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 13: Does the arc of history bend towards climate justice? Towards anagenda for engaged research

J. Timmons Roberts


Is the arc of history bending towards climate justice? This chapter outlines Boston Abolitionist minister Theodore Parker’s argument about the arc of history bending towards justice, and then reviews the history of climate governance, weighted by two variables: equity and adequacy. Both are required to reach a lasting solution to the problem of climate change. This history raises crucial lessons for efforts to make our field more impactful in the future, so the chapter describes the work of one hybrid group of activist-researchers who have spent over a decade seeking to build workable indicators of climate justice and make them part of the global governance system. The chapter discusses some possible areas for useful research, concluding that researchers could have far more impact if they engaged in joint work with actors in the governance system. Scholarly models of publishable research need rethinking, and university hiring and tenure criteria need rewriting.

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