What do we still not know about the IPCC?

Kari De Pryck (University of Geneva)
Tommaso Venturini (École Normale Supérieure Lyon)
Jasmine Livingston (Lund University)
Encounters between people, things and environments
Cavendish Lecture Theatre (Faraday Complex)
Start time:
26 July, 2018 at 11:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel explores new research directions on the IPCC, focussing on how, facilitating the meeting between the scientific and political debates, the organisation allows various political actors to play an active role in the consolidation of scientific consensus: 'politics is science by other means'.

Long abstract:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a well-known institution producing assessments on climate knowledge. It is considered as a model of international expertise because of its 'innovative' design, in terms of science-policy interface and assessing procedures. The IPCC has triggered much scholarly interest and in 2010 it became the object of an important paper by Hulme and Mahony. The article 'What do we know about the IPCC' was the first review of the literature on the organisation. The authors highlighted the challenges faced by the organisation in maintaining geographical and disciplinary balance, preserving legitimacy and credibility, communicating (un)certainties, and affecting knowledge production and decision-making. Despite the continued production of scholarly work on the IPCC, much remains to be known. While the 'scientific' component of the organisation has been the object of much research, its 'intergovernmental' nature remains understudied. The hybridity of the IPCC is acknowledged, but the literature often attributes a secondary role to the governments and underrepresents the political functions of the organisation. Furthermore, among the Working Groups, WG I and to some extent WG II have received more attention than WG III, in which mitigation policies are assessed. We invite contributions discussing the meetings that the IPCC facilitates between scientific debates and international diplomacies at different scales. The panel will discuss new research directions aimed at getting politics back into IPCC studies, in the context of increasing doubts about the effectiveness of GEAs.