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CSSN Request for Proposals: Climate Change Politics Outside the United States and Canada

September 26, 2022

Request for Proposals for Social Science Research into the Structural, Political, and Institutional Dynamics of Climate Change Politics Outside the United States and Canada

The Climate Social Science Network, headquartered at Brown University, announces its interest in fostering research and other activities to enhance our understanding of the cultural, institutional, and political dimensions of climate change politics in nations outside the United States and Canada, especially in the Global South and non-Western countries.  This research is part of a two-year project with the aim of closing the gap between knowledge and action on climate change obstruction outside of the U.S. and Canada.  The period of the work will be from December 1, 2022 to September 30, 2024.

Proposals for the following types of projects are solicited:

  • Research to determine the historical activities of institutions that oppose action on climate change. This includes historical and archival research, as well as time series analyses of organizational data. This includes the role of the oil and gas sector, agricultural and forestry industries (including livestock, ethanol, farming), transportation (rail, automobile and air transport), coal and iron & steel production, and real estate sectors.
  • Empirical analysis of the role of public relations and law firms in creating and maintaining organized political opposition to climate change action.  Research on the impact of PR campaigns on the political process is desired.
  • Analysis of the roles and relationships between organizational actors in climate change politics, including management, finance, and other consultancies, think tanks, law firms, advocacy organizations, foundations, corporations, public relations and lobbying firms, and trade associations.
  • Examination of the role of finance actors such as banks, investment firms or insurance companies in fostering efforts to obstruct climate action, including greenwashing, establishing misleading ESG goals and climate action plans, and failure to hold institutions accountable for their actions.
  • Evaluation of the dynamics of media coverage of climate change, including an analysis of the role of public relations firms, trade organizations, media outlets, and other promotional activities in fostering different perspectives on climate change.

This letter solicits proposals from scholars in sociology, political science, public policy, geography, communications, or other interdisciplinary social science areas.  Proposals should focus outside of the U.S. and Canada.  More competitive proposals will focus on East and South Asia and Oceania; Latin America and Africa, the Near and Middle East, former Soviet Republics, and Turkey. It does not solicit research into individual or psychological perspectives on climate change, or public opinion polling.

Successful proposals will have scientifically sound research plans that are explicitly rooted in relevant social science theory and literature. Proposals will be evaluated using criteria of intellectual merit and their potential contribution to informing pragmatic and timely actions to address climate change.

Funding for seed grants with a range of $10,000-$25,000, and research grants of up to $50,000 is available for research projects. Applicants should submit a maximum five-page research proposal containing the following items:


Participating researchers, affiliations, nations

Abstract describing the overall project, time frame and budgetary requirements

Research Objectives

Intellectual Merit of the Proposed Research

Broader Political Importance

Proposed Budget and Schedule, including intermediate outputs

Indirect costs are prohibited; the approved indirect cost rate for this (RFP) is 0%.

This call for proposals is open to all members of the Climate Social Science Network. The application must be received by November 1, 2022.  Apply online:  https://forms.gle/Ai9EHEcQm8BUg4y18

Direct questions to: Timmons Roberts, Executive Director, CSSN timmons@brown.edu