The Power of Social Networks: How the UNFCCC Secretariat Creates Momentum for Climate Education
Abstract

Despite the relevance of education-specific negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the influential role of the secretariat therein, research in this area is still scarce. We contribute to closing this research gap by exploring how the UNFCCC secretariat becomes involved in and has latent influence on the education-specific debates surrounding global climate conferences and the related information exchange on Twitter. Our analysis extends previous findings by combining theories and methods in novel ways. Specifically, we apply social-network theory and derive data from participant observations and Twitter, which enables us to analyze the role and influence of the UNFCCC treaty secretariat within education-specific negotiations. We find that the secretariat increases its influence by strategically establishing links to actors beyond the negotiating parties and show that it occupies a central and influential position within the education-specific communication networks in UNFCCC negotiations.


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