Dr Rebecca Elliott

Dr Rebecca Elliott

Associate Professor

Department of Sociology

Room No
STC S211
Connect with me

Key Expertise
Climate Change, Insurance, Risk, Governance, Disaster

About me

I am an economic and environmental sociologist. My research focuses on how the impacts of climate change are constructed and confronted as political and economic problems. My first book, Underwater: Loss, Flood Insurance, and the Moral Economy of Climate Change in the United States, explores how families, communities, and governments confront problems of loss as the climate changes. It does so through the lens of the United States National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): the key US institution that economizes flood hazards and losses, turning them into a matter of dollars and cents. Underwater was the co-winner of the 2022 Viviana Zelizer Book Award from the Economic Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association and received an Honorable Mention for the 2022 Alice Amsden Book Award from the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. 

My current projects investigate expertise and contestation surrounding climate change adaptation infrastructure (with Dr Kasia Paprocki, LSE Geography and Environment); assess the relationship between decarbonisation and regional inequality in the United Kingdom (with Dr Leon Wansleben and Dr Ned Crowley, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies); and further develop the social theory of climate change.  

At the LSE, I am a Research Associate at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and at the LSE Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation. I am a Faculty Affiliate of the LSE Phelan United States Centre. With Dr Kasia Paprocki and Dr Austin Zeiderman, I co-convene the Social Life of Climate Change, a cross-disciplinary seminar series and working group focused on the critical social science of climate change. 

I am the book reviews editor for the British Journal of Sociology.

Selected publications


2021. Underwater: Loss, Flood Insurance, and the Moral Economy of Climate Change in the United States. Columbia University Press.

Journal Publications

2022. “The ‘Boomer Remover’: Intergenerational Discounting, Climate Change and the Coronavirus.” The Sociological Review 70(1): 74–91.

2021. With Ryan Hagen. “Disasters, Continuity, and the Pathological Normal.” Sociologica 15(1): 1-9.

2021. “Insurance and the temporality of climate ethics: Accounting for climate change in US flood insurance.” Economy and Society 50(2): 173-195.

2019. "‘Scarier than another storm’: Values at risk in the mapping and insuring of U.S. floodplains." British Journal of Sociology 70(3): 1067-1090.

2018. “The Sociology of Climate Change as a Sociology of Loss.” European Journal of Sociology 59(3): 301-337.

2017. "Gender and Green Consumption: Relational, Practical, Material." Journal of Consumer Ethics 1(2): 92-99.

2017. "Who Pays for the Next Wave? The American Welfare State and Responsibility for Flood Risk." Politics & Society 45(3): 415-440.

2013. “The taste for green: The possibilities and dynamics of status differentiation through “green” consumption.” Poetics 41(3): 294-322. 


Expertise Details

Climate Change; Insurance; Risk; Governance; Disaster