Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 14, pp 3615–3639 | Cite as

Framings of science-policy interactions and their discursive and institutional effects: examples from conservation and environmental policy

  • Michael Pregernig
Original Paper


The complex field of forest conservation, like many other areas of environmental policy and management, is considered to be in urgent need of sound scientific expertise. At the same time, the practice of linking scientific knowledge production to political and societal decision-making is a persistent challenge. Rather than attempting to illuminate the (problematic) interaction between science and policy-making in an empirical way, this study adopts a meta-perspective to investigate how the role of science in policy-making is discursively framed. To this end, seven established theoretical conceptualizations of science-policy interactions are presented. For each conceptualization, the underlying rationales are presented first. Then, the ensuing discursive and institutional effects—in the sense of proposed procedural and organizational measures—are discussed. Finally, the study reflects on the question of how practices of scientific policy advice could be shaped in a more productive way if—instead of taking single narrow framings for granted—the role of science in policy-making were perceived, discussed and enacted in a more frame-reflective way.


Science-policy interactions Linear model Knowledge utilization Socio-constructivism Environmental policy 



The author would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on earlier versions of this paper and Bleta Arifi for her valuable support in the review of the literature.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and GeographyAlbert Ludwigs-University FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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