Inside and outside the climate negotiations: Contrasting networks of conference diplomacy reporting and media perception

Castro, Paula; Kammerer, Marlene (22 October 2019). Inside and outside the climate negotiations: Contrasting networks of conference diplomacy reporting and media perception (Unpublished). In: WTI Brown Bag Seminar. Bern. 22.10.2019.

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Given the global nature of climate change, prevalent free-riding incentives, and ongoing contestations between the Global South and North, understanding the factors that foster international cooperation in this field is crucial. The negotiations around the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are the main forum in which global agreements to fight climate change are debated. However, partly due to the inability of this multilateral process to reach solutions, and to growing recognition of the complexity of the challenge, climate change has begun to be addressed across multiple channels outside the official negotiations. In addition, the press plays a key role in reporting on climate-related political events and thus portraying them to the broader public, possibly also influencing the political process itself. So far, there is scant research into the potential similarities, differences and interrelationships between the UNFCCC negotiations and how climate diplomacy is portrayed by the media. This study takes a first systematical step in this direction.

We expect reporting by the press is biased by a focus on key large global players, while the negotiations also encompass small and vulnerable countries. In addition, we expect that interactions inside the negotiation rooms are driven by coalitions of like-minded countries, while such groups are less important in diplomatic interactions as reported by the press. Furthermore, outside cooperation may help to pave the way for more cooperative negotiations. Therefore, we should see that more cooperative UNFCCC meetings tend to follow a period of increased cooperation in the real world, or that groups of countries that cooperate in the real world also increase their cooperation within the negotiations.

To explore these patterns, we rely on two novel datasets. The first one records agreements and disagreements between country dyads at the UNFCCC negotiations, hand-coded from summaries of the negotiations published between 1995 and 2013 in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin. The second one is based on automated text coding of press releases, and contains information on cooperative and conflictive climate-related diplomatic interactions between country dyads between 1995 and 2015. We use a combination of descriptive statistics and dynamic social network analysis to investigate the data.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Kammerer, Marlene


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Jack Kessel Baker

Date Deposited:

24 Apr 2020 18:07

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:37




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