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Research projects

Do citizens matter? The policy-science-citizen dynamics in governing transboundary environmental problems. The case of climate change, biodiversity loss and air pollution

About this project

Project information

Project status



Rolf Lidskog

Research subject

Whereas scientific knowledge is widely recognized as an essential element of environmental standards-setting and policy-making, there is simultaneously a recognition that this regulation needs also to be trusted by the public in order to be effective. Researchers have claimed that in international environmental matters, citizens are a missing link that is rarely recognized. This observation constituted the starting point for this project, which analyses how international regimes understand and approach citizen involvement. Scientific bodies (boundary organizations) within three different environmental regimes are investigated: climate change, biodiversity loss and air pollution. The empirical material consists of written material from the scientific bodies and interviews with representatives of these bodies. Guiding research questions are: Which roles and functions are assigned to citizens? What kind of citizen involvement is aimed for and to what purpose? What similarities and differences are observable between the three regimes regarding the configuration of citizen-science policy relationships? This project will provide important knowledge on how environmental governance enables public involvement in the regulation of transboundary environmental issues; contributing to current discussions within the European Union on how to develop socially robust – efficient, relevant and legitimate – regulation.

Research funding bodies

  • Örebro University