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Special section: Methodological innovation in the study of global environmental agreement making

Hughes, Hannah ORCID:, Suiseeya, Kimberly R. Marion and Vadrot, Alice B. M. 2019. Special section: Methodological innovation in the study of global environmental agreement making. Global Environmental Politics 19 (2)

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The development of this methods project, and the articles in the special section, started from a simple shared observation: the concepts for studying global environmental agreement-making did not fit with what we—researchers in this area of study—have observed in practice. This observation raised two critical questions: first, what constitutes a site of global environmental agreement making, and second, which actors and forms of power shape the negotiation dynamics and final agreed text? Reconsidering what constitutes a negotiating site in global environmental politics emerged from research into the practices of intergovernmental assessment production and adoption within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Although these assessment-making bodies are typically not considered or studied as sites of global environmental agreement-making, when you gain access and observe the production of intergovernmental text, it becomes possible to compare and connect these sites—and the knowledge they produce—with the negotiations they are designed to inform. Exploring these intergovernmental scientific processes as negotiation sites enables us to empirically investigate the processes through which actors seek to uphold or contest the knowledge and authority that underpins global environmental action. Second, which actors are identified as significant and what constitutes their power remain bounded by an accepted convention that agreement-making happens between state actors. While scholarship on NGO participation, among other work, has already challenged this convention, our conceptualizations of power continue to overlook the effects of the participation of marginalized groups, such as Indigenous Peoples, in global environmental negotiations. To adequately study the multiple sites of agreement-making and identify the influence of all actors invested in its products, we need new conceptual and methodological apparatus. The articles in this special section begin the process of designing and testing this new apparatus, with the aim of challenging who, what and how we explore the processes of negotiating the collective response to environmental degradation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Additional Information: Special section edited by Hannah Hughes, Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya, and Alice B. M. Vadrot
Publisher: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press
ISSN: 1526-3800
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2022 12:34

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