Scientific Assessments to Facilitate Deliberative Policy Learning

20 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2016

See all articles by Martin Kowarsch

Martin Kowarsch

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Jennifer Garard

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Pauline Riousset

Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IOEW)

Dominic Lenzi

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Marcel J. Dorsch

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Brigitte Knopf

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Jan-Albrecht Harrs

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Ottmar Edenhofer

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC); Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

Date Written: December 2016

Abstract

Putting the recently adopted global Sustainable Development Goals or the Paris Agreement on international climate policy into action will require careful policy choices. Appropriately informing decision-makers about longer-term, wicked policy issues remains a considerable challenge for the scientific community. Typically, these vital policy issues are highly uncertain, value-laden and disputed, and affect multiple temporal and spatial scales, governance levels, policy fields, and socioeconomic contexts simultaneously. In light of this, science-policy interfaces should help facilitate learning processes and open deliberation among all actors involved about potentially acceptable policy pathways. For this purpose, science-policy interfaces must strive to foster some enabling conditions: (1) “representation” in terms of engaging with diverse stakeholders (including experts) and acknowledging divergent viewpoints; (2) “empowerment” of underrepresented societal groups by co-developing and integrating policy scenarios that reflect their specific knowledge systems and worldviews; (3) “capacity building” regarding methods and skills for integration and synthesis, as well as through the provision of knowledge synthesis about the policy solution space; and (4) “spaces for deliberation”, facilitating direct interaction between different stakeholders, including governments and scientists. We argue that integrated, multi-stakeholder, scientific assessment processes — particularly the collaborative assessments of policy alternatives and their various implications — offer potential advantages in this regard, compared with alternatives for bridging scientific expertise and public policy. This article is part of a collection on scientific advice to governments.

Suggested Citation

Kowarsch, Martin and Garard, Jennifer and Riousset, Pauline and Lenzi, Dominic and Dorsch, Marcel J. and Knopf, Brigitte and Harrs, Jan-Albrecht and Edenhofer, Ottmar, Scientific Assessments to Facilitate Deliberative Policy Learning (December 2016). Palgrave Communications, Vol. 2, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2885805 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palcomms.2016.92

Martin Kowarsch (Contact Author)

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) ( email )

Torgauer Straße 12-15
Berlin, 10829
Germany

Jennifer Garard

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Torgauer Straße 12-15
Berlin, 10829
Germany

Pauline Riousset

Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IOEW)

Potsdamer Str. 105
Berlin, 10785
Germany

Dominic Lenzi

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Torgauer Straße 12-15
Berlin, 10829
Germany

Marcel J. Dorsch

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Torgauer Straße 12-15
Berlin, 10829
Germany

Brigitte Knopf

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) ( email )

Torgauer Straße 12-15
Berlin, 10829
Germany

Jan-Albrecht Harrs

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Torgauer Straße 12-15
Berlin, 10829
Germany

Ottmar Edenhofer

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) ( email )

P.O. Box 601203
14412 Potsdam, Brandenburg
Germany

Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Torgauer Straße 12-15
Berlin, 10829
Germany

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

Straße des 17
Juni 135
Berlin, 10623
Germany

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