Research Handbook on Climate Governance
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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.
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Chapter 7: Feminism

Annica Kronsell


Historic differences in livelihoods, work roles and the access to resources lead to differences in how women and men are exposed to and impacted by climate change. Policymakers and civil society groups have come to realize that gender matters in the governance of climate issues and there is an emerging scholarship in this field. However, the attention is mainly on women, rather than on gender, for example by demonstrating sex differences in the impacts of climate change and by highlighting the vulnerability of women in the South. When gender is equated with women being vulnerable or virtuous, it conceals power relations and cements simple gender binaries. This is unfortunate, as climate governance would benefit from theorizing gender power relations. The aim of this chapter is to show how feminist critical theories that focus on gender as a power relationship can shed light on how power is implicated in climate governance and expressed in material as well as normative ways in governance institutions and practices. The chapter is based on a review of the scholarly literature and of climate governance in Scandinavia, the EU and the UN.

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