A week ago, I defended my PhD at the Ecole des Mines de Paris, France. The committee was composed of Pascale Trompette, Giorgio Blundo, Andrew Barry, Christophe Bonneuil, and Fabian Muniesa who had been my supervisor at the Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation (cf. picture).
Below is a brief description of the PhD entitled "Carbon Geopolitics. International Climate Action and the Problem of Tropical Deforestation".
The thesis explores the components of concerted action at an international scale by focusing on how the problem of CO2 emissions attributed to tropical deforestation is handled in climate change negotiations. The constraint faced by actors is as follows: interventions led by a diversity of actors across the world need to be coordinated, in the pursuit of an objective agreed by all states represented at the United Nations whose sovereignty must be respected. Such process builds on operations that can be analyzed from the viewpoint of carbon geopolitics. Some of these operations are related to the spatial extension and the liberal and quantified dimensions of the enterprise. Decision-making at an international level must be organized, comparable carbon measurement methods must be created and incentive-based redistribution systems must be designed. Other operations are specific to the entities concerned by the treated phenomenon, so-called developing countries. The weakness of their technical equipment must be acknowledged, so-called bad governance in their administrations must be dealt with and their civil society must be listened to. The approach developed here is grounded in science and technology studies, a domain that has recently focused on the construction of markets and decision-making. Based on a multisite investigation, the thesis examines a set of problems characteristic of concerted action at an international scale: international decision-making, project-based action, countries' preparation, the valuation of correct measures, trust-making in economic relationships and the production of consensus. It proposes to call international adjustment the tentative and fragile process through which the interest for climate protection of an international collective is maintained.