Globalising the Climate: COP21 and the climatisation of global debates

de Stefan C. Aykut, Jean Foyer et Edouard Morena

Frequently presented as a historic last chance to set the world on a course to prevent catastrophic climate change, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the Climate convention (COP21) was a global summit of exceptional proportions. Bringing together negotiators, scientists, journalists and representatives of global civil society, it also constituted a privileged vantage point for the study of global environmental governance « in the making ».

This volume offers readers an original account of the current state of play in the field of global climate governance. Building upon a collaborative research project on COP21 carried out by a multidisciplinary team of twenty academics with recognised experience in the field of environmental governance, the book takes COP21 as an entry point to analyse ongoing transformations of global climate politics, and to scrutinise the impact of climate change on global debates more generally. The book has three key objectives:

  1. To analyse global climate governance through a combination of long-term analysis and on-sight observation;
  2. To identify and analyse the key spaces of participation in the global climate debate;
  3. To examine the « climatisation » of a series of crosscutting themes, including development, energy, security and migration.

This book will be of great interest to students, scholars and policymakers of climate politics and governance, international relations and environmental studies.


« Aykut, Foyer and Morena have produced a unique volume of rich case studies on the performative function of COP21 in Paris. It drives forward our understanding, in new and unexpected ways, of how the idea of climate change alters political, social and cultural worlds, just as importantly as a changing physical climate is altering the material world. These 200 pages are an important complement to the 3000 pages of the last IPCC report. » – Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate and Culture, King’s College London, UK

« Globalising the Climate brings together ten fascinating and original takes on key under-discussed elements of the climate change issue and the 2015 Paris negotiations in particular. The volume also brings central Francophone debates to English language readers—an overdue and much-needed contribution. » – J. Timmons Roberts, Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology, Brown University, USA

« Only the ethnographic method could give us such a remarkable view of what is arguably the most important diplomatic event since the birth of the United Nations. The authors’ descriptions give a vivid understanding of the conundrum of climate diplomacy: it is supposed to cover the whole globe and yet it reduces the globe to a tiny set of documents and issues inside small closed rooms and local events. This is political anthropology at its best. » – Bruno Latour, Professor, Sciences Po Paris, France

« In combining critical analysis and ethnographic fieldwork, Globalising the Climate provides the reader with unique insights into climate governance in-the-making and valuable examinations of the many ways in which the warming climate transforms other global debates. Thought-provoking and timely. » – Oliver Geden, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin, Germany