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Political Theory and Global Climate Change

Political Theory and Global Climate Change
Author: Steve Vanderheiden, John Barry
Publisher: The MIT Press
ISBN:
Pages: 280
Year: 2008-11-30
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Political theorists consider the challenge of global climate change from a range of perspectives, including conceptual analysis, critical theory, critical legal studies, and neo-Marxism.

Mindmade Politics

Mindmade Politics
Author: Manjana Milkoreit
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262340577
Pages: 352
Year: 2017-06-09
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Mindmade Politics takes a novel, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complex and contentious dynamics of global climate politics. Manjana Milkoreit argues that integrating cognitive theories and international relations scholarship can yield valuable insights into multilateral cooperation (or the lack of it) on climate change and the process of negotiating climate agreements. Milkoreit argues that cognition is at the root of all political behavior and decision making. Some of the most important variables of international relations scholarship -- the motivations of political actors -- are essentially cognitive variables. Drawing on interviews with participants in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Milkoreit examines the thoughts, beliefs, and emotions of individuals and groups, focusing on the mental mechanisms connecting decision-relevant factors and observed political behavior. Milkoreit offers a brief introduction to international relations theory and key insights regarding the politics of climate change; outlines the basic cognitive theories and concepts that she applies in her analysis, discussing the cognitive challenges of climate change; and describes the integrated methodological approach she used for her cognitive-political analysis. She presents four cognitive-affective lessons for global change politics, including the "cognitive triangle" of three major concerns of climate negotiators -- threat, identity, and justice -- and she identifies six major belief systems driving negotiators. Finally, she offers guidance for climate governance based on her findings. Utilizing recent advances in cognitive science, Milkoreit builds a theoretical bridge between two major disciplines that will benefit both scholars and practitioners.

Comparative Environmental Politics

Comparative Environmental Politics
Author: Paul F. Steinberg, Stacy D. VanDeveer
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262300362
Pages: 440
Year: 2012-02-17
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How do different societies respond politically to environmental problems around the globe? Answering this question requires systematic, cross-national comparisons of political institutions, regulatory styles, and state-society relations. The field of comparative environmental politics approaches this task by bringing the theoretical tools of comparative politics to bear on the substantive concerns of environmental policy. This book outlines a comparative environmental politics framework and applies it to concrete, real-world problems of politics and environmental management. After a comprehensive review of the literature exploring domestic environmental politics around the world, the book provides a sample of major currents within the field, showing how environmental politics intersects with such topics as the greening of the state, the rise of social movements and green parties, European Union expansion, corporate social responsibility, federalism, political instability, management of local commons, and policymaking under democratic and authoritarian regimes. It offers fresh insights into environmental problems ranging from climate change to water scarcity and the disappearance of tropical forests, and it examines actions by state and nonstate actors at levels from the local to the continental. The book will help scholars and policymakers make sense of how environmental issues and politics are connected around the globe, and is ideal for use in upper-level undergraduateand graduate courses.

A Climate of Injustice

A Climate of Injustice
Author: J. Timmons Roberts, Bradley Parks
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262264412
Pages: 424
Year: 2006-11-22
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The global debate over who should take action to address climate change is extremely precarious, as diametrically opposed perceptions of climate justice threaten the prospects for any long-term agreement. Poor nations fear limits on their efforts to grow economically and meet the needs of their own people, while powerful industrial nations, including the United States, refuse to curtail their own excesses unless developing countries make similar sacrifices. Meanwhile, although industrialized countries are responsible for 60 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, developing countries suffer the "worst and first" effects of climate-related disasters, including droughts, floods, and storms, because of their geographical locations. In A Climate of Injustice, J. Timmons Roberts and Bradley Parks analyze the role that inequality between rich and poor nations plays in the negotiation of global climate agreements.Roberts and Parks argue that global inequality dampens cooperative efforts by reinforcing the "structuralist" worldviews and causal beliefs of many poor nations, eroding conditions of generalized trust, and promoting particularistic notions of "fair" solutions. They develop new measures of climate-related inequality, analyzing fatality and homelessness rates from hydrometeorological disasters, patterns of "emissions inequality," and participation in international environmental regimes. Until we recognize that reaching a North-South global climate pact requires addressing larger issues of inequality and striking a global bargain on environment and development, Roberts and Parks argue, the current policy gridlock will remain unresolved.

Cheap and Clean

Cheap and Clean
Author: Stephen Ansolabehere, David M. Konisky
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027623
Pages: 272
Year: 2014-08-22
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How do Americans think about energy? Is the debate over fossil fuels highly partisan and ideological? Does public opinion about fossil fuels and alternative energies divide along the fault between red states and blue states? And how much do concerns about climate change weigh on their opinions? In Cheap and Clean, Stephen Ansolabehere and David Konisky show that Americans are more pragmatic than ideological in their opinions about energy alternatives, more unified than divided about their main concerns, and more local than global in their approach to energy. Drawing on extensive surveys they designed and conducted over the course of a decade (in conjunction with MIT's Energy Initiative), Ansolabehere and Konisky report that beliefs about the costs and environmental harms associated with particular fuels drive public opinions about energy. People approach energy choices as consumers, and what is most important to them is simply that energy be cheap and clean. Most of us want energy at low economic cost and with little social cost (that is, minimal health risk from pollution). The authors also find that although environmental concerns weigh heavily in people's energy preferences, these concerns are local and not global. Worries about global warming are less pressing to most than worries about their own city's smog and toxic waste. With this in mind, Ansolabehere and Konisky argue for policies that target both local pollutants and carbon emissions (the main source of global warming). The local and immediate nature of people's energy concerns can be the starting point for a new approach to energy and climate change policy.

International Relations and Global Climate Change

International Relations and Global Climate Change
Author: Urs Luterbacher, Detlef F. Sprinz
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262621495
Pages: 343
Year: 2001
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An overview of the major theoretical and methodological approaches to global climate change and international relations.

Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change

Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change
Author: Allen Thompson, Jeremy Bendik-Keymer
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262300788
Pages: 360
Year: 2012-03-09
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Predictions about global climate change have produced both stark scenarios of environmental catastrophe and purportedly pragmatic ideas about adaptation. This book takes a different perspective, exploring the idea that the challenge of adapting to global climate change is fundamentally an ethical one, that it is not simply a matter of adapting our infrastructures and economies to mitigate damage but rather of adapting ourselves to realities of a new global climate. The challenge is to restore our conception of humanity -- to understand human flourishing in new ways -- in an age in which humanity shapes the basic conditions of the global environment. In the face of what we have unintentionally done to Earth's ecology, who shall we become? The contributors examine ways that new realities will require us to revisit and adjust the practice of ecological restoration; the place of ecology in our conception of justice; the form and substance of traditional virtues and vices; and the organizations, scale, and underlying metaphors of important institutions. Topics discussed include historical fidelity in ecological restoration; the application of capability theory to ecology; the questionable ethics of geoengineering; and the cognitive transformation required if we are to "think like a planet."

The State and the Global Ecological Crisis

The State and the Global Ecological Crisis
Author: John Barry
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026252435X
Pages: 307
Year: 2005
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Explores the prospects for reinstating the state as the facilitator of environmental protection, through analyses and case studies of the green democratic potential of the state and the state system.

The Working Landscape

The Working Landscape
Author: Peter F. Cannavò
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262262320
Pages: 448
Year: 2007-06-22
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In America today we see rampant development, unsustainable resource exploitation, and commodification ruin both natural and built landscapes, disconnecting us from our surroundings and threatening our fundamental sense of place. Meanwhile, preservationists often respond with a counterproductive stance that rejects virtually any change in the landscape. In The Working Landscape, Peter Cannavò identifies this zero-sum conflict between development and preservation as a major factor behind our contemporary crisis of place. Cannavò offers practical and theoretical alternatives to this deadlocked, polarized politics of place by proposing an approach that embraces both change and stability and unifies democratic and ecological values, creating a "working landscape."Place, Cannavò argues, is not just an object but an essential human practice that involves the physical and conceptual organization of our surroundings into a coherent, enduring landscape. This practice must balance development (which he calls "founding") and preservation. Three case studies illustrate the polarizing development-preservation conflict: the debate over the logging of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest; the problem of urban sprawl; and the redevelopment of the former site of the World Trade Center in New York City. Cannavò suggests that regional, democratic governance is the best framework for integrating development and preservation, and he presents specific policy recommendations that aim to create a "working landscape" in rural, suburban, and urban areas. A postscript on the mass exile, displacement, and homelessness caused by Hurricane Katrina considers the implications of future climate change for the practice of place.

A Vast Machine

A Vast Machine
Author: Paul N. Edwards
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262290715
Pages: 546
Year: 2010-03-12
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Global warming skeptics often fall back on the argument that the scientific case for global warming is all model predictions, nothing but simulation; they warn us that we need to wait for real data, "sound science." In A Vast Machine Paul Edwards has news for these skeptics: without models, there are no data. Today, no collection of signals or observations -- even from satellites, which can "see" the whole planet with a single instrument -- becomes global in time and space without passing through a series of data models. Everything we know about the world's climate we know through models. Edwards offers an engaging and innovative history of how scientists learned to understand the atmosphere -- to measure it, trace its past, and model its future.

Why Are We Waiting?

Why Are We Waiting?
Author: Nicholas Stern
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262329212
Pages: 448
Year: 2015-04-24
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The risks of climate change are potentially immense. The benefits of taking action are also clear: we can see that economic development, reduced emissions, and creative adaptation go hand in hand. A committed and strong low-carbon transition could trigger a new wave of economic and technological transformation and investment, a new era of global and sustainable prosperity. Why, then, are we waiting? In this book, Nicholas Stern explains why, notwithstanding the great attractions of a new path, it has been so difficult to tackle climate change effectively. He makes a compelling case for climate action now and sets out the forms that action should take.Stern argues that the risks and costs of climate change are worse than estimated in the landmark Stern Review in 2006 -- and far worse than implied by standard economic models. He reminds us that we have a choice. We can rely on past technologies, methods, and institutions -- or we can embrace change, innovation, and international collaboration. The first might bring us some short-term growth but would lead eventually to chaos, conflict, and destruction. The second could bring about better lives for all and growth that is sustainable over the long term, and help win the battle against worldwide poverty. The science warns of the dangers of neglect; the economics and technology show what we can do and the great benefits that will follow; an examination of the ethics points strongly to a moral imperative for action. Why are we waiting?

Global Commons, Domestic Decisions

Global Commons, Domestic Decisions
Author: Kathryn Harrison, Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262288877
Pages: 336
Year: 2010-07-23
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Climate change represents a "tragedy of the commons" on a global scale, requiring the cooperation of nations that do not necessarily put the Earth's well-being above their own national interests. And yet international efforts to address global warming have met with some success; the Kyoto Protocol, in which industrialized countries committed to reducing their collective emissions, took effect in 2005 (although without the participation of the United States). Reversing the lens used by previous scholarship on the topic, Global Commons, Domestic Decisions explains international action on climate change from the perspective of countries' domestic politics. In an effort to understand both what progress has been made and why it has been so limited, experts in comparative politics look at the experience of seven jurisdictions in deciding whether or not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and to pursue national climate change mitigation policies. By analyzing the domestic politics and international positions of the United States, Australia, Russia, China, the European Union, Japan, and Canada, the authors demonstrate clearly that decisions about global policies are often made locally, in the context of electoral and political incentives, the normative commitments of policymakers, and domestic political institutions. Using a common analytical framework throughout, the book offers a unique comparison of the domestic political forces within each nation that affect climate change policy and provides insights into why some countries have been able to adopt innovative and aggressive positions on climate change both domestically and internationally.

Global Environmental Change and Human Security

Global Environmental Change and Human Security
Author: Matthew, Richard A., Jon Barnett, Bryan McDonald
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262258374
Pages: 344
Year: 2009-10-09
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In recent years, scholars in international relations and other fields have begun to conceive of security more broadly, moving away from a state-centered concept of national security toward the idea of human security, which emphasizes the individual and human well-being. Viewing global environmental change through the lens of human security connects such problems as melting ice caps and carbon emissions to poverty, vulnerability, equity, and conflict. This book examines the complex social, health, and economic consequences of environmental change across the globe. In chapters that are both academically rigorous and policy relevant, the book discusses the connections of global environmental change to urban poverty, natural disasters (with a case study of Hurricane Katrina), violent conflict (with a study of the decade-long Nepalese civil war), population, gender, and development. The book makes clear the inadequacy of traditional understandings of security and shows how global environmental change is raising new, unavoidable questions of human insecurity, conflict, cooperation, and sustainable development. ContributorsW. Neil Adger, Jennifer Bailey, Jon Barnett, Victoria Basolo, Hans Georg Bohle, Mike Brklacich, May Chazan, Chris Cocklin, Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Indra de Soysa, Heather Goldsworthy, Betsy Hartmann, Robin M. Leichenko, Laura Little, Alexander López, Richard A. Matthew, Bryan McDonald, Eric Neumayer, Kwasi Nsiah-Gyabaah, Karen L. O'Brien, Marvin S. Soroos, Bishnu Raj Upreti

Paths to a Green World

Paths to a Green World
Author: Jennifer Clapp, Peter Dauvergne
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262294621
Pages: 384
Year: 2011-03-11
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This comprehensive and accessible book fills the need for a political economy view of global environmental politics, focusing on the ways international economic processes affect environmental outcomes. It examines the main actors and forces shaping global environmental management, particularly in the developing world. Moving beyond the usual emphasis on international agreements and institutions, it strives to capture not only academic theoretical debates but also views on politics, economics, and the environment within the halls of global conferences, on the streets during antiglobalization protests, and in the boardrooms of international agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and industry associations. The book maps out an original typology of four contrasting worldviews of environmental change -- those of market liberals, institutionalists, bioenvironmentalists, and social greens -- and uses them as a framework to examine the links between the global political economy and ecological change. This typology provides a common language for students, instructors, and scholars to discuss the issues across the classical social science divisions.The second edition of this popular text has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect recent events, including the food crisis of 2007-2008, the financial meltdown of 2008, and the Copenhagen Climate Conference of 2009. Topics covered include the environmental implications of globalization; wealth, poverty, and consumption; global trade; transnational corporations; and multilateral and private finance.

Living in Denial

Living in Denial
Author: Kari Marie Norgaard
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262294982
Pages: 304
Year: 2011-03-11
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Global warming is the most significant environmental issue of our time, yet public response in Western nations has been meager. Why have so few taken any action? In Living in Denial, sociologist Kari Norgaard searches for answers to this question, drawing on interviews and ethnographic data from her study of "Bygdaby," the fictional name of an actual rural community in western Norway, during the unusually warm winter of 2000-2001.In 2000-2001 the first snowfall came to Bygdaby two months later than usual; ice fishing was impossible; and the ski industry had to invest substantially in artificial snow-making. Stories in local and national newspapers linked the warm winter explicitly to global warming. Yet residents did not write letters to the editor, pressure politicians, or cut down on use of fossil fuels. Norgaard attributes this lack of response to the phenomenon of socially organized denial, by which information about climate science is known in the abstract but disconnected from political, social, and private life, and sees this as emblematic of how citizens of industrialized countries are responding to global warming.Norgaard finds that for the highly educated and politically savvy residents of Bygdaby, global warming was both common knowledge and unimaginable. Norgaard traces this denial through multiple levels, from emotions to cultural norms to political economy. Her report from Bygdaby, supplemented by comparisons throughout the book to the United States, tells a larger story behind our paralysis in the face of today's alarming predictions from climate scientists.

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