The Social Construction of Climate Change: Power, Knowledge, Norms, Discourses, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Social Construction of Climate Change

Power, Knowledge, Norms, Discourses, 1st Edition

Edited by Mary E. Pettenger


280 pages

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Hardback: 9780754648024
pub: 2007-06-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315552842
pub: 2016-02-24
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Individuals, international organizations and states are calling for the world to confront climate change. Efforts such as the Kyoto Protocol have produced intractable disputes and are deemed inadequate. This volume adopts two constructivist perspectives - norm-centred and discourse - to explore the social construction of climate change from a broad, theoretical level to particular cases. The contributors contend that climate change must be understood from the context of social settings, and that we ignore at our peril how power and knowledge structures are generated. They offer a greater understanding of why current efforts to mitigate climate change have failed and provide academics and policy makers with a new understanding of this important topic.


'Focusing on the roles of norms and discourses, this timely collection demonstrates that there are many ways to frame the issue of climate change. The result is an insightful account of the policy process in which those with power in the material sense seek to develop and impose a hegemonic discourse regarding climate change, while others turn to the power of ideas to articulate perspectives more sensitive to their own concerns.' Oran R. Young, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA '…demonstrates the value of a constructivist approach in understanding the nature and intensity of political struggles around the issue of climate change. It is rich in historical detail and provides a sophisticated empirical application of constructivist thinking in international relations.' Michele Betsill, Colorado State University, USA 'This volume makes an important contribution by assessing, through social constructionist approaches , how mobilizations of power are linked to production of knowledge(s) on the issue of climate change.' Environmental Conservation '…overall, this volume is excellent in terms of structure and it adopts an original approach to exploring the ins and outs of current debates on the issue…The book will be of interest to researchers, students, and all those who wish to carefully deconstruct the policies and official statements on climate change.' Etudes internationales 'This book distinguishes itself from other books because it perceives climate change through the lens of constructivism…It particularly sheds new light on the understanding of the discourse that surrounds climate change, from two different constructivist points of view.' International Journal of Environment and Pollution

About the Editor

Mary E. Pettenger, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Western Oregon University, Monmouth Oregon, USA

About the Series

Global Environmental Governance

Global Environmental Governance
Global Environmental Governance addresses the new generation of twenty-first century environmental problems and the challenges they pose for management and governance at the local, national, and global levels. Centered on the relationships among environmental change, economic forces, and political governance, the series explores the role of international institutions and instruments, national and sub-federal governments, private sector firms, scientists, and civil society, and provides a comprehensive body of progressive analyses on one of the world's most contentious international issues.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science