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Risk and Response to Global Environmental Change, Lessons from Cross-National Social Science Research, 1/26/07

January 26, 2007IASEvents, | Conferences0

With the scientific data on global climate change so widely available, why do some nations’ governments take action while others deny that the problem even exists? This conference will bring together social scientists from around the world to investigate that very question.
Presentations and discussions will focus on the responses (or lack thereof) of governments, businesses, NGOs, international institutions, and national and international policies to the scientific fact of global warming. Participants and presenters will discuss case studies from a host of countries around the world including the U.S., Canada, China, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and others.
The public is invited to attend.
In addition to the funders listed above, the conference is also co-sponsored by the U of M Climate Change Network, the Institute for Research on Energy and the Environment, and the Institute on the Environment. Cosponsored by The Institute for Global Studies, The College of Liberal Arts, The Department of Poitical Science, The Department of Sociology, The Graduate School, and The Humphrey Institute of Global Affairs.

Conference Agenda

Please find below the agenda from the first COMPON conference, Risk and Response to Global Warming and Environmental Change: Lessons from Cross-National and Global Social Science Research, held at the University of Minnesota on January 25-27, 2007.

Day One: Public Conference (Friday, January 26, 2007). Morning session, background talks. Afternoon session, findings of comparative research projects.

Speakers and topics (all confirmed):
Morning sessions and topics:

  • Conference introduction by Walter Mondale, former Vice-President of the United States and Ambassador to Japan (confirmed).
  • Overview Panel:
    • Leslie King (Dean, Environmental Institute, University of Manitoba; Synthesis Coordinator, Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change-IDGEC) “IDGEC related research projects: findings and synthesis”
    • Norman Vig (Carleton College) “Global comparative survey of climate change policies and instruments” (Vig and Kraft 2006).
  • Global and Regional Negotiation Process Panel:
    • Penelope Canan (University of Southern Florida) “Analysis of Successful Negotiations about Ozone Hole” (Canan and Reichman 2002)
    • Kathryn Harrison (University of British Columbia) “Historical trajectory of global climate change negotiation, treaty formation and the role of international institutions” (finishing book on comparative analysis of national ratifications of Kyoto Protocol).
    • Evan Schofer (Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota) Findings on global diffusion of new environmental norms (Frank et al. 2000).

Afternoon sessions and topics:

  • Cross-National Comparative Research Project reports panels:
    • Katherine Kern (visiting DAAD professor from Germany at the University of Minnesota). “Differences between EU and US climate change policy-making processes”
    • Miranda Schreurs (Department of Political Science, U of Maryland): Findings of the Social Learning Group as well as her own comparative research (Schreurs 2002).
    • Uday Desai (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale). Findings from his two edited books on comparative environmental politics and policies (Desai 2002; Desai 1998)
    • Joanne Bauer (formerly, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs), editor of comparative study, Forging Environmentalism (Bauer 2006)
    • Peter Ester (Director, Institute for Labor Studies, Netherlands), co-author of comparative study, Culture and Sustainability: A Cross-National Study of Cultural Diversity (Ester et al. 2004)

Significant recent individual or group research projects that compare national environmental culture, politics and policy-formation processes include: 1) the Social Learning Group (William Clark director, Kennedy School, Harvard University), 2) the International Human Dimensions Program and the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change program (Oran Young, UC Santa Barbara, chair) (Young 2002); 3) Edited books on comparative institutional dimensions of environmental policy formation by Uday Desai (Southern Illinois University); 4) Forging Environmentalism, a project comparing environmental values and politics in China, Japan, India and the United States edited by Joanne Bauer (Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs) (Bauer 2006); 5) Schreurs comparative research project on climate change politics in the US, Germany and Japan; 6) Fisher comparative research project on environmental politics in Japan, the Netherlands and the US (Fisher 2004); 7) Comparative research project on environmental values (Ester, et al. 2004); 8) Research project on the global diffusion of new environmental norms (Frank, et al. 2000). These projects take different theoretical approaches and arrive at different conclusions about the critical factors determining effective environmental policy. These projects will establish the range of hypothesis to address in designing the COMPON research project.

Day Two: Workshop for country co-Investigators, experts, speakers and graduate students.

In the morning session, four talks on design and methods. In the afternoon, breakout groups to design the new survey, then reconvene to synthesize the results. Besides the speakers listed below, other expert participants will include Professor Koichi Hasegawa, University of Tohoku, Japan, environmental sociologist and director of a nationwide program of prefectural global warming protection education networks.

Day Two: Speakers (all confirmed):
Morning Session:

  • Joerg Raab (University of Tilburg, Netherlands) “Taking Stock of Policy Networks: Do They Matter?”
  • David Knoke (University of Minnesota) on the historical development of the policy network approach, and the organization, implementation and writing of the Comparing Labor Politics (CLP) project.
  • Miranda Schreurs (University of Maryland) report on 1997 Global Environmental Policy Network (GEPON) research project on the implementation of the US case study.
  • Joe Galaskiewicz (University of Arizona) on new network analysis techniques for the project)
  • John Mohr (University of California at Santa Barbara) on the measurement of “meaning structures” and conceptual network patterns.

Afternoon session:

  • Jeffrey Broadbent (University of Minnesota). Overview of hypotheses, global/regional/national/local level interaction, examples of using network data from the Comparing Policy Networks and GEPON data sets for testing hypotheses, comparison of CPN and GEPON questionnaires.
  • Breakout groups revise existing policy network survey instruments to suit current project.
  • Whole group reconvenes, breakout groups report, whole group discusses design of new survey instrument.

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