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Knowledge for environmental governance: probing science–policy theory in the cases of eutrophication and fisheries in the Baltic Sea
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8536-373X
University of Gothenburg.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, ISSN 1523-908X, E-ISSN 1522-7200, Vol. 19, no 6, p. 769-782Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How science and policy interact has been a major research focus in the International Relations (IR) tradition, using the epistemic community (EC) concept, as well as in the alternative perspective of Science and Technology Studies (STS). Should science be autonomous and as apolitical as possible in order to ‘speak truth to power’, as suggested by EC or should the inevitable entanglement of science and politics be accepted and embraced so as to make advice more conducive to negotiating the explicit travails of political decision-making as suggested by STS? With this point of departure, we compare similarities and differences between science–policy interactions in the issue areas of eutrophication and fisheries management of the Baltic Sea. To examine how knowledge is mobilised, the concepts of ‘uncertainty’ and ‘coherence’ are developed, drawing on both EC and STS thinking. We then reflect on the explanatory value of these approaches in both cases and discuss how a separation of science and policy-making in the pursuit of achieving scientific consensus leads to ineffectual policies. Drawing on STS thinking, we urge for a re-conceptualisation of coherence in order to accommodate a more reflexive practice of science–policy interactions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 19, no 6, p. 769-782
Keyword [en]
Science–policy theory, Baltic Sea, environmental governance, epistemic communities, Science and Technology Studies
National Category
Political Science Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Studies; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-31972DOI: 10.1080/1523908X.2017.1286575ISI: 000417640100014Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-850118448982-s2.0-85011844898Local ID: 512/42/2012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-31972DiVA, id: diva2:1072081
Projects
Cooperating for sustainable regional marine governance – the case of fisheries and nutrient runoff
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 211-2014-595Swedish Research Council Formas, 211-2013-1282The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 512/42/2012
Available from: 2017-02-07 Created: 2017-02-07 Last updated: 2018-04-05Bibliographically approved

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Saunders, Fred P.Gilek, Michael

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