38.4 Does science matter? The dynamics of science, policy and citizens in international environmental governance

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 9:45 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Rolf LIDSKOG , Department of sociology, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
Göran SUNDQVIST , Centre for tecnology, innovation and culture, Olso university, Oslo, Norway
There is today an urgent need to better understand how transboundary environmental problems are and can be regulated. Despite that international environmental governance has received increased attention by social scientists, it is still a field that is characterised by diverging approaches to a large extent developing in isolation from each other. Approaches within International Relations (IR) and Science and Technology Studies (STS) give different answers on how international environmental regulation is shaped; important factors and causal relations that explain the configuring of this regulation. Although convergence between them is neither possible nor desirable, cross-fertilization is necessary to improve the theoretical understanding of international environmental governance.

This paper takes a first step in this, by evaluating perspectives and findings from three different approaches; that of regime theory (Oran Young), that of epistemic communities (Peter M Haas) and that of science and technology studies (Sheila Jasanoff), We find that important social-scientific findings on the interrelations and dynamics between science, policy and citizens have not yet been included in a sufficient way, not least in terms of how they mutually influence each other. In particular, we will explore how state interests to expert knowledge can be related in the formation of trusted and legitimate international cooperation and shaping of international environmental governance.