Expertise in the Nexus


Climate, energy, mobility and consumer policy are increasingly seen as interdependent policy fields. At least since the World Economic Forum in 2011 the “nexus” between policy fields is perceived as a central societal challenge. At the “nexus” between policy fields, actors are confronted with complex knowledge and coordination problems. For some years now, we can, however, observe new formats of joint cross-policy-field knowledge production and coordination, for instance participatory foresight procedures, interactive policy assessments, multistakeholder initiatives, and transdisciplinary platforms. These are designed to produce knowledge that is deemed both scientifically valid and politically useful in terms of coping with nexus challenges. The project focuses on comparing such forms of nexus expertise and coordination. On the basis of quantitative network analysis and interpretive comparative case studies the project pursues two main aims: First, it maps existing arrangements of nexus expertise in Germany in terms of organisational principles, main objectives, and structure of social relationships. Second, it uses this knowledge as basis for selecting relevant case studies for an in-depth analysis of how “nexus capabilities” vary between different types of expert arrangements. The project thus contributes to current debates in the “sociology of expertise” as well as in policy and governance studies. Moreover, the project serves as a basis to develop a “nexus-methodology” that can be used to showing the prospects of different arrangements of nexus expertise.