In late 2015, one of the largest diplomatic meetings in global history concluded in Paris. Over 40,000 delegates from countries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations (IOs), research institutes, business organizations and many more, had been there to either negotiate an international treaty, to lobby and protest to get that treaty to be better according to some criteria held by the lobbyists or protesters, or to follow and track the negotiations and politics more generally. Given the size of the meeting, we might think it was something on the traditional ‘high politics’ agenda – security, terrorism, perhaps the global economy. But this meeting was about climate change, and was scheduled to produce a treaty that might enable states and other actors to improve a global response that has so far proved highly inadequate. Climate change has itself arguably become an issue of ‘high politics’ – regarded as a national security issue in many states, and certainly central to many aspects of the trajectory of the global economy.
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