Making influence visible: Innovating ethnography at the paris climate summit

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26 Scopus citations


Although Indigenous Peoples make significant contributions to global environmental governance and were prominent actors at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit, COP21, they remain largely invisible in conventional, mainstream, and academic accounts of COP21. In this article, we adopt feminist collaborative event ethnography to draw attention to often marginalized and unrecognized actors and help make visible processes that are often invisible in the study of power and influence at sites of global environmental governance. Specifically, we integrate current approaches to power from international relations and political ecology scholarship to investigate how Indigenous Peoples, critical actors for solving global environmental challenges, access, navigate, and cultivate power at COP21 to shape global environmental governance. Through conceptual and methodological innovations that illuminate how Indigenous Peoples overcome structural and spatial barriers to engagement, this article demonstrates how attention to the politics of representation through pluralistic approaches to power can help expand the repertoire of possibilities for advancing global environmental governance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-60
Number of pages23
JournalGlobal Environmental Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Political Science and International Relations


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