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Revisiting the urban politics of climate change

Bulkeley, H.A.; Betsill, M.M.

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M.M. Betsill


In our 2005 paper, Rethinking Sustainable Cities, we made a case for the increasing significance of climate change in the urban politics of sustainability. Taking a multilevel governance perspective, we argued that the ‘urban’ governance of climate protection was not confined to a local arena or to the actions of the state, but rather was orchestrated through the interrelations between global, national and local actors across state/nonstate boundaries. We revisit these arguments and examine their validity in the light of the rapidly changing landscape of urban responses to climate change and the growing academic literature in this field. We consider in turn: the ways in which climate change is shaping urban agendas; the utility of multilevel governance perspectives for understanding this phenomenon; and the extent to which we can identify a ‘new’ politics of urban climate change governance and its consequent implications for the development of theory and practice in this field.


Bulkeley, H., & Betsill, M. (2013). Revisiting the urban politics of climate change. Environmental Politics, 22(1), 136-154.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2013
Deposit Date Feb 28, 2013
Publicly Available Date Apr 29, 2014
Journal Environmental Politics
Print ISSN 0964-4016
Electronic ISSN 1743-8934
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 1
Pages 136-154
Keywords Urban governance, Climate change, Multilevel governance, Politics, Transition.


Accepted Journal Article (336 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Bulkeley, H.A. and Betsill, M.M. (2013) 'Revisiting the urban politics of climate change.', Environmental politics., 22 (1). pp. 136-154 as published in the Environmental politics 2013 © Taylor & Francis, available online at:

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