Contesting Global Environmental Knowledge, Norms and Governance

Contesting Global Environmental Knowledge, Norms and Governance

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Through theoretical discussions and case studies, this volume explores how processes of contestation about knowledge, norms, and governance processes shape efforts to promote sustainability through international environmental governance.

The epistemic communities literature of the 1990s highlighted the importance of expert consensus on scientific knowledge for problem definition and solution specification in international environmental agreements. This book addresses a gap in this literature - insufficient attention to the multiple forms of contestation that also inform international environmental governance. These forms include within-discipline contestation that helps forge expert consensus, inter-disciplinary contestation regarding the types of expert knowledge needed for effective response to environmental problems, normative and practical arguments about the proper roles of experts and laypersons, and contestation over how to combine globally developed norms and scientific knowledge with locally prevalent norms and traditional knowledge in ways ensuring effective implementation of environmental policies. This collection advances understanding of the conditions under which contestation facilitates or hinders the development of effective global environmental governance. The contributors examine how attempts to incorporate more than one stream of expert knowledge and to include lay knowledge alongside it have played out in efforts to create and maintain multilateral agreements relating to environmental concerns.

It will interest scholars and graduate students of political science, global governance, international environmental politics, and global policy making. Policy analysts should also find it useful.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 12.7mm | 431g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 Maps; 3 Line drawings, black and white; 3 Tables, black and white; 5 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1138054739
  • 9781138054738

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

M. J. Peterson

Contestation in International Environmental Governance

Contention over Definitions of Relevant Scientific Knowledge

Contestation over Using Scientific and other Forms of Knowledge

Preview of Contents


Part I Contestation over Relevant Scientific Expertise

Chapter 2 Linking Scientific Knowledge and Multilateral Environmental Governance

Pamela Chasek

Bringing Science to the Table

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification: A Case Study in Four Rounds

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Improving the Scientific Basis for Policy Decision Making

What Have We Learned?


Chapter 3 Still Saving the Mediterranean? Expert Communities, Regionalization, and Institutional Change

Joerg Balsiger, Battistina Cugosi and Van de Veer

Experts in Regional Environmental Cooperation

The role of Epistemic Communities in Regional Environmental Cooperation

Regionalizing and Rescaling Mediterranean Environmental Governance

Regionalization and Rescaling via MAP and the Barcelona Convention

EU Roles in Regionalization and Rescaling

European Territorial Cooperation

The EU Macroregional Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Area

The MedPlan at Forty-something and Revisiting Saving the Mediterranean


Chapter 4 Measurement Practices and Evolutionary Global Institutions

Casey C. Stevens

Measurement, Contestation, and the Evolution of Institutions

The Cases: Measurements for Governance

The Human Development Index

Worldwide Governance Indicators

UNFCCC Measuring Emissions

Measurement and Governance Institutions

Measurement for Sustainable Development


Part II Contestation over the Uses of Expert and Lay Knowledge in Formulating Policy

Chapter 5 Global Transdisciplinary Science and Sustainable Development Governance

Norichika Kanie and Casey C. Stevens

Global Transdisciplinary Science

Transdisciplinary Science as a Tool in Global Governance for Sustainability

The Construction of Transdisciplinarity for the SDGs

The Prospects for Transdisciplinary Science


Chapter 6 Climate Change Denial in the United States and the European Union

Miranda Schreurs

The Paris Agreement

Climate Policy Debates in the USA

The Rise of Conservatism and Climate Skepticism and Denial

U.S. President Donald Trump's War on Climate Change Science and Policy

Public Opinion and Climate Skepticism in US Party Politics

Amplifying the Voices of Climate Skeptics: The Conservative Media

Climate Policy Debates in the European Union

Climate Change Denial in the European Union

Climate Change Denial among European Far Right Parties

The Implications of Increasingly Strong Climate Change Denial and Skepticism


Chapter 7 Science and Policy in the International Whaling Commission

Steinar Andresen

Whaling in the "Old Days": Continued Depletion

IWC Phase I (1946-mid 1960s): Continued Overexploitation

IWC Phase 2 (mid 1960s-mid 1970s): More Conservation, Lower Catches

IWC phase 3 (mid 1970s-mid 1990s): The Anti-Whaling Norm Swamps the Influence of Science

IWC 4 (mid-1990s-2017): More peaceful waters

Changing Contours of Contestation


Part III Contestation over the Uses of Expert and Lay Knowledge in Implementing Policy

Chapter 8 Stakeholder Access to Norm Validation: Whose Practices Count in Global International Relations?

Antje Wiener

Norms Research in International Relations

Practices: Contestation and Norm Validation

Normative Opportunity Structure

Norm Typology and Research Assumptions

The Outlook for Norm Alignment between Global and Local


Chapter 9 Global Conservation and Local Lore in a Post-Colonial Society: How Traditional Environmental Knowledge Shapes the Implementation of International Environmental Agreements on Protected Areas

Kemi Fuentes-George

Nonstate Actors' Participation in Environmental Governance

Regime Fragmentation and Complexity: A Landscape for Increased Contestation

Jamaica and Cockpit Country Governance: From Coalition to Contestation

Contestation Among Conservationists: Science and Culture

The Blue and John Crow Mountains: Biodiversity and Cultural Heritage

Managing Contestation: A (Relative) Success Story

Linking Local Lore and Scientific Surveys for Effective Conservation


Part IV Epistemic Communities and Contestation

Chapter 10 Reflections Contested Knowledge and Those Who Study It

Peter M. Haas

Epistemic Communities 1.0 Research Program

Epistemic Communities 2.0: Including Contestation

The Future of Knowledge and Contestation

Pedagogy about Epistemic Communities, Study as Practices

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About M. J. Peterson

M.J. Peterson earned her PhD at Columbia University and is Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst USA. Her research focuses on the workings of international organizations, multilateral governance of global commons areas, and technology. Her work has been published in Global Governance, International Organization, and Review of International Organizations.
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