Change in Global Environmental Politics: Temporal Focal Points and the Reform of International Institutions
Abstract: As wildfires rage, pollution thickens, and species disappear, the world confronts environmental crisis with a set of global institutions in urgent need of reform. Yet, these institutions have proved frustratingly resistant to change. Introducing the concept of Temporal Focal Points, Manulak shows how change occurs in world politics. By re-envisioning the role of timing and temporality in social relations, his analysis presents a new approach to understanding transformative phases in international cooperation. We may now be entering such a phase, he argues, and global actors must be ready to realize the opportunities presented. Charting the often colourful and intensely political history of change in global environmental politics, this talk—and the book it is based on—sheds new light on the actors and institutions that shape humanity's response to planetary decline.
Michael W. Manulak is an Assistant Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University. He is author of Change in Global Environmental Politics: Temporal Focal Points and the Reform of International Institutions (Cambridge University Press 2022). His research focuses on international organizations, multilateral diplomacy, Canadian foreign policy, global environmental politics, and Non-Proliferation. From 2015-2019, he served in the Government of Canada, mainly within the Department of National Defence, representing the government in proliferation security negotiations. His doctorate is from the University of Oxford.