Disorderly Deliberation? Generative Dynamics of Global Climate Justice

James Goodman


Theorisations of global governance invariably conceive of it as bringing order to disorder, whether by increasing the ‘density’ of interstate society, or by expressing the leverage of global civil society. This paper seeks to invert the frame, and to take seriously the active disordering of governance, as a generative challenge, that creates new justice claims, and opens-up new fields of public deliberation. Global climate governance is a particularly powerful context in which to track these dynamics. Climate change imposes its own pace of policy reform, forcing new imperatives; it also imposes its own remarkable scope, in terms of global reach and all-encompassing depth. The paper seeks-out generative disjunctures, where existing justice principles that underpin climate governance are challenged, disestablished, and reordered. The paper explores these themes as a way of mapping contending and conflicting trajectories in the development of climate justice as a principle of governance. The disordering effects of climate governance, the social and political forces that arise out of them and their roles in producing contender principles and practices are highlighted. We may then arrive at a conceptualization of climate governance as a necessarily disorderly process, which addresses cumulative and unanticipated challenges of climate change through successive reorientations in its modus operandi. As such, climate governance may be enabled to proceed through and beyond immediate accommodations, to offer new possibilities grounded in new rules of the game that widen realms of engagement and more effectively apprehend the challenges posed.


Climate Change, Global Climate Governance, Social Movements, Reflexivity

Full Text



Adam, D. & Jowitt, J. 2008, 'People Power Vital to Climate Deal: Miliband Calls for Global Movement to Pressure Governments into Action, ' The Guardian, 8 December.

Agyeman, J. & Evans, B. 2004, 'Just Sustainability": The Emerging Discourse of Environmental Justice in Britain?, ' The Geographical Journal, vol. 170, no. 2, 155164." http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0016-7398.2004.00117.x

Anderson, J. 2006, 'The Environment, Anti-globalization, " and the Runaway Bicycle, ' in Nature's Revenge: Reclaiming Sustainability in an Age of Corporate Globalisation, (eds) J. Johnston, M. Gismondi & J. Goodman. Broadview, Toronto, 280298."

Asia Pacific Research Network 2007, Peoples' Protocol on Climate Change, APRN, Manila.

Bakker, I. & Gill, S. 2003, Power, Production and Social Reproduction. Palgrave, London.

Barker, T. et al. (eds) 2007, Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Beck, U. 1995, Ecological Politics in an Age of Risk. Polity Press, Cambridge.

Bennholdt-Thomsen, V. & Mies, M. 1999, The Subsistence Perspective. Zed Press, London.

Biel, R. 2000, The New Imperialism: Crisis and Contradiction in North/South Relations. Zed Books, London.

Blowers, A. 1997, 'Environmental Policy: Ecological Modernization or Risk Society?, ' Urban Studies, vol. 34, no. 56, 845871. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0042098975853

Bond, P. 2006, 'Civil Society on Global Governance: Facing Up to Divergent Analysis, Strategy, and Tactics, ' Voluntas, no. 17, 359371.

Bond, P. & Dada, R. 2007, Trouble in the Air: Global Warming and the Privatised Atmosphere. Transnational Institute, Amsterdam.

Bosso, C. and Guber, D. 2006, 'Maintaining Presence: Environmental Advocacy and the Permanent Campaign, ' in Environmental Policy, (eds) N. Vig, & M. Kraft, CQ Press, Washington, 7891.

Boykoff, M. 2008, 'The Cultural Politics of Climate Change Discourse in UK Tabloids, ' Political Geography, no. 27, 549569. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2008.05.002

Brenner, N. 2004, New State Spaces. Oxford University Press, Oxford. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199270057.001.0001

Buechler, S. 2000, Social Movements in Advanced Capitalism: The Political Economy and Social Construction of Social Activism. Oxford University Press, New York

Calhoun, C. 1993, 'New Social Movements" of the Early Nineteenth Century, ' Social Science History, vol. 17, no. 3, 385427." http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1171431

Carbon Trade Watch 2004, Climate Justice Now! The Durban Declaration on Carbon Trading, CTW, Durban.

Carroll, W. 2007. 'Hegemony and the Global Field.' Studies in Social Justice, vol. 1, no. 1, 3666.

Chakrabarty, D. 2008, 'The Climate of History: Four Theses, ' Critical Inquiry, no. 35, 1162.

Chatterton, P 2005, 'Give Up Activism" and Change the World in Unknown Ways. Or, Learning to Walk with Others on Uncommon Ground, ' Antipode, vol. 38, no. 2, 259282." http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.2006.00579.x

Christoff, P. 2006, 'Post-Kyoto? Post-Bush? Towards an Effective Climate Ccoalition of the Willing, "' International Affairs, vol. 85, no. 2, 831860." http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2346.2006.00574.x

Climate Justice Coalition 2007, Climate Justice Now! Principles, CJC, Denpasar.

Cohen, R. & Rai, S. 2000, Global Social Movements. Athlone, London.

Connor, L., Higginbotham, N. and Freeman, S. 2009, 'Not Just a Coalmine: Shifting Grounds of Community Opposition to Coalmining in Southeastern Australia, ' Ethnos, vol. 74, no. 4, 490513. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00141840903202132

Cox, R. 1987, Production, Power and World Order: Social Forces in the Making of History. Columbia University Press, New York.

Cox, R .2001, 'The Way Ahead: Towards a New Ontology of World Order, ' Critical Theory and World Politics, (ed.) R. Wyn Jones. Lynne Rienner, Boulder, CO.

Crutzen, P. 2002, 'Geology of Mankind, ' Nature, vol. 415, 23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/415023a

Della Porta, D. (ed.) 2007, The Global Justice Movement: Cross-national and Transnational Perspectives. Paradigm Publishers, Herndon, VA.

Della Porta, D. and Tarrow, S. 2005, Transnational Protest and Global Activism. Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham.

Depledge, J. 2006, 'The Opposite of Learning: Ossification in the Climate Change Regime, ' Global Environmental Politics, vol. 6, no. 1, 122. http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/glep.2006.6.1.1

Doherty, B. 2002, Ideas and Action in the Green Movement. Routledge, London & New York.

Dorsey, M. 2007, Climate Knowledge and Power, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, vol. 18, no. 2, 721.

Drainville, A. 2004, Contesting Globalisation: Space and Place in the World Economy. Routledge, London & New York.

Eschle, C. 2005, 'Constructing the Anti-Globalisation Movement, "' Critical Theories, International Relations and the Anti-globalisation Movement, (eds) C. Eschle and B. Maiguashca. Routledge, London & New York."

Foster-Carter, J. 2002, Ecology Against Capitalism. Monthly Review Press, New York.

Friends of the Earth International 2008, REDD Myths: A Critical Review of Proposed Mechanisms to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Developing Countries, FoEI, Amsterdam.

Gill, S. 2002. Power and Resistance in the New World Order. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Goodman, J. & Roberts, E. 2009, What a Scam! Australia's REDD Offsets for Copenhagen. FoEA and AidWatch, Sydney

Goodman, J. 2011, 'Is the United Nations' REDD Scheme Conservation Colonialism by Default?, ' International Journal of Water, vol. 5. no. 4, 419428. http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJW.2010.038733

Griggs, S. & Howarth, D. 2004, 'A Transformative Political Campaign? The New Rhetoric of Protest against Airport Expansion in the UK, ' Journal of Political Ideologies, vol. 9, no. 2, 176187. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13569310410001691208

Hall, N. and Taplin, R. 2007, 'Revolution or Inch-by-inch? Campaign Approaches on Climate Change by Environmental Groups, ' Environmentalist, vol. 27, no. 1, 122. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10669-007-9022-y

Halliday, F. 2001, 'The Romance of Non-state Actors, ' in Non-state Actors in World Politics, (ed.) W. Wallace. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2138.

Harvey, D. 1996, Justice, Nature and the Politics of Difference. Blackwell, Cambridge.

Harvey, D. 2010, The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism. Profile Books, London.

Held, D. 2006, 'Reframing Global Governance: Apocalypse Soon or Reform!' New Political Economy, vol. 11, no. 2, 5874. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563460600655516

Held, D., & McGrew, A. 2002, Governing Globalization: Power, Authority and Global Governance. Polity Press, Cambridge.

Hinsliff, G. & Vidal, J. 2009, 'Miliband Calls for Populist Push on Climate Change, ' The Observer, 26 April.

Hornborg, A. 2001, The Power of the Machine: Global Inequalities of Economy, Technology and Environment. Rowan and Littlefield, Lanham.

India Resources Centre 2002, Bali Principles of Climate Justice, International Climate Justice Network, Denpasar.

Indonesian Forum on the Environment, WALHI 2009, No rights no REDD. Walhi, Jakarta.

International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change 2008, Statement of the IIPFCC, 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change, December 1, 2008.

Johnston, J. & Goodman, J. 2006, 'Hope and Activism in the Ivory Tower: Freirean Lessons for Globalisation Research, ' Globalisations vol. 3, no. 1, 930. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14747730500502811

Jordan, A. 1994, 'Financing the UNCED Agenda: The Controversy over Additionality, ' Environment, vol. 36, no. 3, 1630. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00139157.1994.9929157

Juris, J. 2008, Networking Futures: The Movements Against Corporate Globalization. Duke University Press, Durham, NC, & London.

Keck, M. & Sikkink, K. 1998, Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics. Cornell University Press, Ithaca.

Kovel, J. 2007, The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World. Zed Press, London.

Levy, David L. & Daniel Egan 2003, 'A Neo-Gramscian Approach to Corporate Political Strategy: Conflict and Accommodation in the Climate Change Negotiations, ' Journal of Management Studies, vol. 40, no. 4, 803829. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-6486.00361

Lohmann, L. (ed.) 2006, 'Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatization and Power, ' Development Dialogue, no. 48 (September), 1362.

Massey, D. 2007, World City. Polity, Cambridge.

McDonald, K. 2006, Global Movements: Action and Culture. Blackwell, Malden, MA.

McGrew, A. 2007, 'Globalization in Hard Times: Contention in the Academy and Beyond, ' in The Blackwell Companion to Globalization, (ed.) G. Ritzer. Blackwell, Malden, MA.

McMicheal, P. 2003, Globalisation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Moll, A. 2000, 'Ecological Modernization Around the World: An Introduction, ' Environmental Politics, vol. 9, no. 1, 116.

Muller, T. 2008, 'The Movement is Dead, Long Live the Movement, ' Turbulence: Ideas for Movement, July 2008, 4855.

Newell, P. 2008, 'Civil Society, Corporate Accountability and the Politics of Climate Change, ' Global Environmental Politics, vol. 8, no. 3, 122153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/glep.2008.8.3.122

Norgaard, K. 2006, 'We Don't Really Want To Know": Environmental Justice and Socially Organized Denial of Global Warming in Norway, Organization & Environment, vol. 19, no. 3, 347370." http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1086026606292571

Okereke, C. 2008, Global Justice and Neolioberal Environmental Governance. Routledge, London & New York.

Parry, M, Canziani, O. and Palutikof, J. (eds) 2007, Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Paterson M. & Grub, M. 1992, 'The International Politics of Climate Change, ' International Affairs, vol. 68, no. 2, 293310 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2623216

Paterson, M. & Newell, P. 2010, Climate Capitalism: Global Warming and the Transformation of the Global Economy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Pearce, R. 2010, 'Making a Market? Contestation and Climate, ' Journal of Australian Political Economy, no. 66, 166198.

Pickerill, J. & Chatterton, P. 2006, 'Notes Towards Autonomous Geographies. Creation, Resistance and Self Management as Survival Tactics, ' Progress in Human Geography, vol. 30, no. 6, 730746. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0309132506071516

Pieterse, J. 1998, 'My Paradigm or Yours? Alternative Development, Post-development, Reflexive Development, ' Development and Change, no. 29, 243373.

Pieterse, J. 2004, Globalization or Empire? Routledge, London & New York.

Plows, A. 2008, 'Towards an Analysis of the 'Success' of UK Green Protests, ' British Politics, vol. 3, no. 1, 92109. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.bp.4200081

Reality of Aid 2009, Financing Climate Change Mitigation: Adaptation and Sustainable Development. Reality of Aid Asia, Manila.

Reitan, R. 2007, Global Activism. Routledge, New York & London.

Roberts, J. & Parks, B. 2006, A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North-South Politics, and Climate Policy. MIT Press, Cambridge.

Roberts, T. & Toffolon-Weiss, M. 2001, Chronicles from the Environmental Justice Frontline. Cambridge University Press, NY. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139087100

Robinson, W. 2002, 'Remapping Development in the Light of Globalisation: From a Territorial to a Social Cartography, ' Third World Quarterly, vol. 23, no. 6, 10471073. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0143659022000036658

Rosenberg, J. 2000, Follies of Globalisation Theory. Verso, London.

Rupert, M. 2003, 'Globalising Common Sense: A Marxian-Gramscian (Re-)vision of the Politics of Governance/Resistance, ' Review of International Studies, no. 29, 181198.

Salleh, A. 1997, Ecofeminism as Politics: Nature, Marx and the Postmodern. Zed Press, London.

Saunders, C. 2008, 'The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition: Climate Change as a Development Issue, ' Third World Quarterly, vol. 29, no. 8, 15091526. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436590802528580

Saunders, C. & Price, S. 2009, 'One Person's Eu-topia, Another's Hell: Climate Camp as a Heterotopia, ' Environmental Politics, vol. 18, no. 1, 117122. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09644010802624850

Seel, B. 1997, 'Strategies of Resistance at the Pollock Free State Road Protest Camp, Environmental Politics, vol. 6, no. 4, 108139. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09644019708414360

Smith, J. 2002, 'Bridging Global Divides? Strategic Framing and Solidarity in Transnational Social Movement Organizations, ' International Sociology, vol. 17, no. 4, 505528. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0268580902017004003

Sousa-Santos, B. 1995, Toward a New Common Sense: Law, Science and Politics in the Paradigmatic Transition. Routledge, New York.

Starr, A. 2000, Naming the Enemy: Anti-corporate Movements Confront Globalization. Zed Press, London.

Stern, N. 2007, The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511817434

Tarrow, S. 2005, The New Transnational Activism. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511791055

UNDP 2008, Fighting Climate Change, Human Development Report 2007, UNDP, New York.

Van Der Heijden, H. 2006, 'Globalization, Environmental Movements, and International Political Opportunity Structures, ' Organization & Environment, vol. 19, no. 1, 2845 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1086026605285452

Walker, R. 1993, Inside/outside International Relations ad Political Theory. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

World Bank 2006, 'Clean Energy and Development: Towards an Investment Framework, ' World Bank, Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development and Infrastructure Vice Presidencies, World Bank, Washington DC.

World Bank 2008, 'Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change: Global Cost Estimate, ' World Bank, Washington DC.

World Development Movement 2009, 'World Development Movement Hails Kingsnorth Victory for People and Campaigners from Developing World and Kent, ' 8 October.

Ziai, A. (ed.) 2007, Exploring Post-development: Theory and Practice, Problems and Perspectives. Routledge, London.