CALL FOR PAPERS – Climate Change Governance: Law, Risk Management, and Decision Making

Call for Submissions
Law and Social Science Program
National Science Foundation Workshop

Climate Change Governance: Law, Risk Management, and Decision Making
Hosted by University of California, Davis
Tahoe Environmental Research Center
Incline Village, Nevada
June 20-21, 2013

There may be no greater risk facing human societies than that posed by climate change. And yet, our understanding of how to collectively best respond is limited, and knowledge is fragmented across disciplinary boundaries. Our workshop will seek to initiate deeper discussion of climate change around the concept of governance by bridging across a diverse group of scholars. Our goal is to share different disciplinary perspectives and to work on common problems. The broader impacts of this workshop will include the creation of an ongoing community of scholars, possibly in the form of a collaborative research network, to carry on dialogue about how to align scholarship across disciplines, levels, and across the academic and policy/practical/public realms.

Given that climate change crosses many conventional boundaries and jurisdictions of law, regulation, and government and challenges the expectations that many hold regarding proper modes of “governance” we have planned the workshop around three themes. The first will consider how to construct and align modes of governance across differing societal levels or “scales” from individual to community, community to region, region to nation, and nations to global institutions. The second theme concerns fragmentation of contemporary “expert knowledge” on climate change, law, regulation, and governance and the associated lack of interaction across disciplines. We will consider how social scientific theory, methods, and empirical research might be brought into a more productive dialogue across
disciplinary and scholarly boundaries. Third, we plan to devote attention the problem of social science’s role in addressing and planning for climate change in public and policy settings. This is a problem of practice.

Workshop Format and Submission Process

We are soliciting those scholars interested in participating in a forward-looking conversation reaching across disciplinary boundaries to further our advancing our understanding of governance and climate change.
Interested applicants should provide a 300 word abstract describing a related research concept that they are currently developing or considering. These research concept statements should be linked to at least one of the three problem areas: scale, expert knowledge, and theory/practice. Research concept statements must be submitted to the workshop organizers by December 15, 2012.


Ryken Grattet, Sociology, UC Davis and the Public Policy Institute of California (
Debbie Niemeier, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC Davis
Thomas Beamish, Sociology, UC Davis (