Ten days to chapter two

Bridge in Worcester College

By the end of this month, I am to submit the second chapter of my thesis. On “problem identification and investigation” it will detail the scientific processes that led to the Stockholm Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Largely because of the sheer scale of the latter effort, it is a more difficult thing to pin down, especially in a reasonably concise way. If someone knows of an article or chapter that provides a neat scientific history of the climate change debate, UNFCCC, and Kyoto, I would appreciate being pointed in that direction.

On the theoretical side, the chapter will examine the ways in which phenomena in the world are categorized as ‘problems’ or not. I am also going to examine the role of existing bureaucratic structures in determining if and how scientific research in undertaken. There, the contrast between the American and Canadian approaches to dealing with POPs should be illustrative.

About 7,000 words long, this chapter will be one of the three pillars upon which the thesis as a whole will succeed or fail. As such, I am understandably anxious to do as good a job on it as can be managed, given the limitations on how much I can actually read and remember. My biggest source of anxiety remains the thought that I haven’t done enough research to speak authoritatively on the subject. Finishing the Litfin and Bernstein books is thus the first order of business, for the next few days. To that end, I should resume my ‘peripatetic and caffeinated’ reading strategy.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

2 thoughts on “Ten days to chapter two”

  1. There are some good environment talks in the coming week:

    “Deadly Delays: Climate Change and Future Generations”
    Professor Henry Shue, Dept. of Politics and International Relations, Merton College
    Monday Feb 19th 12:30-1:30pm pm, Fraenkel Room, Corpus Christi College
    Organiser: Environmental Law Discussion Group

    All Welcome! Please RSVP to cinnamon.carlarne@law.ox.ac.uk if you want a sandwich!

    “The Economics of Climate Change”
    Professor Sir Nicholas Stern
    Wed 21st Feb, 5pm, Examination Schools, South School, High Street
    Organiser: James Martin 21st Century School

    “Linacre Lectures: The Politics of Risk and Radioactive Waste in the UK.”
    Professor Jacquie Burgess, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia.
    Thurs 22nd Feb, 5.30pm, OUCE Lecture Theatre, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road.
    Organiser: Linacre College and OUCE

  2. ‘Now or never’ for climate action

    All EU nations must back proposals to cut harmful emissions by 30% by 2020 or risk jeopardising the global effort to curb climate change, warn ministers.

    The call for unity among the 27-nation bloc was made by the UK Environment Secretary, David Miliband, and his Spanish and Slovenian counterparts.

    Failure to act would threaten efforts to get nations such as the US and China to agree to cap emissions, they said.

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