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WIREs Clim Change
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Collective climate action and networked climate governance

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Scholarship in International Relations has witnessed that the traditional concept of hierarchically organized global climate governance is joined by a network model of decentralized governance, which involves multiple actors. New actors performing networked climate governance include national governments, subnational organizations like cities, international organizations, corporations, epistemic communities, and civil society organizations. An insightful literature on networked climate governance has advanced our conceptual understanding of this empirical phenomenon. In parallel, rapidly growing research in psychology, sociology, economics, and related disciplines sheds light on factors that contribute to individuals’ willingness to engage in collective climate action. This article reviews these seemingly disparate strands of literature and aims to build bridges between them. We focus on the factors underlying individuals’ decisions to participate in local‐level climate initiatives—or grassroots organizations—including, for example, renewable energy cooperatives. Such initiatives are increasingly important parts of networked climate governance. Thus, networked governance can be understood as an opportunity structure for collective climate action, which may in turn influence citizens’ decisions to participate. Given the urgency to address climate change, this approach adds a critical novel perspective to on‐going debates about effective governance arrangements. WIREs Clim Change 2017, 8:e440. doi: 10.1002/wcc.440

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