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Changing Climate Politics

Changing Climate Politics
U.S. Policies and Civic Action

First Edition
Edited by:

New approaches to policies and civic action on climate change

March 2014 | 272 pages | CQ Press
Changing Climate Politics provides a comprehensive account of the current state of government action and political participation in the United States on the issue of climate change. The book evaluates the role of the federal government, the courts, states, and cities in tackling the problems created by climate change, offering an inclusive and balanced assessment of progress and challenges. The book further explores the growing role of civic society in climate action plans, analyzing public opinion, the U.S. climate movement, policy making through ballot measures, consumer action, and the prospect of a social transformation toward a more sustainable society. This timely volume examines new approaches to policies and civic action on climate change addressing critical questions about the responsibilities and obligations of governments and citizens.

Yael Wolinsky-Nahmias
1. Introduction: Global Climate Politics
Part I. Changing Climate Policies in the United States
Kirsten H. Engel
2. The Limits of National Climate Policy Making and the Role of the Courts
Barry G. Rabe
3. A New Era in States' Climate Policies?
Rachel M. Krause
4. Climate Policy Innovation in American Cities
Part II. Civic Society and Climate Change
Dennis Chong
5. Explaining Public Conflict and Consensus on the Climate
Robert J. Brulle
6. The US National Climate Change Movement
Diana Forster and Daniel A. Smith
7. Environmental Policies on the Ballot
Lauren Copeland and Eric R. A. N. Smith
8. Consumer Political Action on Climate Change
Thomas Princen
9. The Politics of Urgent Transition

Changing Climate Politics: US Policies and Civic Action edited by Yael Wolinsky-Nahmias is an excellent book for teaching university courses on environmental politics. The book’s design is very useful for classroom discussion. It first provides an overview of the institutional structure of policymaking and then moves on to the less formal civil society influences on environmental policy. The book is well written and interesting. I highly recommend it.”

Matt Evans
Pennsylvania State University

“Given congressional inability to address climate change, it would be easy to conclude that the United States is destined to fail at this greatest of environmental challenges. But this timely volume demonstrates that civil society, the courts, local and state governments are all exhibiting important, fascinating change and innovation. In addition to offering a much-needed update on policy innovation at judicial, state and municipal levels, Changing Climate Politics offers a comprehensive account of civil society’s role. This ranges from public opinion and movement politics to ballot-box environmental policy and political consumerism. These chapters are all as readable as they are informative, making Changing Climate Politics a key text for practitioners and students alike.”

Daniel Press
University of California, Santa Cruz

"Wolinsky-Nahmias has assembled an outstanding group of contributors who collectively provide an excellent introduction to the complex fabric of US climate change politics. In examining a range of initiatives across different governmental jurisdictions and in the realm of civil society, the volume captures the diverse patterns, textures, and dimensions of the American political debate around this important topic."

Michele M. Betsill
Colorado State University
Key features


  • Unique to this book, contributing authors integrate institutional and social aspects of climate change problems, encouraging readers to critically analyze the operation of democratic processes on an urgent domestic and international issue.
  • The volume offers a multi-disciplinary approach, bringing together prominent experts and the latest scholarship from public policy, law, political psychology, political science, and sociology.
  • Chapters use a variety of cases, figures, and examples, as well as include an extensive set of references.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 5

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