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Regional Power Shifts and Climate Knowledge Systems: South Africa as a Climate Power?

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  • Babette Never

    () (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies)

Abstract

In the international system, there has been a power shift towards regional powers, which can be illustrated by recent developments in climate governance. I argue that some of these regional powers are also climate powers, which benefit from an issue-specific power shift. The behavior and strategies of those climate powers are central for global climate governance. To analyze their strategies, a multi-level approach is required that captures the link between domestic climate governance and climate foreign policy. I develop such a concept of climate knowledge systems. It is based on Emanuel Adler’s theory of cognitive evolution and communities of practice. A pragmatist philosophy such as this that allows for mixed methods research is most suitable for analyzing the proposed connection between knowledge, practices and change. It also presents the key to an extended regional powers framework, leaving the somewhat artificial boundaries of international relations in climate governance behind. The concept of climate knowledge systems is empirically applied to South Africa with some early tentative results of an online expert survey, as well as the analysis of data of the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Suggested Citation

  • Babette Never, 2010. "Regional Power Shifts and Climate Knowledge Systems: South Africa as a Climate Power?," GIGA Working Paper Series 125, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:125
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    File URL: http://repec.giga-hamburg.de/pdf/giga_10_wp125_never.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ingrid Koch & Coleen Vogel & Zarina Patel, 2007. "Institutional dynamics and climate change adaptation in South Africa," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 12(8), pages 1323-1339, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Kappel, 2010. "Verschiebung der globalen Machtverhältnisse durch den Aufstieg von Regionalen Führungsmächten: China, Indien, Brasilien und Südafrika," GIGA Working Paper Series 146, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    2. Heike Holbig & Bruce Gilley, 2010. "In Search of Legitimacy in Post-revolutionary China: Bringing Ideology and Governance Back In," GIGA Working Paper Series 127, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

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    Keywords

    South Africa; regional powers; climate governance; communities of practice; knowledge systems; mixed methods;

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