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Harriet Bulkeley and Heike Schroeder

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Johannes Stripple and Harriet Bulkeley

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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Harriet Bulkeley, Mark Cooper and Johannes Stripple

The attention to new kinds of actors, including sub-national governments, private sector organizations, and transnational associations, has broadened the idea of what constitutes climate governance in international relations, and thus what kinds of studies it is legitimate to pursue. Students of GEP should resist the tendency to approach climate governance as a general, abstract, and undifferentiated entity, and instead explore the specific instances, places, processes, and materials through which climate governance is encountered. The chapter recommends approaches that (1) rely on productive and relational accounts of power, (2) pay attention to the socio-material dimensions of carbon and climate, and (3) are attuned to the cultural politics of climate change. Encountering climate’s new governance implies getting close to how climate issues are woven into the socio-material and cultural fabric of our lives. Such a research agenda has the potential to cast a new light on what is considered global, environmental, and political.