This study focuses on Arctic climate change. Choosing climate change as the issue to highlight was motivated by two factors. First, this in an area in which science and policy has been closely intertwined for some time and second there is a growing scholarship exploring this relationship. Moreover, it is an area where the core of knowledge production has been an important part of the global political debate. There is thus a larger research context in which to situate this specific study.
There are two rationales for choosing to focus on the Arctic. One is the increasing interest at the regional scale in climate impact assessment, thus it is especially pertinent to follow the first international regional climate impact assessment. What can it tell us about the potential and limitations of future regional climate impact assessments in relation to the global science and policy dynamics? In addition, the global-regional dimension connects to a growing discussion about the tensions between local and global perspectives in environmental governance and analytical themes focusing on the vertical interplay among environmental regimes.1 The second reason for choosing the Arctic is that it is increasingly described as a testing ground for innovative approaches to environmental governance. Moreover, the Arctic intergovernmental cooperation has a his
1 E.g. Cash and Moser, "Linking Global and Local Scales"; Young, The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change. Fit, Interplay, and Scale; Jasanoff and Long Martello, Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance.
tory of emphasizing knowledge production as a way of influencing policy.2 In addition, the unique features of the Arctic give the region a high symbolic value, which has previously played a role in relation to global environmental governance.3 From a climate science point of view, the Arctic is of interest because physical and biological processes in the region have a key role in understanding global climate dynamics. As well, climate change is expected to be more significant and more rapid here than in many other parts of the world.
In addition to these various circumstances that made Arctic climate change a fruitful case study, the choice was based on an opportunity to follow part of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) in real time. Furthermore, there was keen interest from the ACIA leadership to my initial query and their decision to allow me to participate in the process. Finally, choosing to focus on this region was connected to the fact that my own curiosity about the interplay between science and policy had been tweaked by my previous work in the Arctic.
Was this article helpful?