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Political Science General

Great Powers, Climate Change, and Global Environmental Responsibilities

edited by Robert Falkner & Barry Buzan

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2022
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2022
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This book is the first of its kind to examine the role of great powers in the international politics of climate change. It develops a novel analytical framework for studying environmental power in international relations, what counts as a great power in the environmental field, and what their special environmental responsibilities are. In doing so, the book connects International Relations (IR) debates on power inequality, great powers and great power management, with global environmental politics (GEP) scholarship.

The book brings together leading scholars in IR and GEP whose contributions focus on major environmental powers (United States, China, European Union, India, Brazil, Russia) and international institutions and issue areas (UN Security Council, multilateral environmental agreements, international climate leadership, coal politics). The contributors to this volume examine how individual great powers have responded to the global climate challenge and whether they have accepted a special responsibility for stabilizing the global climate. They place emerging discourses on great power responsibility in the context of wider debates about international environmental leadership and climate change securitization. And they provide new insights into how international power inequality intersects with the global ecological crisis, and what special role great powers could and should play in the international fight against global warming.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Robert Falkner is an Associate Professor of International Relations and the Research Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His publications include Environmentalism and Global International Security (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and The Handbook of Global Climate and Environment Policy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Barry Buzan is a Fellow of the British Academy, Emeritus Professor in the LSE Department of International Relations and a Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS. His publications include Rethinking Sino-Japanese Alienation (co-edted with Evelyn Goh, OUP, 2020), The Making of Global International Relations (with Amitav Acharya, Cambridge University Press, 2019).