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Scientific and Technical Advice for Global Governance

Governance
Institutions
UN
Knowledge
Global
INN310
Ina Tessnow-von Wysocki
University of Vienna
Silvia Carolina Ruiz Rodríguez
University of Vienna
Alice Vadrot
University of Vienna

Abstract

Scientific and Technical Advice for global governance has become a widely spread feature of policy-making, as visible in international organisations or for the creation and implementation of multilateral agreements. However, scientific advisory processes in global politics face two challenging tasks to provide knowledge. The first one is to respond to requests for inclusiveness, regarding geographical and ethnical representation, inter-disciplinarity, use of different knowledge systems, gender balance and stakeholders’ participation. The second challenge is to ensure the saliency, credibility and legitimacy of its advice (Cash et al. 2003; Mitchell et al., 2006). Scholars have studied the consequences of these pressures, including the adaptations undergone by advisory bodies in the context of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (Beck & Mahony, 2018; Hughes, 2015; Turnhout et al. 2012; Vadrot, 2014) and opened debates on different dimensions of knowledge-policy interfaces (Lidskog, & Sundqvist, 2015), as well as the provision of expertise (Eyal, 2019) and reception of scientific authority (Bijker, Bal & Hendriks, 2009). With experiences from a variety of existing scientific advisory processes and in the light of global governance’s wicked problems and emerging regimes, there is a need to (re-)consider characteristics of knowledge-policy interfaces, including membership and representation in expert groups and subsidiary scientific and technical bodies and address global inequalities and politics involved in their designs.

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