CSSN is an international network of social science scholars focused on understanding the cultural and institutional dynamics of the political conflict over climate change.


Welcome to CSSN

CSSN Seeks to:

  • Coordinate, conduct, and support peer-reviewed research into the institutional and cultural dynamics of political conflicts around climate change,
  • Assist scholars to communicate the results of this research to policymakers, the public, and the wider climate change community, and
  • Conduct educational activities regarding the results of the research to inform the political, legal, and media communities.

Leah Stokes headshot

Featured Scholar: 

Leah Stokes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and affiliated with the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She works on energy, climate and environmental politics. Her book, “Short Circuiting Policy,” examines the role that utilities have played in promoting climate denial. Leah also contributed to the anthology, “All We Can Save.” She completed her PhD in Public Policy at MIT, received a masters from MIT’s Political Science Department, and an MPA in Environmental Science & Policy at Columbia University.

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The Latest

The hidden costs of energy and mobility: A global meta-analysis and research synthesis of electricity and transport externalities
CSSN Scholar Benjamin Sovacool and coauthors published a scholarly article examining the global hidden costs of energy. They find that while electricity systems and transport could cost trillions of dollars per year in externalities ($11.6 trillion/year and $13 trillion/year, respectively), energy efficiency has annual positive value of $312 billion per year.
Spin doctors have shaped the environmentalism debate for decades
CSSN Scholar Melissa Aronczyk shares the history of a key architect of "green" public relations work in a perspective piece for The Washington Post.
Rebooting a failed promise of climate finance
A new commentary article in Nature Climate Change by CSSN Executive Director J. Timmons Roberts and CSSN Scholar Stacy-ann Robinson et al. argues that the 2009 pledge to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 in climate finance to developing nations was not specific on what types of funding could count. Indeterminacy and questionable claims make it impossible to know if developed nations have delivered; as 2020 passes, opportunity exists to address these failures in a new pledge.

CSSN in Action

The Latest Research
The latest releases of research from CSSN Scholars around the world, advancing knowledge about climate conflicts and organizations obstructing action on climate change.
Our Working Groups
CSSN working groups bring together scholars with shared interests, for discussion and collaborative research. The working groups will provide input into the CSSN Research Agenda. The groups are self-organizing and directing, and we hope to provide seed funding.
Our Projects
CSSN scholars have several projects underway that evaluate the institutional and cultural dynamics of climate-related political conflicts.