The research journey reflected in my doctoral thesis emerged from eighteen years of practice of (predominantly South African) climate mitigation policy from 2001 – 2016; from dissatisfaction with the pace and depth of progress, and a realisation that the South African climate mitigation policy community of practice approaches what we do in a particular way. Guided by a complex transdisciplinary methodology,  I explore this realm of ‘approach’, asking whether it is consequential for the decarbonisation policy agenda in South Africa, and considering complexity thinking as an alternative.

Through the thesis, I argue  that the policy approach is indeed a relevant site for climate mitigation policymakers to consider for making progress on our policy issue.  I also find that complexity and complex systems thinking offers an alternative approach with implications for both how and what we do across multiple dimensions.





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