Scientists in Multilateral Diplomacy. The case of the Members of the IPCC Bureau
Scientific experts have become structuring actors in global environmental governance.
They have put environmental problems on the agenda, facilitated the establishment
of multilateral agreements, and continue to provide the information to support
international policymaking. This paper, drawing on the literature on transnational
professionals, introduces the notion of ‘transnational diplomat-scientists’ to describe
a group of influential scientific experts that has risen to considerable power and
increasingly acts as diplomatic actors in environmental agreement-making processes.
Through qualitative methods and visual network analysis, we explore the case of the
ipcc Bureau members and discuss the professional profiles and multipositionality of
its members for the sixth assessment cycle (2015–2023). Strategically positioned at the
science-policy interface, these actors connect different disciplines and stakeholders at
different levels. Through such a positioning and their capacity to manage expectations
and facilitate compromises, diplomat-scientists play a crucial role in upholding the
authority of science in multilateral negotiations.