MARIPOLDATA is an ERC Starting Grant project running from November 2018 to October 2023. We develop and apply a new interdisciplinary and multi-scale approach to study science-policy interrelations in practice. The project uses ongoing negotiations on a new international legally binding instrument under the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) to study these processes in action.

Marine biodiversity science and data play a central role: Firstly, in supporting intergovernmental efforts to identify, protect and monitor marine biodiversity. Secondly, in informing governments interested in particular aspects of marine biodiversity, including its economic use and its contribution to biosecurity. In examining how science and data is represented and used, the project creates a novel understanding of the materiality of science-policy interrelations and identifies new forms of power in global environmental politics as well as develop the methodologies to do so.

This is crucial because the capacities to develop and use data infrastructures are unequally distributed among countries and global initiatives for data sharing are significantly challenged by conflicting perceptions of who benefits from marine biodiversity research. Despite broad recognition of these challenges within natural science communities, the political aspects of marine biodiversity science and data remain understudied. Academic debates tend to neglect the role of international politics in legitimising and authorising scientific concepts, data sources and criteria and how this influences national monitoring priorities.

The central objective of MARIPOLDATA is to overcome these shortcomings by developing and applying a new multiscale methodology for grounding the analysis of science-policy interrelations in empirical research.

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Project Publications

Langlet, A., Wanneau, K., Dunshirn, P., Ruiz Rodríguez, S., Tessnow-von Wysocki, I. & B.M.Vadrot, A. (2022). A matter of time: the impacts of Covid-19 on marine biodiversity negotiations. Négociations, 37, 39-65. 

Langlet, Arne. and Vadrot, Alice B.M. (2023). Not ‘underming’ who? Unpacking the emerging BBNJ regime complex. Marine Policy 147: 105372

Vadrot, Alice B.M.Ruiz-Rodríguez, Silvia C.. Brogat, Emmanuelle. Dunshirn, Paul. Langlet, Arne. Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina and Wanneau, Krystel. (2022). Towards a reflexive, policy-relevant and engaged ocean science for the UN decade: A social science research agenda. Earth System Governance 14: 100150

Vadrot, Alice B.M., Ruiz-Rodríguez, Silvia C. (2022). Digital Multilateralism in Practice: Extending Critical Policy Ethnography to Digital Negotiation Sites. International Studies Quarterly 66(3)

Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina and Vadrot, Alice B.M. (2022). Governing a Divided Ocean: The Transformative Power of Ecological Connectivity in the BBNJ negotiations. Politics and Governance 10(3)

Vadrot, Alice B.M. Langlet, Arne. Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina. (2022). Who owns marine biodiversity? Contesting the world order through the `common heritage of humankind´ principle. Environmental Politics 31(2): 226-250

Vadrot, Alice B.M. (2022). Experts: scientific knowledge for ocean protection, In: Paul G. Harris, Routledge Handbook of Marine Governance and Global Environmental Change, Routledge

Hughes, Hannah. Vadrot, Alice. Allan, Jen Iris. Bach, Tracy. Bansard, Jennifer S. Chasek, Pamela. Gray, Noella. Langlet, Arne. Leiter, Timo. Suiseeya, Kimberly R. Marion. Martin, Beth. Paterson, Matthew. Ruiz-Rodríguez, Silvia Carolina. Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina. Tolis, Valeria. Thew, Harriet. Vecchione Gonçalves, Marcela. Yamineva, Yulia. (2021). Global environmental agreement-making: Upping the methodological and ethical stakes of studying negotiations. Earth System Governance 10: 100121

Tolochko, Petro and Vadrot, Alice B.M. (2021). Selective world-building: Collaboration and regional specificities in the marine biodiversity field. Environmental Science & Policy 126: 79-89

Vadrot, Alice B.M. Langlet, Arne. Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina. Tolochko, Petro. Brogat, Emmanuelle. and Ruiz-Rodríguez, Silvia C. (2021). Marine Biodiversity Negotiations During COVID-19: A New Role for Digital Diplomacy?. Global Environmental Politics 21(3): 169–186

Tolochko, Petro. and Vadrot, Alice B.M. (2021). The usual suspects? Distribution of collaboration capital in marine biodiversity research. Marine Policy 124: 104318

Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina. and Vadrot, Alice B.M. (2020). The Voice of Science on Marine Biodiversity Negotiations: A Systematic Literature Review. Frontiers in Marine Science 7: 614282

Vadrot, Alice B.M. (2020). Ocean Protection. In Essential Concepts of Global Environmental Governance, edited by Jean-Frédéric Morin and Amandine Orsini, 173-175. Abingdon: Routledge. Second edition

Vadrot, Alice B.M. (2020). Multilateralism as a ‘site’ of struggle over environmental knowledge: the North-South divide. Critical Policy Studies 14(2): 233-245