Scales of Law: Rethinking Climate Change Governance
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The international treaty regime on climate change is failing to address this problem adequately and cannot fully capture the scales of the problem or of efforts to address it. This dissertation draws from geographic conceptions of scale and legal governance theory to: (1) argue for the value of polycentric, multi-scalar approaches to climate change governance, (2) explore the nuances of what such approaches entail, and (3) propose strategies for improving their effectiveness. It does so by applying these theoretical approaches to three case studies: climate change litigation, federal climate change regulation, and suburban action on climate change. For each of these case studies, it demonstrates the complexity of defining scales and scalar dynamics and considers how the activity being described does and should fit into multi-scalar governance approaches. It concludes by reflecting upon the lessons from the case studies for how to understand the geography of multi-level governance approaches and to approach its core principles of hybridity, multi-scalar, and inclusion. This dissertation includes previously published material.