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Donna Lybecker

Donna L. Lybecker

Professor of International Relations, Environmental Politics, and Comparative Politics

Office: Graveley Hall, North Wing, 3rd floor

(208) 282-3331


Ph.D. Colorado State University, 2003

Donna L. Lybecker joined the Department of Political Science in 2007. Her teaching and research focus on Comparative Politics and International Relations, emphasizing Environmental Politics, Borders, and Latin America. In particular she looks at the shifting role and perceptions of the US-Mexico border, water issues among the Western states and more recently the role language and narratives play in policy development. 

Courses Recently Taught:

  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
  • The Politics of Borders
  • The Politics of Central America
  • Seminar in Global Politics

Dr. Lybecker has published in academic journals such as Policy Studies Journal, Review of Policy Research, Environmental Politics, and Politics & Policy, and co-authored two books, Great Debates in Environmental History with B. Black (2009), and Cases in International Relations: Pathways to Conflict and Cooperation with G. Hastedt and V. Shannon (2014). She was named the Distinguished Teacher at ISU in 2013 and received the Outstanding Service Award in 2017.

Outside of ISU, Dr. Lybecker is a member of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) National Advisory Committee, and an Associate Editor for the Social Science Journal and an Editorial Board Member for the International Journal for Sustainable Society. In addition, she is the Chair of the Selection Committee for The Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science.


Select Publications (* denotes graduate student co-author)

  1. Donna L. Lybecker, Mark K. McBeth, and Jessica M. Sargent. 2022. “Agreement and Trust: In Narratives or Narrators?” Chapter 4 in Narratives and the Policy Process: Applications of the Narrative Policy Framework. Edited by Michael D. Jones, Elizabeth Shanahan, and Mark K. McBeth. Bozeman, Montana State University. Pp. 90-112. org/10.15788/npf4
  2. Mark K. McBeth, Donna L. Lybecker, and Jessica M. Sargent*. “Narrative Empathy: A Narrative Policy Framework Stud of Working-Class Climate change Narratives and Narrators,” World Affairs (forthcoming Fall 2022).  Available online first (July 28, 2022) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/00438200221107018
  3. Donna L. Lybecker. 2020. “Old West, New West, and the Next West,” Chapter 1 in The Environmental Politics and Policy of Western Public Lands, Ericka Wolters and Brent Steel, eds. University of Oregon Press.  3-15.
  4. Wolters, Erika Allen, Donna L. Lybecker, Frances Fahy, and Monica L. Hubbard. 2019. “Willingness to support environmental actions and policies: A comparative study,” Social Science Journal. (Available online 31 May 2019: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0362331919301004)
  5. Li Huang, Felix Hiefent Liao, Kathleen A. Lohse, Danielle M. Larson, Michail Fragkias, Donna L. Lybecker, Colden V. Baxter. 2019. “Land conservation can mitigate freshwater ecosystem services degradation due to climate change in a semiarid catchment: The case of the Portneuf River catchment, Idaho, USA,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 651 (Part 2): 1796-1809.
  6. Donna L. Lybecker, Mark K. McBeth, Adam Brewer*, and Carine De Sy*. “The Social Construction of a Border:  The US-Canada Border.”  Journal of Borderlands Studies, Vol. 33, No. 4: 529-547.
  7. Mark K. McBeth and Donna L. Lybecker. 2018. “The Narrative Policy Framework, Agendas, and Sanctuary Cities: The Construction of a Public Problem.” Policy Studies Journal (Symposium: Advances in the Narrative Policy Framework), Vol. 46(4): 868-893.
  8. Donna L. Lybecker, Mark K. McBeth, and James W. Stoutenborough. “Do We Understand What the Public Hears?  Stakeholders’ Preferred Communication Choices for Discussing River Issues with the Public,” Review of Policy Research, Vol. 33, No. 4:  376-392.
  9. Donna L. Lybecker, Mark K. McBeth, Maria A. Husmann*, and Nicholas Pelikan*. “Do New Media Support New Policy Narratives? The Social Construction of the US-Mexico Border on YouTube,” Policy and Internet, Vol. 7, No. 4:  497-525. 

Donna L. Lybecker, Mark K. McBeth, and Elizabeth Kusko*.  2013. “Trash or treasure: recycling narratives and reducing political polarization,” Environmental Politics.  March 2013:  Vol. 22, No. 2:  312-332