Nicolas Baya-Laffite


Research fellow

Institution de rattachement

Médialab - Sciences Po

Nicolas BAYA-LAFFITE is a political scientist (University of Buenos Aires) specialised urban environmental management (University of Buenos Aires) and science and technology studies (EHESS). His research objects deploy across four themes that he has appropriated over the last ten years: namely 1) the science and politics of building knowledge-policy interfaces for evidence-based decision-making, particularly in the urban realm; 2) environmental controversies as a privileged site of analysis of the construction of such interfaces; 3) environmental policy instruments (namely environmental impact assessments) as key structuring devices of these interfaces, particularly in local conflicts about large investments projects and sustainable development ; and 4) the on-going processes of innovation in these interfaces stemming from the adaptation turn in climate policy and expertise (particularly at the UN Framework convention on climate change and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

Projet Sumary. With an “adaptation turn” in climate policy and science, new debates have emerged. These range from competing framings of adaptation (resulting in different institutional strategies and arrangements to cope with risks and uncertainties about the future) to the (re)organization of expertise for adaptation policy at different scales of action. In this context, there remains a need for a clear understanding on how multiple framings of what “adaptation” is bear politically on the issue of what kinds of knowledge are needed for succeeding in it. This is the gap in knowledge that Nicolas Baya-Laffite’s research seeks to fill by 1) systematizing a mapping of often competing framings of adaptation, 2) characterizing innovation in scientific research in the context of the adaptation turn, and 3) understanding how different kinds of scientific knowledge for adaptation circulate across multiple scales. To do so, the project combines fieldwork and quali-quantitative analysis using the Cortext platform. Thus, the project expects to identify transversal patterns and especially articulations and tensions between dynamics of co-production of knowledge and policy for adaptation across the different sites and scales using concepts from STIS and political sociology.