Date of Award

6-1-2014

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Public Affairs/International Relations

First Advisor

Maria Ivanova

Second Advisor

J. Samuel Barkin

Third Advisor

Margaret P. Karns

Abstract

Science-policy interfaces, mechanisms for facilitating selective and bi-directional exchange of information between scientific and policymaking communities, have grown in importance for the field of global environmental governance. This paper investigates traits of strong science-policy interfaces, finding consensus in the literature that four are of particular importance: procedures that encourage co-production of knowledge, the incorporation of interdisciplinary perspectives, mechanisms for coping with uncertainty, and long-term platforms for making decisions of science-policy. The thesis uses these traits to engage in a structured, focused case study of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United Nations Environment Programme's Global Environment Outlook process. A comparative assessment of these case studies finds that these four traits are not adequate to determine the strength of a science-policy interface, and that instead the demands of particular issues requires interfaces that are tailored to the needs of individual cases, rather than a general set of rules for any science-policy interface.

Comments

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