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The transformation of our entire planetary system due to human exploitation and overconsumption makes traditional understandings of ‘environmental’ politics obsolete. We need to develop new ways of understanding politics in times of global system changes, from climate disruption to species mass extinction. Almost 20 years ago, I advanced the notion of ‘earth system’ governance as an integrative vision for progressive planetary politics that go beyond the traditional human-nature dichotomies.


In 2006, I launched the Earth System Governance Project, which has become the largest research network at the interface of ongoing planetary transformations and much-needed progressive political responses. I led the Earth System Governance Project until the end of 2018, when a new, (mostly) younger group of enthusiastic scholars took over the leadership of the network.


I remain involved in the Project as founding (co-)editor of its four main publication outlets: the MIT Press book series on Earth System Governance; the more recent Cambridge University Press book series on harvesting the core findings of the Earth System Governance Projectthe Cambridge Elements in Earth System Governance; and the network’s flagship journal, Earth System Governance. I also chair the Earth System Governance Foundation. 

Apart from these functions, I continue contributing to earth system governance theory, intertwined with my current work on the Anthropocene, planetary boundaries and the SDGs, planetary justice, governance fragmentation, and green colonialism.

Key publications include:

Earth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene (MIT Press, 2014) 

‘Earth system governance’ as a crosscutting theme of global change research (open access copy)

The Earth System Governance Project as a network organization: a critical assessment after ten years (open access article, 2019)

The future of 'environmental' policy in the Anthropocene: Time for a paradigm shift (open access article, 2020)

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