Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Climate Governance

Research Handbook on Climate Governance

Edited by Karin Bäckstrand and Eva Lövbrand

The 2009 United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen is often represented as a watershed in global climate politics, when the diplomatic efforts to negotiate a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol failed and was replaced by a fragmented and decentralized climate governance order. In the post-Copenhagen landscape the top-down universal approach to climate governance has gradually given way to a more complex, hybrid and dispersed political landscape involving multiple actors, arenas and sites. The Handbook contains contributions from more than 50 internationally leading scholars and explores the latest trends and theoretical developments of the climate governance scholarship.

Chapter 1: Global governance

Markus Lederer

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation


This chapter explores how contemporary scholarship evaluates global climate change governance. It briefly describes how the literature on global governance of climate change evolved and why its overly optimistic outlook can no longer be upheld. The chapter will also provide an overview of current perspectives, differentiating between those who see the effective and legitimate global governance of climate change as a ‘glass half full,’ those who are agnostic about it, and those who argue that the glass is almost empty. Finally, the conclusion will provide possible scenarios as to where the real world of global governance of climate change might move and what follows for academic debate.