Vernetzungsworkshop Wassernetzwerk BW
Governing the invisible: Policy approaches to micropollutants in water
Workshop, November 13-14, 2019
Heidelberg University, International Academic Forum Heidelberg
The workshop will deal with the governance of micropollutants in waters. Micropollutants are chemical substances present in very small concentrations in waters due to anthropogenic activities such as consumption of pharmaceuticals or agricultural intensification. Various scientific disciplines have conducted research on micropollutants in waters in the past – mainly on the effects of these substances on humans and the environment. Due to these efforts, policymakers in some European countries have paid increasing attention to micropollutants and initiated a ‘top-down’ political process. As the topic is now on the political agenda, the governance of micropollutants comes into play. Contamination by micropollutants represents a complex problem that challenges policymakers in their efforts to find adequate solutions. The issue’s complexity as well as high degree of uncertainty makes it especially interesting to study from a social science perspective. Research questions include: How can we explain different levels of political and public attention for micropollutants? Who are the main actors relevant for the governance of micropollutants? What positions do they take and what strategies do they use to advance their interests? What factors are conducive for agreeing on adequate policy solutions? Does nexus thinking help to find more sustainable solutions?
This workshop aims at bringing together researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds and an interest in the governance of micropollutants for water quality protection. We believe an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas will be helpful in preparing the ground for future research collaborations, answering the type of questions posed above and finding sustainable solutions for dealing with micropollutants in waters.
Institut für Politische Wissenschaft
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