Ways of handling climate change vary worldwide. Differences can be observed in the perception of potential threats and opportunities as well as in the appraisal of adequate coping strategies. Collective efforts often fail not because of technical restrictions, but as a result of social and cultural differences between the actors involved. Consequently, there is a need to explore in greater depth those zones of cultural friction which emerge when actors deal with climate change.
This book examines how cultural differences in the handling of climate change can be described and explained. The work develops the concept of culture as relational space, elaborates explanatory approaches, and investigates them by surveying more than 800 actors responsible for spatial development of the European coastal regions in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Poland. In doing so, this book engages with debates on cultural globalisation, in which the attachment of culture to place is increasingly being questioned. Adopting the approach of culture as relational space allows possible cultural formations to be examined across diverse fields of application from the local to the global scale. In addition, the book investigates how far different value orientations, beliefs, and identities can explain diverse perceptions of problems and opportunities right up to preferences for climate-mitigation and adaptation measures.
Providing comprehensive insights into the diverse zones of cultural friction which scholars and practitioners face when handling climate change locally and globally, this book will be of great interest to those studying climate change, environmental sociology, and sustainable planning.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Culture, space, and differences in handling climate change
2. Climate cultures and space: Theoretical foundations
3. Climate-change constructions in science: Basic concepts and their historical development
4. Resilience constructions: Introduction to climate mitigation and adaptation strategies
5. Explanations for climate-culture differences: Derivation of the Values-Beliefs-Identities model
6. On the historical construction of political-administrative climate-change frameworks in the research area
7. Empirical approach
8. Communication about climate change in European coastal areas
9. Vulnerability constructions in European coastal areas
10. Resilience constructions in European coastal areas
Thorsten Heimann is a research associate at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space in Erkner/Berlin. He holds a PhD in sociology from the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.