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Enabling the IPBES conceptual framework to work across knowledge boundaries

Dunkley, Ria ORCID:, Baker, Susan ORCID:, Constant, Natasha and Sanderson Bellamy, Angelina ORCID: 2018. Enabling the IPBES conceptual framework to work across knowledge boundaries. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 18 , pp. 779-799. 10.1007/s10784-018-9415-z

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 1567-9764
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 September 2018
Date of Acceptance: 15 September 2018
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 17:16

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