Climate change has only recently moved to the head of the political agenda in Australia, following a decade of inaction by the Howard federal government, and despite long held high levels of public support for urgent action. My research interest is in the fundamental challenge that climate change is to traditional policy making, and in the governance implications of adopting effective emission reduction pathways. Public policy aspects of climate change have been relatively neglected in debate and in academic analysis, particularly at the more pragmatic end of policy development and implementation, yet are enormously significant. Indeed it could be argued that it is the enormity of the public policy challenge of climate change that has contributed to the lack of action and the failure to reduce emissions in Australia and elsewhere. According to Australian government independent adviser Ross Garnaut, this is a diabolical policy area, beyond rational policy making, for Australia in particular, which is structurally dependent upon emissions intensive energy. All environmental policy making is challenging for governments on a number of levels. In the macro sense, it is challenging to deeply held values, traditional knowledge and to conceptions of society and self. At the meso level, it is challenging to established politics, institutions and interests, whilst at the micro level, it is challenging to the type of policies, instruments and strategies that are routinely employed. These challenges are overlaid and made more intense by broader trends identified by theorists from state centric policy making towards more complex forms of governance. In these circumstances, it is important to research not only what is driving climate change policy making, but the capacity of governments to respond and instances of policy making that are or can be designed to reduce emissions.
Recent work includes:
K. Crowley 2007 'Is Australia Faking It? The Kyoto Protocol & The Greenhouse Policy Challenge' Global Environmental Politics 7(4): 118-139
K. Crowley forthcoming 'Climate Clever: Kyoto & Australia's Decade of Recalcitrance' in Harrison & Sundstrom The Comparative Politics and Policy of Climate Change MIT Press
K. Crowley forthcoming 'Reducing Government Emissions: the Policy Challenge of Climate Change' in Public Administration Today
K. Crowley 2007 A Framework for Action for Reducing the Tasmanian Government&rsquo
Authorised by the Interim Head of School, Social Sciences
16 August, 2011