Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Building Climate Empire: Power, Authority, and Knowledge within Pacific Islands Climate Change Diplomacy and Governance Networks
by Denton, Ashlie Denée, Ph.D., Portland State University, 2018, 245; 10824754
Abstract (Summary)

Transnational networks are growing in prevalence and importance as states, nongovernmental, and intergovernmental organizations seek to meet climate change goals; yet, the organizations in these networks struggle between the global, technical and local, contextual sources of power, authority, and knowledge used to influence decision-making and governance. This dissertation analyzes these contestations in Pacific Islands climate change diplomacy and governance efforts by asking: i) What do power relations look like among the Pacific Islands’ networked organizations? ii) To what authority do organizations appeal to access sources of power? iii) What sources of knowledge are produced and reproduced by these organizations? and iv) How do these patterns fit within the broader history of the Pacific Islands and climate change? I draw from interviews, document analysis, event participation, and social network analysis of Pacific Island climate change diplomacy and governance. This examination leads me to propose the concept of "Climate Empire,” which can be understood as the network of knowledge and communicative services that imagine, build, and administer the globe through a decentralized and deterritorialized apparatus of rule.

In the Pacific Islands, Climate Empire upholds technical bureaucratic and scientific approaches to overcoming climate challenges; however, the global spaces in which these approaches are produced are reconnected with the spaces of local resistance through data collection networks and efforts to relocalize knowledge. Thus, the local/global divisions found in diplomacy and governance in the Pacific Islands collectively produce and reform Climate Empire as organizations interact in the network. Further research is necessary to understand the extensiveness of Climate Empire, as well as to ensure the inclusion and empowerment of Pacific Island voices in climate governance for both justice and efficacy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kinsella, David, Allen, Jennifer H.
Commitee: Dujon, Veronica, Sandberg, Billie
School: Portland State University
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-B 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Climate Change, Pacific Rim Studies, International Relations
Keywords: Climate Empire, Climate change, Diplomacy, Environmental governance, Pacific islands, Social network analysis
Publication Number: 10824754
ISBN: 9780438156241
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