Monday, 6 November 2017

Meeting “Nexus” Challenges: From Policy Connections to Political Transformations

Andrew Stirling, University of Sussex

Lunch Talk organized by the Research Group Science Policy

Diverse notions of “the nexus” are currently burgeoning in international environmental policy debates. The central idea is to address connections between starkly separated “policy silos” like food, water and energy. Issues of complexity, uncertainty, and social justice (lying at the heart of sustainability) have to be addressed. Expert analysis has much to contribute – but as an aid (not a driver) of decisions. Pressures to over-emphasize technical frameworks and simplistic “answers” should be resisted. Otherwise, there are dangers that crucial qualities of democratic deliberation, responsibility, and accountability will be eroded. Ambitions to address interlinked global challenges of sustainability are as much institutional and cultural as they are scientific and technological – requiring political at least as much as environmental transformation.

Andrew Stirling is a Professor in the Science Policy Research Unit, a codirector of the ESCR STEPS Centre at the University of Sussex. A fellow of the UK Academy of Social Science, he is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background in natural science, archaeology, anthropology, the environment and disarmament movements and has served on the board of Greenpeace as well as many science advisory bodies for the EU, UK and other governments and agencies.

Discussant: Holger Straßheim, Assistant Professor at the Humboldt University, Berlin and guest researcher at the WZB. His research focuses on governance, comparative public policy, public sector organizations and networks, and comparative welfare state research. He is interested in policy expertise, evidence-based policy and science-policy-society arrangements.

The event will be held in English with no translation into German. Beverages and light snacks will be provided.