Establishing enabling environments is critical to putting societies on a pathway towards sustainable development. Politicians, citizens, businesses, and civil society organizations all play a role in the negotiations leading to sustainable transformations.
The IASS studies and supports governance processes that aim to deliver broad improvements in the quality of life and to ensure that planetary resources are used sustainably. Researchers at the IASS analyse existing governance frameworks such as the Paris Climate Change Agreement and study the impacts of their implementation across the dimensions of ecological, social and economic sustainability. This research includes analyses of the dynamics at play within the UNFCCC climate regime following the adoption of the Paris Agreement and of the social impacts of processes of large-scale structural change such as the decarbonisation of the energy system.
Research conducted at the IASS also considers the respective roles of various forms of participation – including citizen participation, participative management and protest – in shaping governance frameworks and contributing to the resolution of conflicts. What impact does participation have on decision-making processes? And, vice versa: How do political structures, processes, ideas and efforts to foster societal change affect different forms and areas of participation?
IASS researchers also contribute to transnational policymaking processes pertaining to the Arctic Region and sustainable ocean and soil governance by providing science-based policy advice and analyses developed in dialogue with stakeholders and other actors. These reciprocal learning processes also provide an important space for researchers to reflect on the role of science in transformations towards sustainability.