Presentation at ISA`s 59th Annual Convention, San Francisco

4th of April 2018- Panel WC40: Wednesday 1:45 PM – 3:30 PM: Knowing Through Comparison in Global Environmental Politics

Title: Comparing international organisations through history and Bourdieu: learning from IPCC and IPBES

Presentation by: Hannah Hughes and Alice Vadrot

Abstract: In our talk we seek to compare the historical establishment of two organisations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity (IPBES). However, rather than using comparison to identify the similarities and differences or determine the relative effectiveness of these bodies, the purpose of our comparison is to draw out some of the difficulties that IPBES is likely to face in positioning itself centrally to global biodiversity politics. While the IPCC is now firmly positioned as the central knowledge producer within the climate field, it has undergone considerable struggle and competition with member governments, intergovernmental organisations, academic actors and contesters of climate science. These forces and the organization’s response have structured its organisational form and assessment practice. The aim of this study is to explore what these experiences can offer in terms of understanding IPBES now and what the future may hold for this organisation as a central knowledge producer in and to global biodiversity politics.