The rise of academic networks - A chance to reshape governance processes in climate-resilient urban development in Ecuador?

Authors: Rebecca Froese*, Peace Academy Rhineland-Palatinate, University of Koblenz Landau, Germany; Institute of Geography, Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC), University of Hamburg, Germany, Janpeter Schilling, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Research Group Landuse Conflicts, University of Koblenz Landau, Germany; Peace Academy Rhineland-Palatinate, University of Koblenz Landau, Landau, Germany, Jürgen Scheffran, Institute of Geography, Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC), University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Topics: Latin America, Urban Geography, Development
Keywords: academic networks, climate-resilient development, governance, Ecuador
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Cleveland 1, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Academic networks are seen as drivers of theoretical advances as well as applied research towards climate-resilient development worldwide. However, their internal functionality, modes, scopes and scales of operation, as well as their objectives are very different. Some attempts have been made to systematically analyze the state and role of academic networks in the Global North. However, little is known about the role of academic networks in shaping governance processes in urban development in Latin America.The aim of this presentation is to address this research gap by presenting an analysis of the state-of-the-art of networks engaged in climate-resilient urban development in Ecuador. We present preliminary results of (1) a detailed actor-network analysis including a description of relevant academic networks in Ecuador, (2) an analysis of their capacities and motivation, and (3) a proposal on how to use the acquired information to investigate whether academic networks have agency in shaping decision-making and whether they contribute to the development of new forms of governance. Motivated by the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Paris Agreement, the Agenda 2030 and the New Urban Agenda, which all call for climate-resilient development in urban contexts, we stress potential benefits of networks as platforms to create conceptual space where political arrangements can be debated, and alternatives explored.

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