- Theory and practice of science-informed democratic deliberation about policy alternatives that integrates values & ethics. The starting point is J. Dewey's philosophy;
- A focus is on the evaluation and design of integrated environmental assessment processes at the science-policy interface (e.g., GEAs);
- Pragmatist environmental ethics; Albert Schweitzer's moral philosophy; application & policy-relevance of (climate) ethics; ethics and economics.
Jointly with Ottmar Edenhofer, Dr. Martin Kowarsch developed a refined science-policy model called the “Pragmatic-Enlightened Model” (PEM). Based on Dewey’s pragmatist philosophy, it suggests to explore alternative policy pathways and their implications jointly with stakeholders in an iterative deliberation process. The PEM influenced the assessment strategy of IPCC Working Group III during the fifth assessment cycle, and guides the assessment activities at MCC. Kowarsch was coordinator of a joint research initiative (2013 - 2017) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) called “The Future of Global Environmental Assessment Making” (FOGEAM). This interdisciplinary evaluation of past global assessment-making was intended to inform future choices in assessment design. Moreover, Kowarsch provided reviews and advice for the GEO-6 assessment by UN Environment, the EU science advice mechanism, and other science-policy interfaces. Kowarsch studied philosophy and furthermore economics, and served as Associate Editor for Palgrave Communications (2017 - 2020). He is member of the Integrated Assessment Society (TIAS).
Recent reports, comments, etc.:
See Kowarsch's Springer-Nature book on social-science assessment-making; the reports of the ETHICS & VALUES IN ASSESSMENTS conference (Sep 2019) and the expert workshop on deliberative, multi-stakeholder learning platforms (Sep 2018); as well as his comment on the design of the German "coal commission" (Feb 2019) in the Tagesspiegel.