Most academics, policymakers, and scientists uncritically acknowledge that the climate change problem requires a universal solution. I am not convinced that such an underlying understanding had to arise in the late 1980s and early 1990s given only the characteristics of the problem or the strategic interests of the parties involved. I seek to explain the assumed need for universal participation, and I reiterate the argument that referring to the scientifically defined characteristics of the issue or relying on rational choice are both insufficient. Evolving political and normative conceptions generated in the ozone depletion negotiations determined what the global response to climate change would be, not the unadorned characteristics of the problem.
Was this article helpful?