Newsletter No 4 December 2012

NWO VIDI grant for Philipp Pattberg


epa 04Philipp Pattberg has been awarded a prestigious VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to study institutional fragmentation in the areas on biodiversity, climate, and ocean governance. With this grant NWO gives talented researchers the opportunity to develop their own line of research and to build up their own research group. Each scientist receives a maximum amount of 800,000 Euros.

Philipp Pattberg, associate professor for Transnational Environmental Governance at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), has received one of 94 Vidi grants awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). The Vidi grant is aimed at excellent researchers who have gained several years of research experience after obtaining their PhD. The scientists belong to the best ten percent in their discipline. A Vidi grant funds their research for a period of five years. Vidi is part of the NWO Talent Scheme, which consists of the Veni, Vidi and Vici grants.

Vidi laureates have been selected on the basis of the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and the possibilities for knowledge utilization. A total of 652 researchers submitted an application for a Vidi grant. NWO awarded a Vidi grant to only 94 researchers in 2012.

Why is Philipp Pattberg going to study the institutional fragmentation of global environmental governance in the areas on biodiversity, climate, and ocean politics?

Scientists today see mounting evi­dence that the entire earth system now operates well outside safe boundaries. According to a recent scientific assessment of the international Earth System Governance Project, human societies must change course and steer away from critical tipping points that might lead to rapid and irreversible change, while ensuring sustainable livelihoods for all. This requires a fundamental transformation in current patterns of consumption and production. The key question from a social science per­spective is how to organize the co-evolu­tion of socie­ties and their sur­rounding envi­ronment, in other words, how to develop effective and equita­ble gov­ernance solutions for today’s global problems.

A major concern in this respect is the increasing fragmentation of global governance architectures across a number of policy domains. While global governance architectures can be highly integrated (as in the case of the free trade architecture governed by one overarching institution), the environmental domain is fragmented among competing sets of policies, actor constellations, fundamental norms and underlying discourses. The consequences of this development for effective, equitable and legitimate global governance are not well understood. This project will (1) take stock of the existing level of fragmentation across a number of issue-areas in global environmental politics (climate change; biodiversity; marine governance); (2) explain the causes of fragmentation of global governance architectures based on a carefully designed set of variables; (3) analyze the implications of fragmentation across different scales of governance (i.e. international, regional and domestic levels); and finally (4) suggest policy responses to increased fragmentation.

The project will organize a kick-off workshop with national and international experts on 16 and 17 May 2013 at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Contact: Philipp Pattberg