21 Pages

Knowledge brokerage for sustainable development: an introduction

WithMichal Sedlačko

During the 1960s, environmental degradation and risks to quality of life and economic development became so prominent that a new policy area addressing the environment and sustainability emerged. At the global/international level a series of UN conferences have championed an overarching sustainable development agenda as well as a focus on specific issues such as climate change or poverty. Evidence-oriented framings of the shortcomings of policy-making come quite easily to environmental policy, in which administratively useful forms of scientific knowledge have played a prominent role since its institutionalization as a policy area. Policy-making is supposed to follow a technical or instrumental rationality, in which scientific knowledge has a privileged position. The growing interest in the concept of knowledge brokerage and related concepts is not surprising given the trends pushing policy towards stronger utilization of scientific findings, and science towards higher societal legitimacy.