila); and Embracing Watershed Politics (with William Blomquist). I am also the lead editor of Navigating Climate Change Policy: The Opportunities of Federalism (with Kirsten Engel and Sally Rider).
My teaching centers on environmental policy and public policy. I teach both undergraduate and graduate survey courses on environmental policy, an undergraduate course on climate change policy; and a PhD seminar on theories of the policy process.
Garrick, Dustin, Lucia De Stefano, Fai Fung, Jamie Pittock, Edella Schlager, Mark New, and Daniel Connell. 2013. “Managing Hydroclimatic Risks in Federal Rivers: A Diagnostic Assessment” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 371:20120415
Heikkila, Tanya and Schlager, Edella (2012) " Addressing the Issues: The Choice of Environmental Conflict-Resolution Venues in the United States" American Journal of Political Science. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2012.00588.x
Schlager, Edella, Tanya Heikkila, and Carl Case (2012) "The Costs of Compliance with Interstate Agreements: Lessons From Water Compacts in the Western United States" Publius: The Journal of Federalism 42(3):494-515
Schlager, Edella and Tanya Heikkila. (2011) “Left High and Dry? Climate Change, Common Pool Resource Theory, and the Adaptability of Western Water Compacts” Public Administration Review 71(3):461-470
Heikkila, Tanya, Edella Schlager, and Mark Davis (2011) “The Role of Cross-scale Institutional Linkages in Common Pool Resource Management: Assessing Interstate River Compacts” Policy Studies Journal 39(1):121-145
Schlager, Edella, Kirsten Engel, and Sally Rider, eds, (2011) Navigating Climate Change Policy: The Opportunities of Federalism. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.