Climate Change & US Inaction: A Comparative Analysis of Foreign Policy Determinants Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/p8418p75c

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  • Climate change is a hot potato policy: the responsibility for it is constantly passed between the domestic and international realms. By definition global climate change is a global problem yet, in the US, domestic concerns are preventing federal lawmakers from taking action and presidents from taking leadership at both the national and international levels. We propose that the on-going federal inaction on climate change is the product of it being caught between two phases in the public policy life cycle: policy adoption and implementation. During the heat wave of 1988, the green house effect emerged as an important problem and became a presidential campaign issue. Following a torrent of extreme weather events in 2012, climate change was widely acknowledged as a global crisis and foreign policy issue, but it was barely mentioned on the presidential campaign trail. In line with Putnam’s theory of two level games, we argue that the climate change stalemate at the domestic level accounts for the inaction of the US at the international level. We test our hypotheses with a comparative case study of climate change in the two campaign seasons.
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