Mahir Yazar, Postdoctoral Fellow at Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Norway
İrem Daloğlu Çetinkaya, Assistant Professor at Institute of Environmental Sciences, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul
Project Duration: Feb 22 - Dec 22
This project aimed to investigate the sociopolitical dimension of the dynamics and patterns of urban climate change policy in Turkey. We aimed to answer two research questions: First, did different actors – including public officials working in the national and local governments, political parties, business communities and civil society groups – perceived and approached local climate change policy differently in Turkey? And second, how did local climate change policy narratives relate to each other? We used narrative and network analysis concepts applicable in political science. The project built on the assumption that understanding how the political landscape was shaped by narratives could help to identify the political room for manoeuvre for climate actions within local government. Informed by a long line of stakeholders addressed climate change from multiple levels in Turkey, the project provided European decision makers with insight while assessing the contribution of local government in Turkey to stemming climate change.
Although climate policy diffusion is widely studied, we know comparatively little about how these global policies and the norms that surround them are used by various political actors seeking to advance their own agendas. In this article, we focus on how global climate norms are diffused differently at national and local scales and used to repoliticize or depoliticize climate change. We focus on the case of Turkey, which carries the stark contrast of showing willingness to achieve global climate goals in the international arena but less so in domestic politics and actions. The article employs a novel methodological approach, using topic modeling and network analyses on a range of climate change–related policy documents, and interviews with high-level officers, conducted at the three jurisdictional levels in Turkey. The findings reveal that although global climate policy is diffused to both national and local governments, it is used in different ways at these levels. The national government uses climate policy diffusion to depoliticize climate change by creating ad hoc climate coalitions and limiting local climate actions to seeking external climate-related funds. Meanwhile, the metropolitan municipalities replicate nationally adopted climate goals, whereas the district municipalities domesticate ambitious climate norms and repoliticize climate change via local climate entrepreneurs and civic action. The paper contributes to understanding how climate policy diffusion and norm domestication can have different political outcomes in achieving global climate goals and argues for increased policy attention to the strategic use of climate policy diffusion for the depoliticization of climate change.
in: Global Environmental Change, Vo. 81 (2023), 102699, July 2023 (online)