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 12: Bringing the environment back in: materiality in climate changepolitics research

Felicia Peck


This chapter focuses on a shortcoming in global environmental politics (GEP) research: the largely neglected role of the material environment itself as a force upon environmental politics. The knowledge deficiencies that result from inadequate incorporation of environmental influences in political analysis are illustrated through the case of the role of “carbon” in climate governance, and examples of GEP research that are strengthened by attentiveness to the materiality of climate governance are given. Methodological approaches most apt to support the incorporation of materiality in GEP research include discourse analysis, multi-scalar consideration, and the pairing of inductively and deductively gathered evidence. The case of carbon and climate outlined in the chapter suggests that the efficacy of the carbon-based, econometric, and techno-managerial modes of global climate politics is in need of further investigation by scholars.

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