The interrupting capacities of knowledge co-production experiments: A sociology of testing approach

Helena Valve*, David Lazarevic, Sampsa Hyysalo, Jani Lukkarinen, Tatu Marttila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Knowledge co-production is increasingly referred to as a means to reorganise expert work and generate policy support. Co-production processes bring together diverse expertise to explore environmental problems beyond epistemic or administrative silos. This re-orchestration of knowledge production is seen as critical for the attainment of sustainability transformations. However, little attention has, so far, been given to the ways in which co-production experiments entangle with the settings to which they are introduced. Drawing from the new sociology of testing, we suggest that knowledge co-production experiments can be fruitfully analysed as tests of established policymaking practices. This approach highlights the role of co-production processes as collaborative forms that intervene by re-orchestrating the analysis of policy-relevant relationships. Interviews of actors engaged with two transition arenas shows that the experiments qualified as new forms of expert involvement, sources of ontological disturbance, and as interruptions in policymaking that oscillates around project-based regional development and an environmental conflict. The methodology provides a relational sensitivity to analyse the interplay between co-production experiments and their settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-264
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Experimentation
  • Knowledge co-production
  • Ontological disturbance
  • Sociology of testing
  • Transition arena


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