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"Mind the Gap - Delay Mechanisms and Goal Failures in Swedish Environmental Policy"

Many scholars have researched the huge gaps that despite significant efforts often exist between adopted goals and actual outcomes in environmental policy. A number of explanations have been identified, from reasons behind the existence of environmental problems at all, such as the existence of public goods and social dilemmas, to inadequate legislation. However, little attention has been given to how delay in goal fulfilment is exacerbated by misuse of scientific knowledge and other calculated interventions in the science-policy process.

In the present three years research project "Mind the Gap - Delay Mechanisms and Goal Failures in Swedish Environmental Policy", we seek to understand and explain how various delay mechanisms (factors and actors) may impede the achievement of a set of central environmental policy objectives related to climate change, loss of biodiversity, hazardous chemicals and eutrophication. We want to produce new knowledge about interventions in the science-policy process cause and about strategies to cope with these challenges.

In particular, we will address the following questions:

  • What types of delay mechanisms affect the achievement of environmental goals?
  • In what ways does goal failure depend on factors such as production of false knowledge, intentional misinterpretations of scientific evidence, fabricated scientific disagreement and misrepresentations of value/goal conflicts involved or inappropriate uses of decision aids?
  • How can attempts at misrepresenting science be counteracted and how can this knowledge be used to bridge the goal-outcome gap in the Swedish system of EQOs?

Participating researchers from the Division of Philosophy, KTH:

  • Karin Edvardsson Björnberg, karine@kth.se
  • Mikael Karlsson, mikaelka@kth.se
  • Sven Ove Hansson, soh@kth.se

Project duration: 2015-2017

Tillhör: Avdelningen för filosofi
Senast ändrad: 2016-06-01