Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Environmental Studies, University of California / Santa Barbara

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2001
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Sociology, University of California / Berkeley
Power in the Public Sphere: The Battles between Oil Companies and Environmental Groups in the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations, 1991-2003

My proposed research focuses on a intensive case study comparison of the strategies pursued by four transnational oil corporations in the face of potential global climate change. British petroleum, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Exxon-Mobil, and Pemex. These corporations represent two factions in the oil industry. In 1997, BP and Shell, both headquartered in Europe, split with the rest of the industry by voicing their support for an international treaty on climate change. In contrast, Exxon-Mobil, an American-based oil company, and Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil company, are standing firm in their resistance to any climate regulation. The goal of my research is to investigate the role played by corporate actors in the negotiation of international environmental treaties, with a particular emphasis on the climate-related practices, policies, and framing of different oil companies, on how both national and international regulatory, market, and interest group and public pressure factors influence the environmental strategies pursued by the companies, and on the effects of the split in the oil industry on the progress and outcomes of the climate change treaty negotiations. At the conclusion of my project, I hope to have developed a theory of how transnational corporations, alongside environmental protection groups, serve as conduits of environmental politics between domestic and international levels.