Dr. Kuhika Gupta

EPSCoR Research Focus: 
Social Dynamics Research Framework
Research Scientist
Center for Risk and Crisis Management | Center for Energy, Security and Society
University of Oklahoma
Please leave this field as it is.
B.A. | Political Science | Delhi University | 2005
M.A. | International Relations | University of Warwick | 2006
M.A. | Political Science | University of Oklahoma | 2011
Ph.D. | Political Science | University of Oklahoma | 2013
Research Interests: 

Dr. Kuhika Gupta is a research scientist at the Center for Risk and Crisis Management and the Center for Energy, Security and Society at the University of Oklahoma. She is a member of the OK NSF EPSCoR Track-1 RII Award titled Socially Sustainable Solutions for Water, Carbon, and Infrastructure Resilience in Oklahoma. The $20 million research project is a social science-led, multi-disciplinary collaboration among social, physical, biological, engineering, and computational scientists. More than thirty researchers from across the state are working together on the project, which began July 1, 2020.

Currently, Dr. Gupta's research focuses on public perceptions regarding nuclear energy as well as the social, political, and institutional factors that influence nuclear facility siting from a global comparative perspective. In other research, she studies how narratives about nuclear energy are received and dispersed on social media platforms. As part of her comparative policy research agenda, she studies the policy dynamics associated with legislative issue agendas in India. 

Dr. Gupta's research supports the Social Dynamics Research Framework aspect of the OK NSF EPSCoR project. Human perceptions and beliefs are at the heart of the most critical challenges facing Oklahoma. They shape behaviors and collective decisions, and therefore our responses to the changing world. Using data from the M-SISNet, the social dynamics team will (a) measure and model perceptions and beliefs underpinning the social narratives that shape debates among the public, opinion leaders, and scientists about the emerging, interconnected, and salient threats to Oklahomans identified in our research focus areas; (b) evaluate how widely shared narratives have undermined collective action to pursue convergent solutions to wicked problems that recognize and address the array of anthropogenic drivers of these threats; and (c) measure social valuation for solutions using willingness-to-pay for potential sustainable solutions. 

Coupled with the project’s four interconnected focus areas, the Social Dynamics framework provides the structure and direction of the EPSCoR project. The distinct but interrelated focus areas and the research questions they pursue were selected because they deepen understanding of overlapping natural and human dynamics that drive critical problems facing Oklahoma today. Treated individually as stand-alone problems, they are susceptible to social polarization and policy gridlock. Addressed as an integrated set, these dynamics offer the prospect for revised understandings of problem boundaries and provide the potential for informed value tradeoffs across social groups that can enable socially sustainable solutions to address our most pressing problems.

Learn more about the OK NSF EPSCoR research project. 

Key Publications: 
  • Gupta, Kuhika, Matthew C. Nowlin, Joseph T. Ripberger, Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, and Carol L. Silva. 2019. "Tracking the nuclear ‘mood’ in the United States: Introducing a long term measure of public opinion about nuclear energy using aggregate survey data." Energy Policy 133.
  •  Carlson, Deven E., Joseph T. Ripberger, Wesley Wehde, Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, Carol L. Silva, Kuhika Gupta, Robert P. Berrens, and Benjamin A. Jones. 2019. “Benefit-Cost Analysis, Policy Impacts, and Congressional Hearings.” Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis 10(1): 65-94. 
  • Jones, Benjamin A., Robert P. Berrens, Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, Carol L. Silva, Deven E. Carlson, Joseph T. Ripberger, Kuhika Gupta, and Wesley Wehde. 2018. “In Search of an Inclusive Approach: Measuring Non-market Values for the Effects of Complex Dam, Hydroelectric and River System Operations.” Energy Economics 69:225-236. 
  • Gupta, Kuhika, Joseph T. Ripberger, and Wesley Wehde. 2018. “Advocacy Group Messaging on Social Media: Using the Narrative Policy Framework to Study Twitter Messages about Nuclear Energy Policy in the United States.” Policy Studies Journal 46:119-136. 
  • Ripberger, Joseph T., Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, Carol L. Silva, Deven E. Carlson, Kuhika Gupta, Nina Carlson, and Riley E. Dunlap. 2017. “Bayesian Versus Politically Motivated Reasoning in Human Perception of Climate Anomalies.” Environmental Research Letters 12:114004. 
  • Jenkins-Smith, Hank C., Joseph T. Ripberger, Carol L. Silva, Nina Carlson, Kuhika Gupta, Matthew Henderson, and Amy Goodin. 2017. “The Oklahoma Meso-Scale Integrated Sociogeographic Network: A Technical Overview.” Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 34:2431-2441. 
  • Jones, Benjamin A., Robert P. Berrens, Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, Carol L. Silva, Deven E. Carlson, Joseph T. Ripberger, Kuhika Gupta, and Nina Carlson. 2016. "Valuation in the Anthropocene: Exploring options for alternative operations of the Glen Canyon Dam." Water Resources and Economics. 
  • Carlson, Deven E., Joseph T. Ripberger, Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, Carol L. Silva, Kuhika Gupta, Robert P. Berrens, and Benjamin A. Jones. 2016. “Contingent Valuation and the Policymaking Process: An Application to Used Nuclear Fuel in the United States.” Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis 7:459-487.  
  • Trousset, Sarah, Kuhika Gupta, Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, Carol L. Silva, and Kerry G. Herron. 2015. “Degrees of Engagement: Using Cultural Worldviews to Explain Variations in Public Preferences to Engage in the Policy Process.” Policy Studies Journal 43 (1): 44-69. 
  • Gupta, Kuhika. 2014. “A Comparative Policy Analysis of Coalition Strategies: Case Studies of Nuclear Energy and Forest Management in India.” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 16(4): 356-372. 
  • Ripberger, Joseph T., Kuhika Gupta, Carol Silva, and Hank Jenkins-Smith. 2014. “Cultural Theory and the Measurement of Deep Core Beliefs within the Advocacy Coalition Framework.” Policy Studies Journal 42 (4): 509-527. 
  • Jenkins-Smith, Hank, Carol Silva, Kuhika Gupta, and Joseph T. Ripberger. 2014. “Belief System Continuity and Change in Policy Advocacy Coalitions: Using Cultural Theory to Specify Belief Systems, Coalitions, and Sources of Change.” Policy Studies Journal 42(4): 484-508. 
  • Gupta, Kuhika. 2012. “Comparative Public Policy: Using the Comparative Method to Advance Our Understanding of the Policy Process.” Policy Studies Journal 40: 11–26. 
Curriculum Vitae: