Inderscience Publishers

Towards a "folk integrated assessment" of climate change?

This paper questions the assumption that public participation in integrated assessment (IA) means finding (better) ways to make the public engage with IA. Following other studies about public perceptions of expert/scientific knowledge, it is unclear why the public should - or even want to - approach issues (such as climate change) from the epistemologically privileged expert-framed perspectives of IA. The objective of this paper is to reverse the order and re-centre the problematique of public participation and IA toward a public-centred perspective, toward a "folk integrated assessment". In order to undertake this task, illustrations of how groups of lay members of the public perceive and think about issues such as climate change are presented and analysed. They reveal the already existing, always context-dependent complexity, diversity, richness and ambiguity of lay knowledge and "integration" skills.

Keywords: climate, (dis)trust, folk integrated assessment, public perception

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