Global Climate Change

This analysis has come full circle. I began by asking whether climate change had to be defined as a universal problem. It turns out that climate change did in fact have to be defined as requiring universal participation—not because of scientific understanding or strategic calculation, but because of the specific historical, normative context in which the issue developed. Climate change had to be defined as requiring universal participation because by 1989 it had been socially constructed as requiring universal participation. The global response became associated with a requirement for universal participation, and this understanding, developed in the ozone negotiations, determined how climate change would be defined. The normative context provided the lenses with which climate change was viewed. In the next section I demonstrate that notions of universal participation pervaded the initial normative context and the initial U.S. rule models and then I illustrate how this understanding influenced U.S. strategy and the governance activities that culminated in the FCCC.

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