Title: Public Reasoning and the Emergence of Global Environmental Governance Regimes: The Case of IMoSEB
Author(s): Chad Monfreda
Affiliation: Arizona State University
Presented At: STiS 2008
Primary Topic Area: Environmental Policy
Biodiversity is a particularly contentious area of global environmental governance. At once rooted in localities and enmeshed in global webs of discourse, ecology, economics, and culture, biodiversity provides a prime case for studying how public reasoning operates in emerging global governance regimes. The hottest spot where biodiversity is currently contested in global science and policy is in a consultative process towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise for Biodiversity (IMoSEB). Between 2006 and 2007, the French-funded initiative planned and launched a series of six consultations around the world asking how a new global institution might link science and policy to avert the biodiversity crisis, and what form such an institution might take. This paper builds from participant observation in the IMoSEB process to shed light on the operation of public reasoning in global expert institutions and how future consultative processes could be improved to make future efforts both more effective and democratically just. In particular, the paper draws from the IMoSEB process to investigate key dynamics of regime formation: How do these channels and their interactions structure the conclusions they reach? What implications does the structure of the planning process have for which voices are included, which are left out, and which co-opted? How does global biodiversity discourse build from and diverge from global warming and other discourses surrounding questions of global environmental governance? How do alternative frames of biodiversity vary by geography and interest, and in what ways do these frames interact during regime formation?