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IPBES between Theory and Practice: How weighted concepts travel

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  • UserAlice Vadrot
  • ClockTuesday 25 October 2016, 13:00-14:00
  • HouseSeminar Room.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr. Chris Sandbrook.

The aim of this paper is twofold: Firstly, it wishes to explore the emergence of the term “biocultural diversity” and its political implications in international biodiversity politics and policies. Secondly, by doing so, it aims to understand the particularities of international science-policy interfacing bodies in contemporary environmental politics through an exploration of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and its fourth Plenary held in February 2016. Our analysis starts with the observation that the use of particular terms in multilateral negotiations activates a particular constellation of reactions from the participants present, reigniting past struggles and contestations. By analysing the way in which the term “biocultural diversity” structured the reactions of delegates negotiating the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) of the pollination assessment of the IPBES , we want to explore how particular semi-scientific terms in international environmental governance de-stabilise and re-stabilise the distribution of argumentative power in particular ways. In order to theoretically ground this observation, we introduce the notion of “weighted concepts”, which the paper further elaborates as a methodological innovation in Global Environmental Policy.

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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