Abstract

In this article we elaborate on how we use collaborative event ethnography to study global environmental governance. We discuss how it builds on traditional forms of ethnography, as well as on approaches that use ethnography to study policy-making in multiple institutional and geographical sites. We argue that global environmental meetings and negotiations offer opportunities to study critical historical moments in the making of emergent regimes of global environmental governance, and that collaborative ethnography can capture the day-to-day practices that constitute policy paradigm shifts. In this method, the negotiations themselves are not the object of study, but rather how they reflect and transform relations of power in environmental governance. Finally, we propose a new approach to understanding and examining global environmental governance—one that views the ethnographic field as constituted by relationships across time and space that come together at sites such as meetings.

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