Enabling the IPBES conceptual framework to work across knowledge boundaries

Dunkley, R. , Baker, S., Constant, N. and Sanderson-Bellamy, A. (2018) Enabling the IPBES conceptual framework to work across knowledge boundaries. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 18(6), pp. 779-799. (doi: 10.1007/s10784-018-9415-z)

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Abstract

The IPBES conceptual framework (CF) serves an instrumental value to translate usable knowledge into policy across spatial scales, alongside a normative function to engage diverse knowledge systems, promoting inclusivity and enhancing legitimacy. It has been argued that the CF operates as a boundary object, a communication and organisation tool for those working across diverse knowledge systems, designed to help them reach shared goals. The paper focuses on this claim, exploring the three core characteristics of a boundary object: interpretive flexibility, material and organisational structure, and the recognition of dissention. We suggest that too much emphasis is placed within the CF upon interpretive flexibility, whilst meeting information needs and the work requirements of all individuals, groups and communities who use the CF are overlooked. By forcing consensus, the IPBES CF ignores the critical dimensions of a boundary object. We argue that embracing the full characteristics of a boundary object will enable the IPBES to support knowledge coproduction and translation across the knowledge systems, better achieving its goal of providing policy advice.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dunkley, Dr Ria
Authors: Dunkley, R., Baker, S., Constant, N., and Sanderson-Bellamy, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1567-9764
ISSN (Online):1573-1553
Published Online:21 September 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 18(6):779-799
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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