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Kuchler, M. (2017). Stakeholding as sorting of actors into categories: implications for civil society participation in the CDM. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 17(2), 191-208
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stakeholding as sorting of actors into categories: implications for civil society participation in the CDM
2017 (English)In: International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, ISSN 1567-9764, E-ISSN 1573-1553, Vol. 17, no 2, p. 191-208Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Following a deliberative shift towards public–private partnership networks in global environmental governance, the multi-stakeholder framework is increasingly advocated for engaging multiple actors in collective decision-making. As this arrangement relies on proper participatory conditions in order to include all relevant stakeholders, input legitimacy is crucial to achieving legitimate outcomes. However, ‘stakeholding’ implies that actors—recast into a specific institutional context—are sorted into new formal or informal categories. This paper scrutinizes the clean development mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol to interrogate the problematic issue of ‘stakeholding’—i.e. the ‘sorting’ of actors—in enacting the multi-stakeholder framework. Based on an analysis of 25 CDM projects that provides insight into the widest range of participation opportunities for civil society regarding specific projects, this paper considers how certain institutional context of the Mechanism’s stakeholder framework affects the involvement of civil society actors and the implications of this for balanced and fair input legitimacy. The findings suggest that, in practice, the informal corporate-induced sorting of actors into internal and external stakeholders keeps civil society actors outside the CDM’s inner circle, forcing them to voice their concerns regarding specific projects via CDM insiders or through irregular channels. Furthermore, the absence of a clear definition of stakeholder in local consultations results in the inclusion of unsorted actors, destabilizing the distribution of participation opportunities. The paper concludes that recasting the deliberative principles of openness and plurality into the CDM’s corporate-inspired stakeholding creates a specific institutional context that imposes more than one set of perhaps incompatible stakeholder categories while impairing input legitimacy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2017
Keywords
stakeholder, input legitimacy, civil society, clean development mechanism, climate policy, global environmental governance
National Category
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122621 (URN)10.1007/s10784-015-9314-5 (DOI)000396821600004 ()2-s2.0-84946882023 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Cooperation
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-779Swedish Research Council, 2011-1862
Available from: 2015-11-12 Created: 2015-11-12 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
Kuchler, M. & Hedrén, J. (2016). Bioenergy as an Empty Signifier. Review of Radical Political Economics, 48(2), 235-251
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bioenergy as an Empty Signifier
2016 (English)In: Review of Radical Political Economics, ISSN 1552-8502, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 235-251Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article provides insight into the contemporary international bioenergy debate and scrutinizes how the idea of biofuel production as a win-win-win solution to energy insecurity, climate change, and agricultural stagnation came into being, what discursive forces bind such a conceptualization, and where dislocations arise. Based on critical assumptions of discourse theory developed by Laclau and Mouffe, the analysis explores assessments, reports, policy papers, and other central documents from three influential international organizations—the International Energy Agency, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization—that provide an entry point to the global debate on biofuels. We show that the bioenergy concept occupies specific positions and conveys different meanings within the three overlapping discourses of energy, climate, and agriculture. These three discursive areas are further “sutured” around the notion of biofuel production, where a hegemonic thread of the capitalist market economics, fixated on economic growth and presupposing the necessity of cost-effectiveness, results in internal contradictions and dislocations within the win-win-win conceptualization, emptying bioenergy of any content.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016
Keywords
bioenergy, biofuels, debate, discourse, international organizations, hegemony
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121024 (URN)10.1177/0486613415591804 (DOI)000378765000003 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2007-671
Available from: 2015-09-02 Created: 2015-09-02 Last updated: 2018-01-11
Kuchler, M. & Lövbrand, E. (2016). Simulative governance: on the collaborative narrative of civil society participation in the CDM stakeholder framework. Environmental Politics, 25(3), 434-453
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulative governance: on the collaborative narrative of civil society participation in the CDM stakeholder framework
2016 (English)In: Environmental Politics, ISSN 0964-4016, Vol. 25, no 3, p. 434-453Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is often cited as an exemplar of new, hybrid forms of global environmental governance operating at the public–private interface. Practically, enacting this arrangement involves a wide range of non-state actors. This broad involvement is here assumed to mark a shift towards more polycentric and networked modes of governance in which agents collaborate as ‘stakeholders’ in the process of consensual rule-setting and implementation. Using post-political critique, the depoliticising effects of the stakeholder framework on civil society actors are interrogated, using formal and informal participation opportunities to raise concerns regarding specific CDM projects. The analysis suggests that the CDM’s collaborative narrative of stakeholding structurally fails to stimulate public (re)engagement and is, instead, a prime example of simulative governance that struggles to achieve the simultaneity of two incompatibilities: the participatory revolution and the post-political turn.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016
Keywords
CDM, global environmental governance, stakeholder, post-political, depoliticisation, civil society
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122301 (URN)10.1080/09644016.2015.1102352 (DOI)000371009000003 ()
Projects
Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Cooperation
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-779Swedish Research Council, 21-2011-1862
Available from: 2015-10-28 Created: 2015-10-28 Last updated: 2018-01-10
Kuchler, M. & Lövbrand, E. (2014). Simulative governance: on the collaborative language of civil society participation in the CDM's stakeholder framework. In: : . Paper presented at EASST 2014 "Situating Solidarities: social challenges for science and technology studies", 17-19 September, Toruń, Poland (pp. 1-29).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulative governance: on the collaborative language of civil society participation in the CDM's stakeholder framework
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is often used as a prime example of new and hybrid forms of governance operating at the public-private frontier. The practical enactment of this arrangement involves a wide array of non-state actors. This broad involvement is here assumed to mark a shift towards more polycentric and networked modes of governing where agents are invited as 'stakeholders' in the process of rule-setting and implementation. In this paper we depart from the liberal norm of consensus and instead examine its political effects. We do so by employing the post-political critique to interrogate what it entails for civil society actors to be stakeholders that raise their concerns on specific CDM projects. Based on analyses of documentation of the project validation and direct communication with the CDM Executive Board, as well as interviews with key actors in the CDM process, we ask what kinds of politicizing and/or de-politicizing effects that the stakeholder framework fosters and what spaces for social critique and resistance it produces. The analysis suggests that stakeholding in the CDM constitutes a form of simulative governance that holds a promise of activated civil society participation but, simultaneously, employs tactics that aim at avoiding politicization of local communities and de-politicizing voices of critique from global civic actors. The paper contributes to the post-political critique by lifting it beyond the Western-centric focus on advanced modern societies and opening up to spaces where de-politicization practices can take the form of non-activating potentially political actors.

Keywords
governance, stakeholder, participation, CDM, civil society, post-political
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110750 (URN)
Conference
EASST 2014 "Situating Solidarities: social challenges for science and technology studies", 17-19 September, Toruń, Poland
Available from: 2014-09-20 Created: 2014-09-20 Last updated: 2018-01-11
Kuchler, M. & Lövbrand, E. (2014). Stakeholding as governmental rationality and practice: on the political effects of collaborative carbon market governance. In: : . Paper presented at Devices and Desires: The Cultural Politics of a Low Carbon Society, Lund University, Sweden, 21-23 May 2014.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stakeholding as governmental rationality and practice: on the political effects of collaborative carbon market governance
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Keywords
CDM, stakeholder, governance, carbon market, participation, civil society
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110113 (URN)
Conference
Devices and Desires: The Cultural Politics of a Low Carbon Society, Lund University, Sweden, 21-23 May 2014
Available from: 2014-09-02 Created: 2014-09-02 Last updated: 2018-01-11
Kuchler, M. (2014). Sweet dreams (are made of cellulose): Sociotechnical imaginaries of second-generation bioenergy in the global debate. Ecological Economics, 107, 431-437
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sweet dreams (are made of cellulose): Sociotechnical imaginaries of second-generation bioenergy in the global debate
2014 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 107, p. 431-437Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper critically examines the sociotechnical imaginaries of second-generation bioenergy technology in the global debate, exemplified by the deliberations of international organizations specializing in food and agriculture, energy security, and climate change. The analysis is guided by two objectives: first, to identify and illuminate visions of future advanced biofuels by implementing the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries; second, to scrutinize these imaginaries using a critical and diagnostic utopian method to determine whether the projected visions entail the promise of radical change and hope for socioeconomic transition to a “green” future, or instead manifest an ideological stranglehold striving to perpetuate the status quo. The article demonstrates that sociotechnical imaginaries of advanced biofuel technology superficially project the illusion of utopian potential. On closer examination, however, visions of future second-generation biofuels are limited by the necessity of cost-effectiveness that underpins market competitiveness. They manifest utopian impotence to imagine the future beyond the ideological closure of the currently dominant socioeconomic system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014
Keywords
bioenergy; second-generation; sociotechnical imaginaries; international organizations; future; utopia
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110910 (URN)10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.09.014 (DOI)000345474800041 ()
Available from: 2014-09-27 Created: 2014-09-27 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Kuchler, M. & Hedrén, J. (2012). Bioenergy as an empty signifier. In: : . Paper presented at Nordic Interdisciplinary Conference on Discourse & Interaction (NORDISCO 2012), 21-23 November 2012, Linköping, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bioenergy as an empty signifier
2012 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Keywords
bioenergy, biofuels, international organizations, discourse, empty signifier
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110115 (URN)
Conference
Nordic Interdisciplinary Conference on Discourse & Interaction (NORDISCO 2012), 21-23 November 2012, Linköping, Sweden
Available from: 2014-09-02 Created: 2014-09-02 Last updated: 2018-01-11
Kuchler, M. & Linnér, B.-O. (2012). Challenging the food vs. fuel dilemma: Genealogical analysis of the biofuel discourse pursued by international organizations. Food Policy, 37(5), 581-588
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenging the food vs. fuel dilemma: Genealogical analysis of the biofuel discourse pursued by international organizations
2012 (English)In: Food Policy, ISSN 0306-9192, E-ISSN 1873-5657, Vol. 37, no 5, p. 581-588Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper looks critically at how food and agriculture-, energy security-, and climate change-oriented international organizations have consolidated and modified the biofuel discourse in relation to the agricultural system. Using Foucault-based genealogical analysis of discursive formations, the paper traces the last 20 years of institutions’ biofuel debate in relation to rural production. We find that the prevalent motive is an aspiration to combine the agriculture and energy markets into one, which prompts structural changes and challenges in the rural sector. This has implications for the future role and shape of global agriculture and – contrary to the food vs. fuel perspective – calls for re-conceptualizing the biofuel debate as the food vs. food dilemma.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012
Keywords
biofuels, bioenergy, discourse, FAO, IEA, IPCC, food, energy, fuel, climate, international organizations
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80821 (URN)10.1016/j.foodpol.2012.06.005 (DOI)000308787100010 ()
Available from: 2012-08-30 Created: 2012-08-30 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Kuchler, M. (2012). Fields of Gold: The Bioenergy Debate in International Organizations. (Doctoral dissertation). Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fields of Gold: The Bioenergy Debate in International Organizations
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Fält av guld : Debatten om bioenergi i internationella organisationer
Abstract [en]

The concept of producing energy from biomass has, for the last two decades, occupied attention of policy-makers, private industries, researchers and civil societies around the world. The highly contested and contingent character of the biofuel production, its entanglement in the nexus of three problematic issues of energy, climate and agriculture, as well as its injection into the current socioeconomic arrangements, is what makes it timely to analyse.

The thesis sheds light on the state of international debate on bioenergy by looking at deliberations of three major global institutions: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Energy Agency (IEA) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The primary aim is to trace and analyse how the concept of bioenergy is conceptualized and contextualized in assessments, reports, policy papers and other documents issued by FAO, IEA and IPCC in the 1990-2010 period. The secondary aim of the thesis, based on results derived from the primary objective, is set to problematize and reflect upon currently dominating socioeconomic arrangements that the concept of biomass-derived energy is inserted into. The research questions are organized around four distinctively contentious issues in the debate: biofuel production in developing countries, the food vs. fuel dilemma, bioenergy as a win-win-win solution and the future role of the second-generation bioenergy technology. The research questions are operationalized by applying four theoretical perspectives: the world-economy, Michel Foucault’s genealogy, discourse theory of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, and Fredric Jameson’s critical approach.

The institutional debate illustrates that, while bioenergy appears to be an easy, plausible and thus attractive patch able to temporarily fix societal challenges of energy insecurity, climate change and agricultural crisis without changing much in the socioeconomic structure, its implementation exposes internal discrepancies of the hegemonic capitalist system. Whether bioenergy could actually function as a feasible win-win-win solution is of secondary importance. It is its economic feasibility expressed in the pressure on cost-effectiveness that matters the most but, at the same time, causes serious internal discrepancies in conceptualizations pursued by the organizations. The results point to two main conclusions. On the one hand, bioenergy is inevitably entrapped by the rules and arrangements of the hegemonic system that, in turn, cause internal contradictions. On the other hand, the institutional debate attempts to stabilize the shaky conceptualization of bioenergy, so that it can appear consistent and plausible, even if the possibility of reaching the closure of meaning fades away, with more conflicts on the rise. Furthermore, the results also show that the three international organizations exhibit uniform patterns of argumentations and the way they similarly discuss biomass-derived energy illustrates the objective to stabilize the meaning and adjust the concept of bioenergy to the hegemonic system.

Abstract [sv]

Under de senaste två decennierna har idén om att producera energi av biomassa rönt stor uppmärksamhet bland forskare, företagare, beslutsfattare och i samhället i övrigt. De förhållandevis många kontroverser och alternativ som är förbundna med produktion av biobränslen, deras koppling till de tre problemområdena energi, klimat och jordbruk, samt deras etablering inom samtida geopolitiska, socioekonomiska och miljömässiga sammanhang, gör dem till en aktuell fråga att analysera.

Avhandlingen belyser den internationella debatten genom att fokusera överväganden och ståndpunkter inom tre globala institutioner: FN:s mat- och jordbruksorgan (FAO), Internationella Energiorganet (IEA) och FN:s klimatpanel (IPCC). Huvudsyftet är spåra och analysera hur begreppet bioenergi formas och kontextualiseras i bedömningsrapporter och policydokument producerade av FAO, IEA och IPCC under perioden 1990-2010. Ett ytterligare syfte är att problematisera och reflektera över de socioekonomiska förhållanden som bioenergibegreppet ingår i.

Forskningsfrågorna är formulerade utifrån fyra kontroversiella områden i debatten: biobränsleproduktion i utvecklingsländer, dilemmat mat kontra biobränsle, bioenergi som en ”win-win-win-lösning” och den framtida roll som tillskrivs andra generationens bioteknologi. Forskningsfrågorna operationaliseras genom att var och en knyts till ett av fyra teoretiska perspektiv: världssystemteori, Michel Foucaults genealogi, Ernesto Laclaus och Chantal Mouffes diskursteori respektive Fredric Jamesons kritiska ansats.

I debatten framställs ofta bioenergi som ett enkelt och rimligt alternativ med kapacitet att tillfälligt lösa samhälleliga utmaningar som energi-osäkerhet, klimatförändringar och jordbrukskrisen, dock utan att den socioekonomiska strukturen ändras nämnvärt. Analysen visar emellertid att begreppsliggörandet istället påvisar interna diskrepanser i det hegemoniska, kapitalistiska systemet. Huruvida bioenergi verkligen kan fungera som en sådan ”win-win-win”- lösning framstår som sekundärt i dessa texter. Det är kostnadseffektiviteten som har störst betydelse, men samtidigt skapar man här allvarliga begreppsliga diskrepanser inom organisationerna.

Utfallet av analysen pekar på två huvudslutsatser. Å ena sidan är bioenergin oundvikligen låst av det hegemoniska systemets struktur och de motsägelser som det rymmer. Å andra sidan tycks debatten inom organisationerna söka efter en stabilisering av det instabila begreppsliggörandet av bioenergin så att den framstår som konsistent och möjlig. Vidare visar analysen också att de tre organisationerna har liknande argumentationsmönster, och det likartade sätt på vilket de diskuterar energi från biomassa illustrerar en stabilisering av mening inom diskursen där bioenergibegreppet anpassas till det hegemoniska systemet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. p. 97
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 557
Keywords
bioenergy, biofuels, debate, discourse, concept, international organizations, international relations, FAO, IEA, IPCC, energy security, climate change, food security, food vs. fuel, bioenergi, biobränsle, debatt, diskurs, begrepp, internationella organisationer, internationella relationer, FAO, IEA, IPCC, energisäkerhet, klimatförändringar, livsmedelssäkerhet
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80858 (URN)978-91-7519-811-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-28, TEMCAS, T House, Campus Valla, Linköping University, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-09-07 Created: 2012-08-31 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Kuchler, M. & Linnér, B.-O. (2011). Challenging the food vs. fuel dilemma: genealogical analysis of the biofuel discourse pursued by international organizations. In: : . Paper presented at KVA Symposium. "Global food security: biophysical and social limits and opportunities". 07 November 2011, Beijersalen, Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien, Stockholm, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenging the food vs. fuel dilemma: genealogical analysis of the biofuel discourse pursued by international organizations
2011 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Keywords
bioenergy, biofuels, international organizations, discourse, genealogy, food vs. fuel
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110118 (URN)
Conference
KVA Symposium. "Global food security: biophysical and social limits and opportunities". 07 November 2011, Beijersalen, Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien, Stockholm, Sweden
Available from: 2014-09-02 Created: 2014-09-02 Last updated: 2018-01-11
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-8110-4538

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