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CSSN Working Group

Climate Obstruction in Authoritarian and Non-Democratic States

Co-Chair: Ellie Martus, Griffith University

Co-Chair: Marianna Poberezhskaya, Nottingham Trent University


The non-democratic states differ in their sizes, geographical vulnerabilities, economic priorities and a range of social problems but they all have in common a noticeable restrictive presence of the state in all areas of life including climate change related policies and civil society actions (or a lack of them). The group’s missions are to explore the ways authoritarian and non-democratic states impact climate obstruction and to understand whether the political system itself can be an agent of obstruction. The working group will also explore the theoretical approaches to environmental governance in authoritarian regimes as well as the debates around the theoretical framework of authoritarian environmentalism. The working group brings together scholars who have been working with climate change topics within the restrictive political regimes over the past decades as well the new academics who are just discovering these theoretical and practical links. As authoritarian and non-democratic states are not exclusive to one particular geographical location, the group includes scholars studying a variety of countries, including Central Asia, Russia, China, Latin America, Middle East and so on.


List of Objectives:

  • Support research that aims to understand the impact of the restrictive political regimes on climate obstruction
  • Connect scholars working on climate change related topic with authoritarian and non-democratic countries
  • Encourage exchange of experience conducting research on climate obstruction in authoritarian and non-democratic countries
  • Understand the way non-state actors contribute to or overcome climate obstruction in authoritarian and non-democratic states
  • To accumulate knowledge of the successful strategies of overcoming climate obstruction in restrictive societies
  • To collect information and produce recommendations for the outside stakeholders on how to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and promote climate awareness in authoritarian and non-democratic states