When science meets strategic realpolitik: The case of the Copenhagen UN climate change summit

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 2011, 22 (7), pp. 682 - 697
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This paper argues that the impasse over tackling climate change at the 2009 climate change summit is a result of the outcome of the prevailing power and politics at the summit. The paper discusses the sociological literature on power and notes that the failure of the summit illustrates the fragility of legitimacy and authority. The paper rehearses key parts of the chronology of the summit and argues that the politics of domination often prevail over the politics of legitimacy. Moreover, the way in which both science and politics have failed to legitimate the issue of climate change is explored. The paper closes with a discussion of what is required to fix the issue as legitimate and meriting serious action by major international agencies and economies. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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