Innovating Climate Governance: Moving Beyond Experiments

Bruno Turnheim and Frans Berkhout, both of founding member King’s College London, have recently co-edited a volume on climate governance experiments with Paula Kivimaa (University of Sussex), bringing together a range of interdisciplinary contributions on the role that local climate initiatives could play in addressing climate issues.

Innovating Climate Governance: Moving Beyond Experiments

Recognising the growing significance of experimentation in political and socio-technical responses to climate change, but also the risks of fragmentation that this carries, the editors have been interested in understanding how experiments in climate governance can lead to broader changes in the rules, practices, norms and arrangements constituting responses to climate change in widely differing settings. They have sought to move the analysis of climate governance experiments beyond a focus on single cases and to develop an argument for seeing experimentation as a new habitus in climate governance, defining the character of a range of responses which evoke new puzzles for climate governance. If experimenting is a new means of conceiving of and doing climate governance, then we also expect it to have broader outcomes beyond the moment of experimentation. The editors suggest that there is a need for focusing on the specific processes by which experiments can become embedded: scaling up, replication, circulation and institutionalisation.

This contribution is relevant to the inno4sd community insofar as it is increasingly recognised that addressing societal challenges requires not only technological and social innovations, but also the development of new forms of governance. This book is aimed at a primary audience of scholars interested in climate change and its governance in novel ways and experimentation associated with it. This has become a major new topic with COP21, which has formalised a role for non-state and local actors in contributing to climate goals.

The book will also be of interest to policymakers and practitioners, namely because of

  1. The vast array of practical empirical cases it covers;
  2. Its focus on governance experiments that have successfully generated lasting and far-ranging impacts beyond their initial setting, and;
  3. The critical exploration of how experimentalism may (not) be mobilised as a frame to address climate change.

More detail on this edited volume is available from Cambridge University Press.

EU flagThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 641974.