Governing Environment: Governmentality in Global Climate Politics

By Szu-hung Fang.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality refers to the ‘rationality of government’, the ‘art of government’, and the ‘conduct of conduct’; and it challenges the ordinary understanding of governance by reexamining the subject and the object, and the production and reproduction of power/knowledge in the process of governmentalisation. From this perspective, contemporary global governance could be viewed as a specific kind of governmentality, combined with relevant technologies, truths, and knowledge, to ensure the ‘right disposition of things’ in a global scale. In terms of international environmental issues, which have attracted more and more public concern around the world since 1970s, the ‘environment’ has become an emerging object to be managed and governed through a certain kind of rationality, which is green governmentality in cooperation with ecological modernisation, in global environmental politics. Accordingly, the development of climate change regime, or global governance of climate change, should be treated as a specific technology and knowledge of governance in which environment is observed, gazed, categorised, managed and regulated through this green governmentality. This paper aims at integrating Foucauldian idea into climate politics to reflexively examine not only the disputes and conflicts surrounding international climate negotiations, mainly the Clean Development Mechanism in this article, but also the process of the production and reproduction of dominant discourse in which the ‘climate’, the common atmosphere was commodified and governed institutionally.

Keywords: Foucault, Climate Change, Global Governance, Governmentality, Environmental Politics, Clean Development Mechanism

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 10, pp.17-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.264MB).

Szu-hung Fang

DPhil Candidate, Department of International Relations, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

Szu-hung Fang is a DPhil candidate at the department of International Relations, Unviersity of Sussex in the UK. His present research focuses on global environmental politics, especially climate change issues, through Foucauldian perspective.

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