Overview of political economy analysis frameworks in the area of climate governance and key issues to consider. K4D Helpdesk Report 1014, Institute of Development Studies - Price (2021)


For several years, there have been calls for greater attention to political economy in tackling climate change and development outcomes. This rapid review argues that political economy analysis is important as it can be used to assess the factors that may enable or constrain the implementation of climate change policies and actions and sustain political commitment. It notes that frameworks can guide the process of political economy analysis, identifying relevant stakeholders, their incentives and motives, and other structural factors. This review summarises several such frameworks specifically aimed at climate governance issues developed in recent years. It notes that some of these also include useful guidance and steps on the implementation of the framework. The review focuses strictly on the academic and non-governmental organisation literature around political economy analyses in relation to climate change. It finds that most political economy analysis frameworks for climate governance include the assessment of structural and institutional elements, but ideas and narratives are also important factors. Some of the specific (but common) climate issue dimensions in the frameworks identified include: the evidence base; policy framework; awareness and understanding of stakeholders; political commitment; participation and influence of key stakeholders; institutional capacity; finance and investment in climate action. The review also identifies several recommendations for applying political economy frameworks in practice.