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Enabling the IPBES conceptual framework to work across knowledge boundaries

Author

Listed:
  • Ria Dunkley

    () (University of Glasgow)

  • Susan Baker

    (Cardiff University)

  • Natasha Constant

    (Cardiff University
    University of Venda)

  • Angelina Sanderson-Bellamy

    (Cardiff University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ria Dunkley & Susan Baker & Natasha Constant & Angelina Sanderson-Bellamy, 2018. "Enabling the IPBES conceptual framework to work across knowledge boundaries," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 18(6), pages 779-799, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ieaple:v:18:y:2018:i:6:d:10.1007_s10784-018-9415-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s10784-018-9415-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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