Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

Constructing climate risk: how finance governs its relationship with the planet’s climate

Täger, Matthias (2022) Constructing climate risk: how finance governs its relationship with the planet’s climate. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

[img] Text - Submitted Version
Download (1MB)
Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004456


This thesis is driven by the question of how finance governs its relationship with the planet’s climate. Structuring this emergent governance experiment is a new type of risk: climate risk. Using Actor-Network Theory (ANT), this thesis problematises climate risk by tracing its construction. Theoretically, the thesis advances debates around the potentials and limits of ANT in the context of financial governance. It goes beyond ANT by formulating a wider conceptual approach to climate risk. Empirically, this research uncovers the genesis of a governance tool pivotal to the construction of climate risk: the disclosure framework developed by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The first paper traces the translation of climate risk from a contested claim into a fact leading to the creation of the TCFD. Novel to the literature, it foregrounds the critical role of face-to-face contact and proposes an extension of ANT’s conception of materiality to account for human interaction. The second paper follows the development of the TCFD’s global disclosure framework. Tracing shifting conflict lines, it draws into question conceptions of industry interest representation and argues for the need to take individuals’ personal interests seriously. The third paper focuses on one of the TCFD’s key recommendations: the conduct of climate scenario analysis. Advancing literatures on the modelling and imagination of futures, the paper argues that the process of designing global reference scenarios produced exclusionary imperatives. These imperatives constrain both the imagination of climate and financial catastrophes, and solution pathways. The final paper contextualises the thesis by proposing an integrative research agenda anchored in the Callonian concept of economization and thus calling for a sociology of climate risk. The thesis as a whole provides a forensic interrogation of the socio-technical politics of defining climate risk. Furthermore, it illuminates the limits and potentials of the climate risk frame and thus of finance’s role in the Anthropocene.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2022 Matthias Täger
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Sets: Departments > Finance
Supervisor: Perkins, Richard and Mason, Michael

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics