The climatization of global politics introduction to the special issue

Lucile Maertens
Stefan Cihan AYKUT

Climate change now constitutes a major issue in world politics, intersecting with and shaping many other political domains, and wider patterns of social and economic life. Global climate governance is also no longer restricted to multilateral negotiations under the UN Climate Convention: it increasingly extends beyond the international climate regime to climatize other areas of global politics. This concept of climatization points to a powerful but uneven process of extension, translation, and social coordination, as climate change becomes the frame of reference through which other policy issues and forms of global activism are mediated and hierarchized. This special issue brings together contributions on both theoretical aspects and empirical cases of the climatization process. The introduction sets out a conceptual framework to systematize these observations and guide further research. First, we identify the preconditions for, and driving forces behind, climatization. We then sketch the contours of an emergent ‘climate logic’ that reshapes affected domains, and examine the wider implications of climatization for global politics. Beyond the climate case, we hope this will provide new ways to observe and understand contemporary transformations of global society and global governance.