Political Theory and Global Climate Action: Recasting the Public Sphere

The climate regime has been gradually moving toward a facilitative logic, welcoming the engagement of a multiplicity of nonstate and substate actors – cities and regional governments, businesses and civil society organizations, and others. While steps toward low-carbon, climate resilient, and sustainable transformations are still falling short, this shift presents enormous potential. And while the challenges are vast and stubborn, they are neither determinate nor insurmountable.

But if effectiveness is possible, where and how should it be pursued? How should it be conceived? Much depends on acknowledging the transnational initiatives from the ground up, and understanding needs, challenges of a diverse range of actors. And yet, canonical approaches to world politics and regulation of global commons are not of much help in navigating transformations. In her book, Political Theory and Global Climate Action, Idil Boran looks beyond the global commons paradigm in search for a research agenda that makes a changing transnational public sphere central to its field of vision. Empirical investigations on what does and does not work in transnational initiatives, and how these findings can support systematic examination of inequities arising from uneven and incomplete transformations, will be the focus of this presentation.