It’s a performance, not an orchestra! Rethinking soft coordination in global climate governance

Authors: Stefan C. Aykut, Felix Schenuit, Jan Klenke, Emilie D’Amico

Global climate governance is in transition. As the focus shifts from negotiations to implementation, the quest for ways to effectively coordinate ambitious climate action has become a key concern. While existing studies frame this problem mostly in terms of institutional design (to facilitate state ambition) and strategic delegation of authority (to orchestrate nonstate action), this article builds on dramaturgical policy analysis to examine soft coordination in practice. It analyses public performances at the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) in Madrid using ethnographic methods and concludes that performances and dramaturgical interventions are important tools of soft coordination in global climate governance. Their analysis constitutes a productive entry point for grasping contemporary transformations in global politics.

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