What REALLY happened in Copenhagen?

Danish Foreing Policy Yearbook 2010
Danish Foreing Policy Yearbook 2010

Remember the discussions as to what happened in Copenhagen, and this in anticipation of Cancun we posed ourselves the question what can be done to learn from recent experiences. This 25 page article is well written and formulated in such a way that the reporting is not so much a political positioning but rather a way to make space for a sober analysis.

It is an analysis of what went wrong in terms of Danish politics which did not heed the difference between EU specific types of negotiations and more complicated rules and procedures when operating at UN level with multiple actors involved. A key term to explain the failure is that the Danish government did not so much as facilitate dialogues between the different actors but tried to lead in the wish to gain in prestige. It was as well a failure of many components including what can be deemed prevailing conflicts between the rich and poor countries with both sides having often no good faith the other side will really uphold declared commitments. Above all the article outlines how complex a process is negotiation if there is the intention to arrive at a legally binding treaty. It shows how agendas may be co-opted by pro business think tanks who can network quite differently through such yearly events as the Economic Forum in Davos but still it takes a political trust to facilitate the coming together of all stake holders. Clearly we would need in a second step reconsider what artistic and other symbolic actions and manifestations can influence the negotiating process, if at all? So please take a look at this article and see if you can gain as much as I have out of reading it thoroughly.

“As COP16 kicks off, take a look at last years dramatic summit in icecold Copenhagen. What went wrong? Who were to blame? What was at stake? And most importantly: What can we learn? Read a 25-page article here, based on interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, negotiatiors, ministers etc. It was peer-reviwed and published in the respected Danish Foreing Policy Yearbook 2010”


Warmest regards from Athens,

by Hatto Fischer

By Sacha Kagan

Research Associate at the ISCO - Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization (ISKO - Institut für Soziologie und Kulturorganisation), Leuphana University Lueneburg, Sacha Kagan founded the International level of Cultura21, Network for Cultures of Sustainability, as well as the International Summer School of Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation (ASSiST). The focus of his research and cultural work lies in the trans-disciplinary field of arts and (un-)sustainability. Doctor in Philosophy (Leuphana University Lueneburg) with a thesis on the subject of culture, the arts and sustainability under the perspective of complexity ; M.A. in Cultural Economics (Erasmus University Rotterdam) ; and Graduate of Sciences Po Bordeaux (political sciences). For Cultura21, Sacha is also coordinating the eBooks series, the regular updates on our multi-lingual website, the English section of our webmagazine and the work of our Lueneburg-based interns.