Award Date

December 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Policy and Leadership

First Committee Member

Emma Bloomfield

Second Committee Member

Helen Neill

Third Committee Member

Rebecca Rice

Fourth Committee Member

Constancio Arnaldo

Number of Pages



On December 12, 2015, the Paris Agreement was officially ratified by 196 sovereign entities. This treaty represents a global call to action to ameliorate the impact of human activities on our environment, and it creates a means of cooperation through financial support and transparent industrial practices with the goal of promoting accountability across the world. This treaty and the discourse surrounding it present fertile ground for the academic understanding of persuasive practices in policy-making. By examining the rhetorical implications of the Paris Agreement as a global policy, scholars can gain new insight about the communities represented in the conversation as well as the power dynamics involved in the process. I argue that the Paris Agreement employs rhetorical frames that give voice to particular communities and results in a repackaging of imperialist, financial frameworks. I propose that the language and discourse used to construct this treaty showcases a series of strategies used to demarcate which communities have voice throughout this policy-making process. I examine this process through the theoretical lens of both voice and Interorganizational Authority (IA). The main themes analyzed in this dissertation are (1) the establishing of economic frames through “development” narratives, (2) the rhetorical construction of “leadership” within collaboration, and (3) the complexities of defining “vulnerability” in the context of a policy problem. I seek to further academic understanding of these dynamics by conducting a rhetorical analysis of the Paris Agreement as a text as well as examining U.S. Congressional and Presidential discourse surrounding the Agreement as an example of how one member party (that has fluctuated between joining and leaving the Agreement) conceptualizes its participation.


Development; Environmental Policy; Paris Agreement; Policy-making; Rhetoric; Voice


Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Law | Public Policy | Rhetoric and Composition

File Format


File Size

866 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit