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− ESG–Agency scholarship highlights the fragmented, expanding, and complex forms of authority that prescribe, steer, and govern behaviour on environmental issues. − Agency scholarship on earth system governance covers interdisciplinary debates in four broad areas: the types of agents, the ways authority is exercised, the nature of agents’ influence, and the varieties of governance structures or architectures within which agents act.− Even with increasing scholarship into the fragmentation of authority and multiplication of the types agents to include nonstate, transnational, and subnational actors, states continue to be the centre of agency scholarship. Future research is needed on agency theory and the theoretical nature of relationships between actors and within differing geographic, economic, and political contexts.
− Agency is one of five core analytical problems in the Earth System Governance (ESG) Project’s research framework, which offers a unique approach to the study of environmental governance. − Agency in Earth System Governance draws lessons from ESG–Agency research through a systematic review of 322 peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2008 and 2016 and contained in the ESG–Agency Harvesting Database.− ESG–Agency research draws on diverse disciplinary perspectives with distinct clusters of scholars rooted in the fields of global environmental politics, policy studies, and socio-ecological systems. − Collectively, the chapters in Agency in Earth System Governance provide an accessible synthesis of some of the field’s major questions and debates and a state-of-the-art understanding of how diverse actors engage with and exercise authority in environmental governance.
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