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SEMINAR | Party Polarisation on Climate Change: A Fuzzy Set Analysis



Start Date

27 Oct 2015 1:00 pm

End Date

27 Oct 2015 2:00 pm


Harvard Lecture Theatre 1, TSBE, Centenary Building, Sandy Bay Campus

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Presented by Fay Farstad, University of York

About the presentation
Exploring the obstacles to action on climate change remains an important challenge for the social sciences. One key obstacle can be political parties, as party competition heavily shapes government policy, and national governments in turn remain central to policy-making on climate change. In particular, a nascent body of research has begun to underline the detrimental effects that party polarisation can have for climate change outcomes. Given the long-term character of climate change, commensurately long- term investments are needed. If policies introduced by one government are likely to be undone by another, such long-term investments become almost impossible. Similarly, if large parts of the legislature or population disagree over whether climate change measures should be taken, it will be difficult to sustain substantial climate policies over several electoral cycles. Though the detrimental effects of party polarisation for policy continuity – and climate change measures in particular – have begun to be highlighted, very little research has explored why party polarisation on climate change occurs in the first place, and no research has set this question in a larger and comparative context. As such, the paper uses fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to examine the determinants of party polarisation on climate change – here conceived as cross-party differences in issue prioritisation (salience). In doing this, it is the first paper to use this burgeoning methodology for these purposes, and the first paper to analyse party polarisation on climate change comparatively. Lastly, the results demonstrate the benefits of the fsQCA methodology over 'net effect' methodologies for explaining such complex social relationships, and provide grounds for further case study analysis.

About the presenter
Fay Farstad is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics at the University of York (UK). She holds a BA in Philosophy and Politics from the University of York and a MPhil in Environmental Policy from the University of Cambridge.

From October to December 2015 she will be a visiting student at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra under the auspices of Professor John Dryzek. Her research is supervised by Professor Neil Carter and Dr Sofia Vasilopoulou, and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Event details
When | Tuesday 27 October 2015, 1.00pm to 2.00pm
Where | Harvard Lecture Theatre 1, TSBE, Centenary Building, Sandy Bay campus

All welcome. Please email or phone 6226 1587 for more information or directions to the venue.


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