Beyond state /non-state divides: Global cities and the governance of climate change

Harriet Bulkeley, Heike Schroeder

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105 Citations (Scopus)


This article challenges the assumption that the boundaries of state versus non-state and public versus private can readily be drawn. It argues that the roles of actors — as state or non-state — and the forms of authority — public or private — are not pre-given but are forged through the process of governing. Drawing on neo-Gramscian and governmentality perspectives, it suggests that a more dynamic account of the state can offer a more nuanced means of analysing the process of governing global environmental affairs. In order to understand this process and the outcomes of governing climate change, we argue that analysis should focus on the hegemonic projects and programmes through which the objects and subjects of governing are constituted and contested, and through which the form and nature of the state and authority are accomplished. We suggest that this is a process achieved and held in place through ‘forging alignment’ between diverse social and material entities in order to achieve the ‘right disposition of things’ through which the will to govern climate change can be realized (Murray Li, 2007a). We illustrate this argument by examining the governing of climate change in two global cities, London and Los Angeles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-766
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of International Relations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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