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Climate Change and Work: Politics and Power

Authors
  • Iskander, Natasha N.
  • Lowe, Nichola
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
May 11, 2020
Volume
23
Pages
111–131
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-polisci-061418-095236
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Climate warming is the fundamental challenge of our time, not only because it will radically transform our natural environment but also because it will redefine jobs and livelihoods. This article builds an interpretive bridge for understanding the political consequences of how climate change pressures will affect work, production, and technology. We organize this review along three themes: commodification and the processes through which costs and resources are made visible; the production of knowledge and the politics of representing the future; and just transitions and how to distribute the costs and the opportunities of change equitably. These themes all address the ways that the dominance of the market—both in rhetoric and in policy—eclipses the materiality of economic production and social exchange. Together, however, the three themes also allow us to contemplate new political and institutional actions for tackling the twinned challenges of mitigating climate change and safeguarding our livelihoods.

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