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WP7. Environment

Climate and environmental changes represent key challenges for the European Union, and to strengthen Europe’s position in the global context it is decisive that scientific collaborations be developed. Environmental monitoring, the observation –remotely and globally– of climate changes is key to gaining understanding and moreover, capacity for action. But monitoring is not value-free, nor a passive act of perception and fact-gathering. It is embedded in social and political contexts that shape both form and usage. If looked at in this new way, environmental monitoring offers a unique window into how diplomacy and science work together and can produce political action. WP7 intends to trace how environmental monitoring has long been an important resource for science diplomacy precisely because it challenges the notion of fixed boundaries between scientists and diplomats, and between the natural world and international affairs. Understanding its workings in the past and the present can lead to an assessment of how it might be made more effective in the future.

A rich academic literature has been dedicated to the analysis of how science and politics are coproduced (Miller, 2004) in environmental global politics and climate regime (Aykut & Dahan, 2015, Dahan & Guillemot, 2015), specifically on the role of central scientific institutions such as the IPCC (Beck et al., 2014), and of instruments such as models (Hastrup & Skrydstrup, 2013), and their tendency to produce globalism (Hulme, 2010). WP7 goes beyond the state of the art by taking a historical and international comparative perspective on the specific activities of monitoring. With its focus on the Arctic region, it proposes an original reflection about the tension created by regional monitoring of global problems.