Mapping the ideological networks of American climate politics

Fisher, D. R., Leifeld, P. and Iwaki, Y. (2013) Mapping the ideological networks of American climate politics. Climatic Change, 116(3), pp. 523-545. (doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0512-7)

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Abstract

How do we understand national climate change politics in the United States? Using a methodological innovation in network analysis, this paper analyzes discussions about the issue within the US Congress. Through this analysis, the ideological relationships among speakers providing Congressional testimony on the issue of climate change are mapped. For the first time, issue stances of actors are systematically aggregated in order to measure coalitions and consensus among political actors in American climate politics in a relational way. Our findings show how consensus formed around the economic implications of regulating greenhouse gases and the policy instrument that should do the regulating. The paper is separated into three sections. First, we review the ways scholars have looked at climate change policymaking in the United States, paying particular attention to those who have looked at the issue within the US Congress. Next, we present analysis of statements made during Congressional hearings on climate change over a four-year period. Our analysis demonstrates how a polarized ideological actor space in the 109th Congress transforms into a more consensual actor landscape in the 110th Congress, which is significantly less guided by partisan differences. This paper concludes by discussing how these findings help us understand shifting positions within American climate politics and the implications of these findings.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Climate change, Policy, Ideology, Congress, USA, Network
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Leifeld, Professor Philip
Authors: Fisher, D. R., Leifeld, P., and Iwaki, Y.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Climatic Change
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0165-0009
ISSN (Online):1573-1480
Published Online:21 July 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
First Published:First published in Climatic Change 116(3):523-545
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
01Social Networks as Agents of Change in Climate Change Policy MakingDana R. FisherNational Science Foundation0826892