3 years ago

Lessons from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on inclusiveness across geographies and stakeholders

There have been many calls in policy and academia for more inclusiveness in science-policy interfaces, but there is as yet insufficient clarity as to what such inclusiveness means and how to achieve it in the context of international organisations. This paper analyses how inclusive the IPCC is across geographies and stakeholders. Building on the distinction between access and active participation, it examines the involvement of developing countries and NGOs in the Panel’s assessment process. The analysis shows that more inclusive institutional set-ups in international science-policy organisations do not automatically lead to greater credibility, salience and legitimacy of knowledge production processes (Mitchell et al., 2006). For instance, inclusive access does not per se guarantee active participation as the latter depends on a variety of factors including resources and the capacity of actors to engage. Furthermore, in institutional contexts the idea of inclusiveness is necessarily subject to operational interpretations. How these interpretations relate to the representativeness of those who participate in the process affects the relevance of knowledge to its users’ needs. Finally, there are political elements to inclusiveness as more powerful actors may be unwilling to renegotiate the balance of power to expand access to stakeholders. The paper concludes that these nuances should be taken into account in the IPCC and other international science-policy institutions. It also urges the Panel to address the developing country participation gap and explore institutional avenues for expanding access to non-state stakeholders in order to increase the credibility, salience and legitimacy of its processes and shift to solutions-oriented assessments.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1462901117303702

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