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Hardcover | $13.75 Short | £11.95 | 256 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 3 figures | September 2008 | ISBN: 9780262220842
Paperback | $6.75 Short | £5.95 | 256 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 3 figures | September 2008 | ISBN: 9780262720526
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Political Theory and Global Climate Change

Foreword by John Barry


Climate change will shape the political, economic, and cultural landscape as surely as it shapes the natural landscape. It challenges our existing political institutions, ethical theories, and ways of conceptualizing the human relationship to the environment, it defies current principles of distributive justice, transcends current discourses on rights, and disrupts our sense of place. Political Theory and Global Climate Change argues that the conceptual tools of political theory can help us understand the obstacles to fair and effective global climate change policies, and this volume offers a selection of innovative and integrative scholarly efforts to do so. Illuminating the variety of political, economic, and social problems caused by global warming, the book applies a range of theoretical approaches and methodologies--from analytic philosophy and constitutional and legal theory to neo-Marxism and critical theory--using climate change as a case to test standard normative and empirical premises.

The book first looks at distributive justice concerns raised by climate change, including allocation of the global atmospheric commons and how to establish the basis for a fair and effective global climate policy regime, then examines the complex relationships between climate change and society, including the way that social institutions and practices construct, reinforce, aim to address, and are disrupted by climatic instability. Showing how political theory challenges and is challenged by global climate change, the book both demonstrates and evaluates innovative approaches in the developing field of environmental political theory.

Contributors: Martin J. Adamian, John Barry, Peter F. Cannavò, Stephen Gardiner, George Gonzalez, Amy Lovecraft, Timothy W. Luke, Leigh Raymond, Steve Vanderheiden

About the Editor

Steve Vanderheiden is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the author of Atmospheric Justice: A Political Theory of Climate Change.


“At a time when unprecedented challenges confront our established political institutions and perspectives, new thinking of a deep and systematic type is urgently needed. I applaud this important collection of essays by some of the leading environmental political theory scholars for impressively addressing this need, examining some of the most vital political issues raised by climate change with originality, style and intelligence.”
Piers H.G. Stephens, Philosophy Department, University of Georgia
“This eclectic volume is a welcome introduction to the contributions of political theorists to debates over climate change. Since climate change is as much a challenge to our political institutions as to our science, I hope this volume will stimulate more work in this field.”
Dale Jamieson, Director of Environmental Studies, New York University
“As one contributor to this volume suggests, climate change presents us with a 'perfect moral storm'. I would add that this volume provides a perfect illustration of the illuminating power of political theory in relation to the biggest environmental challenge of our age.”
Robyn Eckersley, Professor, and Head of Political Science, University of Melbourne