Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy
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Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy

Edited by David M. Konisky

A comprehensive analysis of diverse areas of scholarly research on U.S. environmental policy and politics, this Handbook looks at the key ideas, theoretical frameworks, empirical findings and methodological approaches to the topic. Leading environmental policy scholars emphasize areas of emerging research and opportunities for future enquiry.
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Chapter 20: The dynamics of federal climate policy conflict

Matto Mildenberger


In this chapter, I review the literature on U.S. federal climate policymaking to explore the dynamics of U.S. climate policy conflict. While some U.S. political actors have championed outright climate skepticism, many others have actively worked to mitigate the risks of dangerous, human-caused climate change. Political scientists have a crucial role to play in studying the climate policy conflict that results. Only by understanding the actors, interests, and institutions that shape federal climate policymaking can we specify the conditions under which a robust policy response to the climate crisis can emerge. Here, I outline the actors, interests, and institutions that shape federal policymaking. Next, I offer a synoptic overview of key episodes of federal climate policy conflict. Finally, I reflect on critical research questions that political scientists have yet to answer about U.S. climate policy debates.

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