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Scientists in Multilateral Diplomacy. The case of the Members of the IPCC Bureau

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posted on 2023-10-09, 07:29 authored by Kari De Pryck, Adèle Gaveau

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.