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Networks in Contention
The Divisive Politics of Climate Change

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics

  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107461109

$ 33.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • How do civil society organizations mobilize on climate change? Why do they choose certain strategies over others? What are the consequences of these choices? Networks in Contention examines how the interactions between different organizations within the international climate change movement shape strategic decisions and the kinds of outcomes organizations are able to achieve. First, it documents how and why cleavages emerged in this once-unified movement around the time of the 2009 Copenhagen Summit. Second, it shows how an organization's position in the movement's network has a large influence on the tactics it adopts. Finally, it demonstrates how the development of new strategies within this network has influenced the trajectory of global climate politics. The book establishes the ways in which networks are consequential for civil society groups, exploring how these actors can become more effective and suggesting lessons for the future coordination of activism.

    • Provides the first comprehensive history of the international climate change movement
    • Uses social network analysis to explain how transnational advocacy networks evolve and how organizations within them adopt particular strategies
    • Draws on original qualitative and quantitative data to document how civil society participation influences global climate governance
    Read more


    • Winner, 2016 Don K. Price Award, Science, Technology and Environmental Politics Section, American Political Science Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    "In a theoretically innovative and timely new book on climate change activism, Jennifer Hadden adopts a relational approach to collective action to uncover the emergence, evolution, and diversification of the transnational climate movement. Networks in Contention raises the bar for research situated at the cusp of social movement and international relations scholarship; it combines the methodological rigors of network analysis with impressive empirical evidence and elegant prose to advance new insights about transnational advocacy networks and climate change policy."
    Andrew I. Yeo, Catholic University of America

    "The 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen was remarkable not for its failure to outline a post-Kyoto climate change mitigation regime, which was expected, but for the public emergence of sharp divisions among civil society groups campaigning for action on climate change. Jennifer Hadden describes and explains the development of these competing networks and their impacts. This excellent book makes an outstanding contribution to elucidating the dynamics of a transnational social movement, as well as to our understanding of mobilized contention over climate change."
    Christopher Rootes, University of Kent

    "This study documents changes in climate activist networks at a time of increased conflict and uncertainty in the international arena. In the mid-2000s, activists converged around a more critical and confrontational strategy that transgressed the previous boundaries of international climate politics. Jennifer Hadden’s detailed analysis of changing transnational networks informs the study of social movements and their roles in transforming inter-state politics. The fact that groups representing those least advantaged by the dominant order have disrupted business as usual in the global climate negotiations is a vitally important story. This book should be read not just for its contributions on the politics of transnational networks, but for its attention to the larger question of how people come together to confront urgent problems that cross national borders and institutional boundaries."
    Jackie Smith, University of Pittsburgh

    "Advocacy networks have long been understood as crucial to world politics, yet few studies use social network theory to understand how they mobilize and exercise influence. Jennifer Hadden breaks new ground, combining network analysis with qualitative methods to show how network structure influences both the tactical choices and political influence of transnational environmental networks."
    Charli Carpenter, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    'Hadden examines the factors shaping the strategies adopted by individual climate change organisations and the movement as a whole.' Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107461109
    • length: 235 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 138 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.3kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus. 9 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Copenhagen movement
    2. The emergence of a divided network
    3. A network approach to collective action
    4. Conventional climate advocacy
    5. Climate justice activism
    6. Implications for global politics

  • Author

    Jennifer Hadden, University of Maryland, College Park
    Jennifer Hadden is an assistant professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. Her research on such topics as international relations, environmental politics, social network analysis and social movements has been published in Mobilization and Global Environmental Politics. In 2012, she was the co-recipient of the American Political Science Association's Virginia M. Walsh Dissertation Award for the best dissertation in the field of science, technology, and environmental politics. She also received the 2011 Esman Graduate Prize for Distinguished Scholarship from Cornell University and a Young Scholars in Social Movements award from the University of Notre Dame in 2010. She is a regular participant in the UN climate process.


    • Winner, 2016 Don K. Price Award, Science, Technology and Environmental Politics Section, American Political Science Association
    • Co-Winner, 2016 Lynton Keith Caldwell Prize, Science, Technology and Environmental Politics Section, American Political Science Association
    • Winner, 2016 Levine Book Prize, Research Committee on the Structure and Organization of Government, International Political Science Association
    • Honourable Mention, 2016 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award, Environmental Studies Section, International Studies Association
    • Winner, 2015 Best Book Award, Political Networks Section, American Political Science Association

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