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 5: Governmentality

Johannes Stripple and Harriet Bulkeley

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


When approached from the horizon of Foucauldian analytics of government, climate governance can be examined as practical activity, historicized and specified at the level of the rationalities, programmes, techniques and subjectivities which underpin it and give it form and effect. This chapter identifies three main interrelated ‘studies of climate governmentalities’ that have begun to contribute to the ways in which climate governance can be understood. These focus on: (1) the climate imagined as a historical and political object that is possible to govern; (2) advanced liberal climate government; (3) subjectivity and the personal conduct of carbon. Studies in climate governmentality becomes an inquiry not only about the design of policy, regulations and codes of conduct, but offers a close engagement with how these are taken up, worked through and reconfigured in the day-to-day practice and culture of everyday life.

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