Book launch: 'Long problems: climate change and the challenge of governing across time' with Prof Thomas Hale

03 June 2024

Portrait of Professor Thomas Hale

with Professor Thomas Hale
Associate Professor of Global Public Policy

Thomas Hale’s research explores how we can manage transnational problems effectively and fairly. He seeks to explain how political institutions evolve – or not – to face the challenges raised by globalisation and interdependence, with a particular em...

This event took place at the Blavatnik School of Government and was co-hosted by the Oxford Martin School.
Video credit: Blavatnik School of Government.

Event summary:
Join Professor Thomas Hale, Professor in Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, in conversation with leading thinkers and policymakers, for the launch of his new book Long Problems: Climate Change and the Challenge of Governing across Time, in which he outlines political strategies for tackling climate change and other “long problems” that span generations.

Climate change and its consequences unfold over many generations. Past emissions affect our climate today, just as our actions shape the climate of tomorrow, while the effects of global warming will last thousands of years. Yet the priorities of the present dominate our climate policy and the politics surrounding it. Even the social science that attempts to frame the problem does not theorise time effectively. In this pathbreaking book, Thomas Hale examines the politics of climate change and other “long problems.” He shows why we find it hard to act before a problem’s effects are felt, why our future interests carry little weight in current debates, and why our institutions struggle to balance durability and adaptability. With long-term goals in mind, he outlines strategies for tilting the politics and policies of climate change toward better outcomes.

Join Professor Hale for a book launch and discussion with leading experts Cat Zuzarte Tully, Managing Director of the School of International Futures, and Professor Jonathan Boston of Victoria University of Wellington.

To link theory and practice, the event will also feature a panel discussion with leading policymakers seeking to tackle long problems at different scales. We will hear from Councillor Charlie Hicks, Future Generations Champion, Oxfordshire County Council, Ms Jane Davidson, who, as Welsh Government Minister, spearheaded Wales’ world-leading legislation on future generations, and Ms Michèle Griffin, who is leading the organization of the United Nations Summit of the Future for the UN Secretary General in September 2024.