Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France




Organizers :  GIS Climat Environnement Sociétés, IFRIS (LabEx Sites), Ademe, ISCC (CNRS), Centre Alexandre Koyré (EHESS/CNRS)
Date : July 6th, from 9:30am to 7pm
Location :  ISCC, Paris, France
Expected number of participants : 1-50
Nature of participants : scientists, journalists, NGOs
Keywords : Ethnography of global governance, climate change governance, climate negotiations
Keynote speakers :
  • Silke Beck
  • Elisabeth Eide
  • Noella Gray
  • Risto Kunelius
  • Bjorn Ola Linner
  • Christopher Rootes
  • Clare Saunders
  • Johana Simméant
  • Hartmut Wesler
  • Stefan Aykut
  • Amy Dahan
  • Jean Foyer


The next climate change conference (COP21) will be taking place in Paris in December (2015). This event will attract tens of thousands of people and is regularly presented as a historic opportunity to reinvigorate the global environmental process. A number of in-depth and long term studies have already been devoted to climate change negotiations and climate governance (see for example, Aykut and Dahan, 2015). Our ambition through this two-day seminar is to go beyond the climate negotiations per se by focusing on “transnational mega-events “ (Little, 1995), and on the most appropriate ways of studying them and their impact on global environmental governance.

In view of their size and their blurred boundaries, international mega-events - Earth Summits, World Social Forums or Climate and Biodiversity COPs - can be hard to study for individual researchers. The diversity of actors, events and spaces of interaction, the complexity and range of issues, as well as countless temporal and spatial overflows, justify the need to adopt a collective approach for the study of on-going global governance processes.

With this in mind, we organize a two-day seminar to share methodological experiences, publicize research outputs and collective research experiences. The first day will take the shape of a closed (non-public) methodological workshop. Open to the public, the second day will give participants the opportunity to present their key research findings. The purpose of these presentations is to look at how mega-events influence global environmental processes and shape global governance. What are mega-events’ contributions to global environmental governance? What can we learn from the outcomes of these events (often presented as disappointing)? What do they tell us about global governance? What is the real impact of these events on national and local environmental politics? Does global environmental governance act as a “laboratory” for global governance? The morning session will be devoted to presentations of past non-climate related research projects. The afternoon session will focus on global climate governance and key issues relevant to the study of the COP21.

Provisional schedule:
  • Session 1 (9h/10h 30): Why and how to study environmental international conference ?
  • Session 2 (11h 12h30): Emergence of a global civil society ? 
  • Session 3 (14h 15h30): Making the event, mediatizing COP 
  • Session 4 (16h 19h): Cop 21 and Climate Governance : What is at stake in Paris 2015 ?

More information

Contact: climacop21@gmail.com
You will find more information on this side event on the following link :

Key outcomes

The workshop showed the usefulness and productivity of studying “global environmental governance” through collaborative sociological and ethnographic studies of transnational mega-events. It also showed important diversity in existing approaches and the need to coordinate different collaborative research projects before and during the Paris climate conference. Also, the workshop highlighted that the need for such collaboration increases with growing complexity of climate governance.


- Regular meetings during Paris conference in December 2015.

- International conference to share and compare results in summer 2016.


Please find hereunder the report of the Methodological Workshop “Transnational mega-events global environmental governance”

With support from the GIS Climat Environnement et Société and the IFRIS.