Sustainability indicator development - Science or political negotiation?

Rametsteiner E, Puelzl H, Alkan-Olsson J, & Frederiksen P (2011). Sustainability indicator development - Science or political negotiation? Ecological Indicators 11 (1): 61-70. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2009.06.009.

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Abstract

The efforts to develop sustainability indicators have strongly increased since the beginning of the 1990s, often led by intergovernmental processes. More recently, a number of sustainability indicator development processes have been initiated within large research projects that aim to design tools for sustainability assessments, funded by the European Union. The development of sustainability indicators provides a particular challenge to scientists, given the essentially normative dimension of the concept of "sustainability". Thus, we argue, the development of sustainability indicators is a process of both scientific "knowledge production" and of political "norm creation", and both components need to be properly acknowledged. Based on a respective theoretical framework and comparing five cases of sustainability indicator development processes (three science-led and two led by intergovernmental processes), we fid that the political norm creation dimension is not fully and explicitly recognized in science-led processes. The paper concludes by discussing a number of implications for the design of sustainability indicator development processes, in particular with regard to participation and representation as well as adjustment of indicators over time.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science policy interface; Sustainable development; Sustainability impact assessment; Indicator selection
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Forestry (FOR)
Bibliographic Reference: Ecological Indicators; 11(1):61-70 (January 2011) (Published online 19 July 2009)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:45
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 14:20
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/9628

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