Travels and Trials of Climate Knowledge in Finnish Municipalities



We examine why implementing climate aims has proven challenging for municipalities. Recognising that climate policy research identifies ‘barriers’ to the forward motion of environmental knowledge, we use STS tools to dismantle ‘barrier thinking’ and analyse the dynamics of climate knowledge in municipal organisations. The primary data are 21 interviews with climate change and risk management experts in Finnish municipalities. We employ the idea of ‘trials of strength’ to analyse not mere barriers but gatherings, translations, and implementations of environmental knowledge. We argue that four kinds of trials are crucial in transforming climate knowledge so it can cohere with ongoing processes: it is gathered and condensed at the organisation’s borders; climate experts embody and transmit the knowledge; meeting tables form obligatory passage points for its implementation; and road maps draw actors together to circulate it. While traveling around municipal organisations, climate knowledge is often sidetracked but can sometimes become unexpectedly effective.


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Research Papers


2021-06-15 — Updated on 2022-02-15


How to Cite

Virtanen, M. J., Reinekoski, T., Lahikainen, L. and Lehtonen, T.-K. (2022) “Travels and Trials of Climate Knowledge in Finnish Municipalities”, Science & Technology Studies, 35(1), pp. 2–20. doi: 10.23987/sts.97519.