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Connected Developments: The Governance of Formal Global Knowledge Networks in Sustainability Transformations

Somavilla Croxatto, Lucas; (2021) Connected Developments: The Governance of Formal Global Knowledge Networks in Sustainability Transformations. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Climate change adds pressure to the international community to work cooperatively, find ways to govern technologies and expert knowledge, develop better policies, and mobilise resources, tools, and practices to deal with potential consequences and impacts. The institutional drivers underpinning current knowledge applications in globally connected spaces of sustainable development practice are increasingly complex, intertwined, and empirically understudied. In this context, this PhD thesis aims to advance our empirical understanding of why and how formal cooperation networks form, negotiate, mobilise and utilise particular technologies and expert knowledge and attempt to steer visions and pathways for change. This research combines multi-sited ethnography with social network analysis and policy analysis and investigates formal contexts of global connection. This thesis examines practices of science and technology policy through technology-driven networks in multiple locations in Europe and Southeast Asia. In particular, this thesis analyses the processes and conditions through which tools (e.g. modelling technologies), practices (e.g. climate negotiations, technology transfer activities, risk management, and environmental planning), and ways of dealing with climate-related uncertainties are implemented in a global knowledge network articulated under the UN system. The participant observation that is applied in the research is grounded in mobile contexts of project-based interactions, intergovernmental negotiations, international expert meetings, high-level advisory boards, technology assessments, implementation of technology transfer programmes, capacity-building workshops, expert discussions on anticipation and uncertainty, and the production of reports, climate policies, and procurement systems. This thesis examines how the artefacts of transfer interact in the implementation of the Technology Mechanism under the UNFCCC, drawing on cases of climate and hydrological modelling ranging from the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) to Thailand and Myanmar. It maps and analyses the global response of networked organisations, with special attention to persistent North South power dynamics imposed by global environmental governance regimes and their emergent ‘transformational claims’. This thesis delves into a critical evaluation of transformational change narratives in institutionalised knowledge systems, practices of technology transfer, and science policy spaces inside the United Nations. It contributes to a better foundational understanding of knowledge governance relating to critical social and environmental challenges, and rethinks futures of collective climate action in light of sustainability transformations theory and practice.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Connected Developments: The Governance of Formal Global Knowledge Networks in Sustainability Transformations
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14324/000.th.10125387
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14324/000.th.10125387
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Climate Change, International Development, Expert Knowledge, Global Innovation Networks, Futures, Uncertainty, Sustainable Development, Modelling, Technology, Public Policy, Anthropology, Engineering, Social Network Analysis, UNFCCC, Transitions, Transformations
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125387
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