This article contributes to comparative environmental politics by integrating comparative analysis with debates about ontological politics as well as science and technology studies. Comparative environmental analysis makes two tacit assumptions: that the subject of comparison (e.g., an environmental policy framework) is mobile and can be detached from its contexts; and that studying this subject in more than one location can identify its diffusion and implementation anywhere. These assumptions are sites of ontological politics by predetermining (or restricting) environmental outcomes. Environmental analysis needs to consider how its own comparative acts might reify supposedly global frameworks rather than acknowledging how different localities appropriate and give meaning to them in diverse ways. The concept of civic epistemologies illustrates how domestic politics are organized around supposedly global concepts, rather than how global concepts diffuse around the world, as illustrated here by a comparative analysis of the United Nations’ Green Economy Initiative.

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