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Biermann, Frank. 2002. "Institutions for Scientific Advice: Global Environmental Assessments and their Influence in Developing Countries." Global Governance 8(2): 195-219.


To help decision-makers cope with the scientific uncertainties of global environmental policy-making, transnational networks of experts have been offering numerous assessments of the state of knowledge, often advertised as consensus of "international science." In this paper, I conceptualize these networks as international scientific advisory institutions that provide governments and non-governmental actors crucial information both on the state of the environment and on policy options. Substantial social science research has already analyzed the effectiveness of international scientific advisory institutions in industrialized countries; this study assesses their influence in India as a pivotal developing country. It appears that although international scientific advisory institutions were not entirely ineffective in India, their influence is still limited, in particular, by three factors: relatively low participation of Southern experts in international advisory institutions; relatively small independent research capacity regarding global environmental problems within India; and relatively low prominence of such problems on the Indian national agenda.


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