Abstract: During the last decade, the framing of climate change has been significantly transformed. It has turned from a gradually intensifying, long-term challenge into a highly nonlinear danger that threatens national security. This article explores the reasons, and points to the consequences, of this change. Drawing from actor-network theory, it argues that practices and materials have become entangled across professional and disciplinary contexts. The growing association of chaotic climate change encompasses climatologists, who challenge the mainstream ontology of climate; economists, who started to revisit their economic models; and strategic communities, which began to pick up nonlinear climate changes foregrounding national security. Methodologically, the principle of symmetry that underlies this research aims, as far as is possible, to transcend the dualistic notions of science and politics, and society and nature. The article thereby attempts to open up a debate about the usefulness of a symmetrical approach to enhance research both on global environmental governance in particular, and global politics in general.
Full Citation: Mayer, M. (2012), Chaotic Climate Change and Security. International Political Sociology, 6: 165–185. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-5687.2012.00157.x (Available for download with subscription at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ips.2012.6.issue-2/issuetoc).