Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks: Improving Global Transparency

Monday, 11 July 2016: 17:45
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Jeffrey BROADBENT, University of Minnesota, USA
Struck by the growing risks of climate change, global institutions and NGOs have issued increasingly urgent calls for carbon emissions reduction and forest preservation.  However, international negotiations have been hampered by disagreements over what to do.  These tensions are based in different national perceptions of the reality, risk, responsibility and priority of climate change as filtered through the political process.  Negotiators and other actors lack not only a nuanced grasp of other countries’ perceptions, practices and policies, but also of the domestic social and political processes behind them.  The international research project—Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (Compon)—is designed to clarify these complexities of these perceptions and processes, and to investigate what causes them.  Better knowledge here will not only help negotiators, but also contribute to social scientific progress.  Since inception in 2007, the Compon project has developed a common policy network survey instrument for use in multiple societies, including major emitters and significant cases.  The Compon project produces highly comparable data about the political processes. The policy network survey captures networks of influence that are acted out around a given issue among engaged organizations (from state and society).  This data about issue fields enables the research teams to study and compare the flow of scientific knowledge, how it gets framed, and the advocacy coalitions that bear it into the policy-formation process. Started in 2007, the Compon project now has teams in over 25 societies and invites the participation of new researchers and new cases.   This talk describes the project, presents some illustrative comparative findings and sketches out its future prospects.