Climate change is a scientific fact, but it has proven politically difficult to address. Three reports from the Anxieties of Democracy program’s working group on climate change seek to encourage new research in the social sciences in order to enable effective political responses to climate change.
In this report, David Konisky, Doug McAdam, and Johannes Urpelainen ask why, even though public support for climate change policies is common, sustained mobilization in favor of implementing such policies is not. They argue that not enough social science has been dedicated to answering this question. They point to existing work, which is often siloed in studies of public opinion, grassroots mobilization, and political institutions, and call on researchers to implement an integrative perspective across these three areas. They also encourage research on the effectiveness of public pressure in favor of climate action in different countries and across levels of government.