ESR 12:
Governance Institutions for Sustainability in Globally Telecoupled Systems

Home Institution: Leuphana University Lüneburg
Principal Supervisor: Prof. Dr Jens Newig
Co-Supervisor: Dr Ed Challies, Prof. Dr Patrick Meyfroidt
Application date: 16/10/2017-24/11/2017
Starting date: 01/07/2018 or earlier
Duration: 3 years

Topic

Globally telecoupled systems such as commodity chains, long-range pollution or distant policy-driven effects present complex new challenges for sustainability governance. These are often beyond the capabilities of individual states and even multilateral institutions to regulate. At the same time, the policy and governance interventions of governments and other actors themselves often have a range of unforeseen consequences and knock-on effects. Taking European Union (EU) environmental policy as its primary vantage point, this research will:

  • Identify key institutions, networks of actors and instruments deployed to govern for sustainability in specific case studies of telecoupled systems (e.g. global trade and supply chains and networks), and
  • Assess their impacts with particular attention to so-called ‘policy-driven displacement’ effects, policy spillovers and feed-backs (e.g. increased deforestation resulting from EU biofuels policy).
  • On the basis of this analysis, the research will identify governance levers for effective intervention at multiple levels (from multilateral to local) and among different actors (e.g. governmental, private sector, civil society) to address policy-driven displacement effects.

In carrying out this work, the ESR will:

  • Conduct interviews and documentary research to chart networks and key actors and structures associated with EU efforts to govern for sustainability in telecoupled systems (focusing on certain specific cases such as agricultural commodity chains or raw resource flows),
  • Analyse and assess the effectiveness (success factors/barriers, social/environmental impacts) of different governance arrangements and their unintended policy-driven displacement effects, and
  • Propose potential policy and governance interventions for increased sustainability in telecoupled systems. Potential secondment placements include the German Federal Environmental Ministry in Berlin (Germany) and the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).

Location

Leuphana University Lüneburg is a young university, focusing on sustainability, cultural and political science, education, and management and entrepreneurship, and has repeatedly been awarded for innovation. The Research Group on Governance, Participation and Sustainability, led by Prof. Dr Newig, is affiliated both with Leuphana’s Faculty of Sustainability and with its Centre for the Study of Democracy. A multidisciplinary group of senior and early-career social scientists, it focuses on addressing the big challenges of governance in the context of environmental and sustainability politics.

We seek

A candidate with an above-average MSc (or equivalent degree) in Political Science, Human Geography, Sustainability Science or cognate discipline. We expect a strong interest in environmental policy and governance. Excellent written and spoken English is essential, and experience with both qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g. Social Network Analysis) would be advantageous.

Do you consider applying?

In any case please check the eligibility criteria in the first place.

To submit your application, please fill in the requested data in the online application form, upload your application file and submit your application.

Download and carefully read the Guide for Applicants and the ITN Programme’s information note for all specific information on the application and selection procedure.