Governing Complexity: Recent Developments in Environmental Politics and Policy

Bridget K. Fahey, Sarah B. Pralle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Using a large sample of articles and books published between 2012 and 2015, this review shows the recent trends in environmental politics and policy scholarship. Environmental policy scholarship has embraced the concept of governance to explain the variety of actors and institutions that surround environmental problems and solutions. Scholars in the past three years used theories and methods to capture these governing dynamics in far-reaching and complicated issues like climate change. This article discusses recent patterns in the literature and demonstrates that new methods, recent theoretical focuses, and even the environmental issues covered by scholars reflect the field's acknowledgement that scholars can and should account for complexity in their work. However, the literature has neglected certain regions and processes, such as the developing world and policy feedback processes, leaving significant gaps in our understanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S28-S49
JournalPolicy Studies Journal
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Climate change
  • Environmental policy
  • Environmental politics
  • Governance
  • Multiple methods
  • Networks
  • Policy process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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