Normativity in and around boundary objects: Case of a participatory scenario workshop on contradictory land uses in northern Finland

Theme 5. Other
Session Name 5.14 Science diplomacy dialogue: Building common interests in the Arctic
Presentation Type Oral
Author(s) Simo Sarkki (University of Oulu, Finland), Hannu Heikkinen (University of Oulu, Finland), Teresa Komu (University of Oulu, Finland), Mari Partanen (University of Oulu, Finland), Elise Lepy (University of Oulu, Finland)
Abstract text

A crucial question for designing science-policy interactions is whether and how scientists should avoid normative positions to ease complex environmental problems. A solution is to use exploratory scenarios as boundary objects that reflect simultaneously various views. We arranged a participatory scenario workshop to discuss how different kinds of governance arrangements could ease contradictions between various land users under environmental change in northern Finland. The workshop aimed to bring earlier identified problems definitions of reindeer herders under discussions by decision-makers and scientists. The objective of the present paper is to examine the workshop dynamics to analyze challenges and potentials of normativity in and around boundary object scenarios. Challenges posed by normativity included predetermined and unpronounced agendas reflected in the used fast-track scenarios and used concepts, and in implicit and explicit value positions held by workshop participants, including scientists. However, normative charges also fueled discussions, tested acceptability of novel governance arrangements, and resulted in attempts to find common normative agendas exceeding contradictions. Scientists can hardly be normatively neutral in knowledge co-production processes. Thus, instead of aiming to avoid normativity scientists need to master it in a reflexive way.

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