Reducing Air Pollution in Europe - A study of boundaries between science and policy
MNP senior scientist Willemijn Tuinstra obtained her doctorate at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, with this thesis.
This thesis explores the communication process between science and policy actors in assessment processes in the field of air quality policy in Europe. It focuses on the boundaries between science and policy and on the processes that shape assessments. It uses a concept of effectiveness of scientific assessments in policy processes in terms of credibility, legitimacy and relevance, in combination with the concept of “boundary work”. The thesis compares two cases referring to different policy settings in air quality policy making in Europe. One is set in the framework of the United Nations Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). The other is set in the context of the work of the European Commission within the EU and discusses the preparatory work for the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution. The analysis of the two cases shows that knowledge produced within the CLRTAP process and the institutional setting in which this knowledge production takes place cannot be separated from each other: they are co-produced. In the CAFE process especially in the beginning of the process boundary work took place in the negotiation on roles and identities of “experts” and “stakeholders” and the scope of certain groups. Furthermore the thesis concludes that, the framing of the problem implies what kind of science and what kind of data apply as relevant. It is important to acknowledge differences in perception or framing of air pollution issues to be able to understand different priorities. This will improve the communication between the different groups in the science-policy interface.