I had an action-packed two day visit to Philadelphia last week to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA). I presented a paper entitled “Transparency, Transformation, and Information-Based Environmental Governance” as part of a panel on “Information, Investment, and Voluntariness in Environmental Governance.” The other panelists, Hamish van der Ven and Thibaud Henin, presented their work on forestry and aquaculture certification programs, which nicely complemented my work on a broader set of sustainability ratings and labels. I introduced a new framework for classifying different types of transparency, and then applied that framework in an analysis of the 245 cases in my Environmental Evaluations of Products and Companies (EEPAC) Dataset.
Our discussant, Sijeong Lim, provided some very useful feedback for all of us, and we had a lively and engaging discussion after the presentations. I was also able to attend several other panels organized by the Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics Division. They covered topics including cities, climate change, and sustainability policy; knowledge and ideology in environmental politics; constituencies in environmental management; and the causes and outcomes of diverse national and sub-national climate policies. I also had the opportunity to attend two non-STEP panels — on democratic deliberation and political values over time and across groups. I also enjoyed some great food over at the Reading Terminal Market, and walking around downtown Philly, even if for just a few minutes — and then I was off in an Uber-Pool (my first time) to the airport…A whirlwind trip!