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Introduction to politics of climate change: discourses of policy and practice in developing countries

Arnall, A., Kothari, U. and Kelman, I. (2014) Introduction to politics of climate change: discourses of policy and practice in developing countries. The Geographical Journal, 180 (2). pp. 98-101. ISSN 1475-4959

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/geoj.12054

Abstract/Summary

This Themed Section aims to increase understanding of how the idea of climate change, and the policies and actions that spring from it, travel beyond their origins in natural sciences to meet different political arenas in the developing world. It takes a discursive approach whereby climate change is not just a set of physical processes but also a series of messages, narratives and policy prescriptions. The articles are mostly case study-based and focus on sub-Saharan Africa and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). They are organised around three interlinked themes. The first theme concerns the processes of rapid technicalisation and professionalisation of the climate change ‘industry’, which have sustantially narrowed the boundaries of what can be viewed as a legitimate social response to the problem of global warming. The second theme deals with the ideological effects of the climate change industry, which is ‘depoliticisation’, in this case the deflection of attention away from underlying political conditions of vulnerability and exploitation towards the nature of the physical hazard itself. The third theme concerns the institutional effects of an insufficiently socialised idea of climate change, which is the maintenance of existing relations of power or their reconfiguration in favour of the already powerful. Overall, the articles suggest that greater scrutiny of the discursive and political dimensions of mitigation and adaptation activities is required. In particular, greater attention should be directed towards the policy consequences that governments and donors construct as a result of their framing and rendition of climate change issues.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Economic and Social Sciences Division > Livelihoods Research
ID Code:33589
Publisher:Wiley

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