organized by Prof. Nina Kolleck (FU Berlin), Prof. David Tindall (University of British Columbia) and Alexandra Goritz (FU Berlin)
Anthropogenic global warming, and consequent climate change, are amongst the biggest challenges facing humankind. Early research on anthropogenic climate change, understandably, was mostly conducted by natural scientists, who analyzed the origins of climate change and its potential impacts on the earth system. The effects of individuals, societies and policies – key drivers of climate change – and the social dimensions of climate change were given secondary emphasis for a significant period of time. Since the beginning of the 1990s, due to the increasing awareness of both the significant social consequences and the impacts of human behavior and social structures on climate change, social researchers have begun investigating the social scientific aspects of this problem. However, while a variety of social dimensions of climate change issues have been studied for several decades, it is only recently that a growing number of scholars have started to analyze the role of social networks play in anthropogenic climate change. These works constitute the beginnings of a significant body of work by social network scholars, contributing crucial insights by looking beyond actor attributes and placing a focus on the relations amongst actors, and shedding a light on network dynamics.
Against this backdrop, the workshop brought together leading scholars in the field of sustainability, climate change and the analysis of social networks. It showcased and discussed different types of networks both from a theoretical and an empirical perspective. Participants discussed the effects, relevance, potential and weaknesses of social networks and the role they play for climate change movements, climate governance, climate change discourse, and climate change policy processes.