Global environmental agreement-making: Upping the methodological and ethical stakes of studying negotiations

Hannah Hughes, Alice Vadrot*, Jen Iris Allan, Tracy Bach, Jennifer S. Bansard, Pamela Chasek, Noella Gray, Arne Langlet, Timo Leiter, Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya, Beth Martin, Matthew Paterson, Silvia Carolina Ruiz-Rodríguez, Ina Tessnow von Wysocki, Valeria Tolis, Harriet Thew, Marcela Vecchione Gonçalves, Yulia Yamineva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This perspective identifies how recent advances contribute to re-evaluating and re-constructing global environmental negotiations as a research object by calling into question who constitutes an actor and what constitutes a site of agreement formation. Building on this scholarship, we offer the term agreement-making to facilitate further methodological and ethical reflection. The term agreement-making broadens the conceptualisation of the actors, sites and processes constitutive of global environmental agreements and brings to the fore how these are shaped by, reflect and have the potential to re-make or transform the intertwined global order of social, political and economic relations. Agreement-making situates research within these processes, and we suggest that enhancing the methodological diversity and practical utility is a potential avenue for challenging the reproduction of academic dominance. We highlight how COVID-19 requires further adapting research practices and offers an opportunity to question whether we need to be physically present to provide critical insight, analysis and support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100121
JournalEarth System Governance
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Agreement-making
  • COVID-19
  • Ethics
  • Ethnography
  • Global environmental negotiations
  • Methodology
  • Social order

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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