Seminar – Earth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene


When ? 2014/05/20

Where? At Reid Hall - 4, rue de Chevreuse - Paris - 75006 - France


In recent years, new conceptual developments have pervaded the field of global environmental governance. Undoubtedly, concepts such as “planetary boundaries” or the “Anthropocene” fundamentally change the way we understand global environmental governance, both from a research and policy standpoint. In this seminar’s session, Frank Biermann will explore the implications of such new conceptual developments on the global policy architecture for sustainable development as well as on the global governance research field.

Frank Biermann * (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Earth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene

Discussant: Tancrède Voituriez ** (IDDRI)

Tuesday May 20th 2013, from 12:30 to 2:30 pm


Frank Biermann will discuss current conceptual developments in the field of global environmental governance, including new paradigms such as the “Anthropocene” (a suggested new epoch in planetary history now defined by human influences); “planetary boundaries”, and “earth system governance”. Within this new context of environmental policy making, he will present key insights and policy-related conclusions of his new book, Earth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene (forthcoming with MIT Press). He will cover questions regarding the overall architecture of earth system governance, the role of state and non-state actors, issues of global accountability and legitimacy, the need to prepare for global adaptation governance, and the important equity concerns of earth system governance. In the second part of his talk, Frank Biermann will analyse the major ongoing reforms in this research domain, notably the emergence of the new global research alliance “Future Earth” and the promise and pitfalls of the integrated, transdisciplinary research that ”Future Earth” is intended to deliver, including new emerging standards of co-design, integration, and solution-orientation.

* Dr. Frank Biermann is a professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU University, The Netherlands), where he heads the Environmental Policy Analysis group at the Institute for Environmental Studies. He is also a visiting professor of Earth System Governance at Lund University, Sweden. Dr. Biermann specializes in the study of global environmental politics, with emphasis on climate negotiations, United Nations reform, public-private governance mechanisms, and global adaptation governance. He pioneered the concept of “earth system governance” and chairs the Earth System Governance Project, a global transdisciplinary research network. His most recent book, Earth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene, will be released shortly by MIT Press. Among other honours, Dr. Biermann has won a Societal Impact Award for his “path-breaking research on global environmental policy”. He holds a PhD in political science from Freie Universität Berlin, and master’s degrees in both political science and international law.

** Following his PhD in economics on the instability of commodity markets, Tancrède Voituriez joined IDDRI in 2005 to develop research activities on the effects of globalization on sustainable development. On this subject, and as director of IDDRI’s Governance programme, he coordinates projects for the European Commission, the European Parliament and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment, among others. Since 2010 his work has focused on the conditions for implementing public policies for sustainable development, which today unfolds in two directions. The first is that of the governance of the post-2015 development agenda and the reforms that this agenda imply in terms of development funding. The second is that of the race for green technologies, or the “green race” between the OECD and emerging countries. In coordination with the New Prosperity program, his research aims to identify the conditions of production and deployment of low-carbon innovations in globalized economies.

Registration online on IDDRI website
The seminar will be held in English.

Please also note that IDDRI conferences are recorded and then available on IDDRI’s and TerreTv’s websites.

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