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The climate as political space: on the territorialisation of the global carbon cycle



International Relations have increasingly projected an image of the world where territoriality has lost its organising force. The global movements of people, information, capital and pollution are seen as signs of increasing deterritorialisation. Climate change is one of these issues ‘beyond borders’ that due to its global framing has been established within the international. This article is an investigation into the political geography of the carbon cycle. We approach the tension between the representations of climate space as global and deterritorial on the one hand, and political practices that reterritorialise the climate on the other. We trace the political transformation of the global carbon cycle into ‘national sinks’ and argue that the two tendencies of deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation of climate space mirror the spatial assumptions of IR; the national inside and global outside.



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