Techniques of assessment and the politics of abstraction: Representations and realities in socio-ecological systems

Organised by Knowledge Technology and Innovation

Thu 19 November 2015 12:30 to 13:30

Venue Leeuwenborch, gebouwnummer 201
Room C083

Todd Crane (ILRI)

Scientific assessments of socio-ecological systems are becoming mainstays in guiding responses to global environmental change. The environmentality literature emphasizes the institutional architecture of emergent science-policy regimes and how scientific research is used in political settings, creating new modes of governance and subjectivities. However, there has been relatively little attention to domain-level socio-ecological assessments as socially produced technologies. Todd will analyze assessment technologies in three domains: vulnerability assessment, ecosystem services assessment, life-cycle assessment. Using conceptualization, operationalization, and institutionalization as analytical lenses, each case illustrates ways that scientific choices simplify complex socio-ecological relationships with implications for both governance practices and subjectivities. Todd will explore the possibility for assessments to be more inclusive of diverse social values and practices, enabling more empowering subjectivities. This will be a friendly encounter between Todd and Harro Maat (KTI)

Todd Crane is a Climate Adaption Scientist at ILRI.