New Open Access book: Governing Climate Change: Polycentricity in Action?

Governing Climate Change: Polycentricity in Action? Edited by Andrew Jordan, Dave Huitema, Harro van Asselt and Johanna Forster, Cambridge University Press.

Available in Hardback and Open Access.  ISBN 9781108418126

Climate change governance is in a state of enormous flux. New and more dynamic forms of governing are appearing around the international climate regime centred on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Some appear to be emerging spontaneously, producing a more dispersed pattern of governing, which Nobel Prize laureate Elinor Ostrom described as ‘polycentric’.

This new 20-chapter book with Cambridge University Press brings together contributions from 40 of the world’s foremost experts to provide the first systematic test of the ability of polycentric thinking to explain and enhance societal attempts to govern climate change.

It provides:

  • The first systematic application of polycentric theory in the area of climate change, offering a much more realistic appreciation of the potential and limits of polycentric governing
  • A novel attempt to comprehend climate governance as a single, evolving system, rather than a series of isolated parts
  • many fresh insights by a diverse team of international experts on the most significant domains and processes of governing

With expert contributions from:


Harriet Bulkeley, Michele Betsill, Thomas Hale, Matthew Hoffmann, Peter Newell, Matthew Paterson, Jan-Peter Voß, Elin Lerum Boasson, Duncan Liefferink, Jale Tosun, Philipp Pattberg, Sander Chan, Oscar Widerberg, Kenneth W. Abbott, Katja Biedenkopf, Jørgen Wettestad, Steven Bernstein and Liliana B. Andonova


Pre-publication praise:

brings [an] important conceptual debate to a higher level…. This superbly edited volume is an essential collection for both theorists and practitioners of modern global climate governance.” Prof. Frank Biermann

“delivers an excellent critical assessment, markedly advances the state-of-the-art, and provides a systematic and inspiring basis for future research.” Prof Sebastian Oberthür

“a major contribution to the critical debate … on polycentric governance…. [B]reaks inspiring new ground in the vitally important project of governing climate change.” Prof Tiffany H. Morrison

Further details:

The book is linked to a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) developed by the Open University of the Netherlands, launching in May 2018. For further details about the MOOC or the INOGOV network on innovations in climate policy governance, click here


To join the INOGOV network and receive information about many other outputs click here.

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