Clashing strategic cultures and climate policy
with Ceronsky, Obersteiner and Yamagata, Climate Policy, 4:4, 347-357, 2005.
Keywords: Climate policy / International negotiations / Kyoto Protocol / Power and weakness / Terrorism / Transatlantic divide
Kagan (2002) argues that the different responses of Europeans and Americans to major strategic and international challenges is not simply due to differences in the current administrations, but rather results from (i) a power gap and (ii) differing ideologies. This article applies Kagan’s theory to climate policy, employing terrorism policy as a point of comparison. We argue that the power gap between Europe and America is unable to explain the differences in climate policy. In contrast, the ideology gap may indeed have some explanatory value. Furthermore, we argue that one additional feature is critical – the costs and benefits imposed by climate change and terrorism prevention, and the process by which such costs and benefits are evaluated, differ between America and Europe.