Research Topic

Politics of the Possible: In Search of Multi-Scalar Climate Solutions

About this Research Topic

Climate change impacts are generally not restricted to governance jurisdictions. Thus, the involvement of actors across multiple scales of governance (e.g. local, regional, global) to address climate impacts is imperative to any intervention, policy or decision-making process. Irrespective of governance scales, power asymmetries among these actors and institutions may engender processes and policies that (re)produce or exacerbate current marginalizations, exclusions, social vulnerabilities and inequities. The governance of climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives are marred by these negative effects of politics at the local, national and supranational scales.

While power asymmetries among actors and institutions across multiple scales of governance can inhibit adaptation and mitigation efforts and/or exacerbate climate impacts, there are limited research studies conducted focusing on power dynamics across different scales of governance influencing climate adaptation. Although some studies depict how power differences, lack of trust, discrimination against different social identities (e.g. gender, race, caste) and systematic deprivation decrease the efficacies of adaptation and mitigation initiatives, we do not have enough understanding or evidence on how we can ameliorate these negative effects.

Thus, in this special issue, we would like to highlight “solution-oriented” studies that address the negative impacts of power differentials in climate governance. We welcome studies that examine how actors and institutions across scales of governance can effectively impact existing inequities in decision-making processes and the resulting vulnerabilities and maladaptations of climate policies and projects. Of particular interest are articles that address how technologies, including but not limited to Big Data, artificial intelligence and information and communication technologies involved in collaboration and decision-making processes, may reinforce, exacerbate, diminish or ameliorate power asymmetries and inequities in climate governance.

In this regard, we welcome articles that include, but are not limited to, the following topics of interest:

• Barriers and enablers of effective multi-scale climate adaptation and mitigation governance
• Political ecology of climate adaptation and mitigation
• Inequality and justice in climate adaptation and mitigation
• Sustainable solutions for climate change impacts
• Ethics and justice in the use of big data and technology in climate change solutions
• Adaptive governance in the face of climate change


Keywords: governance, equity, justice, sustainable, adaptation, mitigation, multilevel


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Climate change impacts are generally not restricted to governance jurisdictions. Thus, the involvement of actors across multiple scales of governance (e.g. local, regional, global) to address climate impacts is imperative to any intervention, policy or decision-making process. Irrespective of governance scales, power asymmetries among these actors and institutions may engender processes and policies that (re)produce or exacerbate current marginalizations, exclusions, social vulnerabilities and inequities. The governance of climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives are marred by these negative effects of politics at the local, national and supranational scales.

While power asymmetries among actors and institutions across multiple scales of governance can inhibit adaptation and mitigation efforts and/or exacerbate climate impacts, there are limited research studies conducted focusing on power dynamics across different scales of governance influencing climate adaptation. Although some studies depict how power differences, lack of trust, discrimination against different social identities (e.g. gender, race, caste) and systematic deprivation decrease the efficacies of adaptation and mitigation initiatives, we do not have enough understanding or evidence on how we can ameliorate these negative effects.

Thus, in this special issue, we would like to highlight “solution-oriented” studies that address the negative impacts of power differentials in climate governance. We welcome studies that examine how actors and institutions across scales of governance can effectively impact existing inequities in decision-making processes and the resulting vulnerabilities and maladaptations of climate policies and projects. Of particular interest are articles that address how technologies, including but not limited to Big Data, artificial intelligence and information and communication technologies involved in collaboration and decision-making processes, may reinforce, exacerbate, diminish or ameliorate power asymmetries and inequities in climate governance.

In this regard, we welcome articles that include, but are not limited to, the following topics of interest:

• Barriers and enablers of effective multi-scale climate adaptation and mitigation governance
• Political ecology of climate adaptation and mitigation
• Inequality and justice in climate adaptation and mitigation
• Sustainable solutions for climate change impacts
• Ethics and justice in the use of big data and technology in climate change solutions
• Adaptive governance in the face of climate change


Keywords: governance, equity, justice, sustainable, adaptation, mitigation, multilevel


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 December 2021 Abstract
15 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 December 2021 Abstract
15 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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