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, Melissa Lane and Nancy Rosenblum lay out an agenda for political theory and climate change. The report encourages scholars who take a theoretical or normative approach to ask what unexplored assumptions get in the way of addressing the problems posed by climate change. The authors propose three areas in which such assumptions may be found: the role of scientific expertise in democratic decision-making (including tensions between scientific and political authority), the role of fear in democratic deliberation, and the ethical and distributive questions that will arise with adaptation to climate change.