The Emergent Politics of Geoengineering

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

Standard

The Emergent Politics of Geoengineering. / Möller, Ina.

Lund : Lund University, 2019. 210 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

Harvard

Möller, I 2019, 'The Emergent Politics of Geoengineering', Doctor, Department of Political Science, Lund.

APA

CBE

Möller I. 2019. The Emergent Politics of Geoengineering. Lund: Lund University. 210 p.

MLA

Vancouver

Möller I. The Emergent Politics of Geoengineering. Lund: Lund University, 2019. 210 p. (Lund Political Studies; 197).

Author

Möller, Ina. / The Emergent Politics of Geoengineering. Lund : Lund University, 2019. 210 p.

RIS

TY - THES

T1 - The Emergent Politics of Geoengineering

AU - Möller, Ina

N1 - Defence details Date: 2019-05-10 Time: 10:15 Place: Edens auditorium, Paradisgatan 5H, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Falkner, Robert Title: Doctor Affiliation: London School of Economics ---

PY - 2019/5/10

Y1 - 2019/5/10

N2 - This thesis examines the role of science in the earliest stages of the political process. It does this by studying the emergence of ‘geoengineering’ on the political agenda. The term describes a set of ideas on how to stabilize global temperature by intervening into the Earth’s natural systems, and was subject to a strong taboo in the scientific community until the mid-2000s. Yet within a decade, it has become relevant to international climate politics. To understand how this transition took place, the thesis uses mixed methods to study the causal mechanisms by which geoengineering became an object of governance. Paper I describes the internal dynamics of a scientific community that helped transform geoengineering into a distinct, salient and malleable governance object. It explains how social cohesion, brokerage and diversity acted as important mechanisms in this process. Paper II studies the role of authoritative scientific assessments in making geoengineering a normal and relevant topic for research. It shows how such assessments act as a form of de facto governance in shaping the activities of a research landscape. Paper III identifies similarities and differences in the way that different sub-areas of climate change policy are governed. It suggests that, if a problem structure is perceived to be malign, this makes it less conducive to public governance. Conversely, if a problem structure comes to be perceived as more benign, this facilitates public governance. Paper IV examines the role of problem definition and ‘institutional fit’, evaluating how geoengineering matches with the expectations of government actors. It discusses three areas where such fit is lacking, and how this makes it difficult for government officials to form a political position on geoengineering. The results of this study flow into the description of a pattern that seems to be important at many different stages of the opinion-shaping process. This pattern includes the introduction of a topic to a new audience; the audience’s heated debate around this topic; the intervention of an actor with authority; and the streamlining of the audience’s debate according to the authoritative actor’s judgement. Found at many different levels of the political process, the pattern may explain why some topics become subject to political decision making, and others do not.

AB - This thesis examines the role of science in the earliest stages of the political process. It does this by studying the emergence of ‘geoengineering’ on the political agenda. The term describes a set of ideas on how to stabilize global temperature by intervening into the Earth’s natural systems, and was subject to a strong taboo in the scientific community until the mid-2000s. Yet within a decade, it has become relevant to international climate politics. To understand how this transition took place, the thesis uses mixed methods to study the causal mechanisms by which geoengineering became an object of governance. Paper I describes the internal dynamics of a scientific community that helped transform geoengineering into a distinct, salient and malleable governance object. It explains how social cohesion, brokerage and diversity acted as important mechanisms in this process. Paper II studies the role of authoritative scientific assessments in making geoengineering a normal and relevant topic for research. It shows how such assessments act as a form of de facto governance in shaping the activities of a research landscape. Paper III identifies similarities and differences in the way that different sub-areas of climate change policy are governed. It suggests that, if a problem structure is perceived to be malign, this makes it less conducive to public governance. Conversely, if a problem structure comes to be perceived as more benign, this facilitates public governance. Paper IV examines the role of problem definition and ‘institutional fit’, evaluating how geoengineering matches with the expectations of government actors. It discusses three areas where such fit is lacking, and how this makes it difficult for government officials to form a political position on geoengineering. The results of this study flow into the description of a pattern that seems to be important at many different stages of the opinion-shaping process. This pattern includes the introduction of a topic to a new audience; the audience’s heated debate around this topic; the intervention of an actor with authority; and the streamlining of the audience’s debate according to the authoritative actor’s judgement. Found at many different levels of the political process, the pattern may explain why some topics become subject to political decision making, and others do not.

KW - Norms

KW - Policy emergence

KW - Agenda setting

KW - Climate change

KW - political community

KW - sociological institutionalism

KW - Science policy interface

KW - vetenskap och politik

KW - politisk process

KW - politisk opinionsbildning

KW - klimatförändring

KW - nätverk

KW - institutionalism

KW - normer

M3 - Doctoral Thesis (compilation)

SN - 978-91-7895-077-5

T3 - Lund Political Studies

PB - Lund University

CY - Lund

ER -