Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Journal Article

Sociological perspectives on earth system modeling


Grundmann,  Reiner
Wissenschaft, Technik und Innovationssysteme, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)
There are no public fulltexts stored in PuRe
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Grundmann, R., & Roedder, S. (2019). Sociological perspectives on earth system modeling. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 11, 3878-3892. doi:10.1029/2019MS001687.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-A5B0-9
How can we understand climate change from a sociological perspective? In asking this question, we assume that Sociology has something to contribute to such an enterprise. The argument that we put forward is twofold: We argue that Sociology provides a much needed alternative to two dominant approaches that have influenced public discourse, behaviorist theories, mainly employed in Economics, and a belief in the centrality of science in policy making ("evidence first"), mainly entertained by physical scientists. We critically discuss both approaches, showing the limits of behaviorism and the linear model of policy making and provide an alternative framework, which emphasizes the role of social action, of organizations, and of structural differences between different social worlds. We then apply our framework to assess the role of evidence at the climate science-policy interface and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a boundary organization in particular. We argue that science and politics follow different logics and that the IPCC is simultaneously both more political and less policy relevant than its self-description as "policy-relevant, never policy prescriptive" tries to make us believe. We conclude that a depoliticization of politics by IPCC expert advice and a politicization of climate science occur simultaneously and mutually reinforce one another. The result is a lack of progress in climate policy as science has taken center stage but is unable to offer political solutions.