Bulletin n. 1/2017
June 2017
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Kailis Alexandros
    The influential role of consensual knowledge in international environmental agreements: negotiating the implementing measures of the Mediterranean Land-Based Sources Protocol (1980)
    in International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics , Volume 17, Issue 2, April ,  2017 ,  295-311
    The generation of consensual scientific knowledge significantly influences the development, evolution and outcome of international environmental negotiations. The impact of consensual science on global environmental policy-making is determined, inter alia, by a number of multidimensional factors. Some of these factors are closely associated with the nature and content of the usable scientific knowledge base. This article introduces the concept of gradated scientific validity and demonstrates how different types and aspects of consensual scientific information affect variously the negotiation process of international environmental agreements. Drawing on the negotiation of the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean against Pollution from Land-Based Sources (1980), it shows that the thorough examination and in-depth analysis of the content and basic characteristics of the available scientific knowledge play a pivotal role in the elaboration and formulation of effective implementing measures of an environmental agreement. It is argued that the prominence of consensual science and subsequently its influence on environmental negotiations are substantially determined by the dynamic role of two interrelated variables of gradated scientific validity: the high or low degree of consensus in relation to the significance and value of the provided scientific information (degree of consensus), and the expanding or narrow scientific consensus on distinct underlying aspects of a negotiating problem, including its causes, extent and consequences (content of consensus). This article indicates that the extensive analysis of the nature, content and distinct characteristics of a consensual knowledge base lays the groundwork for comprehensively understanding the role of consensual science in the negotiation and implementation of an international environmental agreement.
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