Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks Finland

The Compon Finland is a research project funded by the Kone Foundation 2014-2016.

COMPON is an international and cross-national research project. The COMPON Finland’s objective is to contribute to this ambitious project that aims at explaining national variations in climate change policies by examining how so-called policy and discourse networks affect climate policies. The international COMPON project will make an important advance in comparative social scientific research, innovatively combining the methods of discourse and policy network analysis, in order to investigate the sociopolitical processes that lead to different national reactions in relation to this pressing global problem.

Global climate change threatens all nations of the world with immediate and increasing risk of significant adverse environmental consequences, according to dominant scientific assessments. Minimizing these consequences requires rapidly reducing the cause of climate change: the increasing concentration of greenhouse gasses in the global atmosphere. Science has identified the mechanisms of the problem, and proponents argue that we have the technical and economic capacity to radically reduce these concentrations over the coming decades. However, human societies, as collectivities, currently lack the political will to take these audacious measures. The needed socio-economic reorganization for the sake of such an unprecedented global goal arouses strong social resistance from many quarters – especially from the many sectors in different countries who fear short-term economic loss. Solving climate change will require considerable social and cultural transformation in our habits of government, business, work, production, consumption, settlement and transport, as well as in our values of cooperation, respect for science and gender-equality.

The weakness of international agreements to elicit the needed responses has turned the spotlight of inquiry upon the dynamics of national socio-political response to global climate change. The solution must be global, but to craft workable global agreements, there exists a critical need to understand the societal and cultural bases of national responses to global climate change.

The project on Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (COMPON) establishes an international effort to address these challenging questions. The long-term scientific goal is to explain the variation in national response to global climate change under the emerging international regime. Examining the causes of this variation from the perspective of networks of discourse and policy-making interaction among relevant organizations and knowledge brokers, the project collects empirical data for rigorous comparative analysis. COMPON has established research teams in at least 19 countries to conduct this project, with more teams in formation.

More on the international project at compon.org

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