A Research Agenda for Global Environmental Politics
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A Research Agenda for Global Environmental Politics

Edited by Peter Dauvergne and Justin Alger

In a world confronted with escalating environmental crises, are academics asking the right questions and advocating the best solutions? This Research Agenda paves the way for new and established scholars in the field, identifying the significant gaps in research and emerging issues for future generations in global environmental politics.
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Chapter 10: Not just a case study: strategies for researching climate changepolitics

Sonja Klinsky


This chapter argues that we ought not to treat climate change as a case study of some broader phenomena but need to engage with its core characteristics in order to focus on it as a problem in its own right. It suggests that five characteristics of climate change have direct ramifications for our ability to conduct research that meaningfully engages with the issue. Specifically, climate change: (a) does not have natural boundaries; (b) is politically contentious; (c) is multi-scalar and multi-sited; (d) inevitably raises questions about justice and inequalities; and (e) is a cultural phenomenon. The chapter then briefly discusses each of these characteristics and reflects on some of the broader implications for research directions and approaches.

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