Dear GEP-ED members,
The Call for Papers of the 2018 Utrecht Conference on Earth System Governance
is now available. Please see below. We hope to welcome many of you in Utrecht
C A L L FOR P A P E R S
2018 Utrecht Conference on Earth System Governance
Governing Global Sustainability in a Complex World
Key Research Insights & New Research Directions
Utrecht University, The Netherlands, 5-8 November 2018
We are delighted to invite you to the 2018 Utrecht Conference on Earth System
Governance, to be held 5-8 November 2018 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Deadline for paper abstracts: 19 March 2018
Notification of acceptance: 2 April 2018
Full papers due: 1 November 2018
The 2018 Utrecht Conference stands in a long tradition of global conferences on
earth system governance, from Amsterdam (2007 and 2009) to Colorado (2011),
Lund (2012), Tokyo (2013), Norwich (2014), Canberra (2015), Nairobi (2016), and
Lund (2017). In this long-standing event series, the Utrecht Conference will
have a special status: in 2018, the Earth System Governance Project's current
Science and Implementation Plan will be replaced by a new 10-year science plan;
and new, enthusiastic leadership will take over the helm of our project.
This conference will hence focus on harvesting the many findings of our
community over the last decade, combined with a bold outlook to the future and
the next scientific challenges for earth system governance research.
Confirmed keynote speakers are Steven Bernstein, University of Toronto; Michele
M. Betsill, Colorado State University; Harriet Bulkeley, Durham University;
Jennifer Clapp, University of Waterloo; Peter Driessen, Utrecht University;
John Dryzek, University of Canberra; Lorraine Elliott, Australian National
University; Piet Hoekstra, Utrecht University; Norichika Kanie, Keio
University; Louis Lebel, Chiang Mai University; Diana Liverman, University of
Arizona; James Meadowcroft, Carleton University; Dirk Messner, German
Development Institute; David Mungai, University of Nairobi; Lennart Olsson,
Lund University; Susan Park, University of Sydney; Ortwin Renn, Institute for
Advanced Sustainability Studies; Michelle Scobie, University of the West
Indies; and Oran R. Young, University of California at Santa Barbara. Frank
Biermann will present the key insights of the last 10 years of the Earth System
Governance Project, and the Project's new Science and Implementation Plan will
be introduced by Sarah Burch, Waterloo University; Aarti Gupta, Wageningen
University; Cristina Inoue, University of Brasília; Agni Kalfagianni, Utrecht
University; and Åsa Persson, Stockholm Environment Institute.
The 2018 Utrecht Conference will be organized around the core analytical
problems that have structured the last decade of earth system governance
research, while providing an outlook on emerging themes and new directions.
Abstracts can be submitted to one of the following six conference streams:
1. Architectures of Earth System Governance. We invite papers that reflect
on the complexity of governance systems in the context of increasing
cross-sectoral and cross-scale interdependencies, and growing institutional
interplay between environmental and non-environmental domains (e.g. global
trade, security, technology). Core questions include: How can we evaluate the
performance of complex governance architectures? What is the relationship
between complexity and concepts such as fragmentation and polycentricism? How
and why can complex earth system governance architectures be governed more
1. Agency in Earth System Governance. We invite papers that build on the
knowledge created over the past ten years and that further advance
understanding of the actors and agents that drive earth system governance and
the ways in which authority is granted to them and how it is exercised. We
welcome papers on the influence, roles and responsibilities of both state
actors and non-state actors, such as NGOs, cities, corporations, public-private
partnerships, or science networks. Core questions are: How is authority
shifting in earth system governance and with what kind of implications? How do
different agents exercise agency in earth system governance, and how can we
evaluate their relevance? Which are the emerging actors and how will they
influence earth system governance in the years to come?
1. Accountability, Legitimacy and Democracy in the Anthropocene. We invite
papers on the accountability, legitimacy and overall democratic quality of
earth system governance. What are the sources of accountability, legitimacy,
and democracy in earth system governance? What are the effects of different
forms and degrees of accountability and legitimacy, as well as types of
democracy and authoritarianism for the performance of governance systems? What
institutional designs can produce the accountability, legitimacy and democratic
quality of earth system governance in a way that guarantees balances of
interests and perspectives in a world of increasing diversity?
1. Allocation, Access and Equity in Earth System Governance. Earth system
governance is, as is any political activity, fundamentally about the
distribution of material and immaterial resources and values. It is, in
essence, a conflict about the access to goods and about their allocation - it
is about justice, fairness, and equity. How can we reach interdisciplinary
conceptualizations and definitions of allocation and access and of planetary
justice? What (overarching) principles underlie allocation, access and equity?
How can broader justice demands be reconciled with governance effectiveness?
1. Adaptiveness, Resilience, and the Transformation of Earth System
Governance. We invite papers on the adaptiveness, resilience, and
transformation of earth system governance, a theme that includes related
concepts such as adaptation, adaptive management, vulnerability and
reflexivity. What are the politics of adaptiveness and transformations? Which
governance processes foster it? What attributes of governance systems enhance
capacities to adapt or transform? How, when and why does adaptiveness influence
earth system governance transformation?
1. Theoretical and Methodological Foundations of Earth System Governance.
Finally, we invite papers that analyse the theoretical foundations and
implications of new ways of thinking about governance and earth system
transformations, including concepts such as the Anthropocene, earth system
stewardship, planetary boundaries, and the extent to which they are related and
to which they differ. Moreover, we invite papers that seek to identify and
further develop the appropriate methods to study earth system governance,
including papers that study options for integrating social science-based work
with study programmes grounded in the natural sciences, computer-based
modelling, imagination and anticipation experiments, and scenario work.
Finally, we welcome papers that critically discuss the role of science and
scientists in the Anthropocene, and that discuss how scientific communities can
become agents of resistance, change, and transformations.
Types of proposals
We invite submissions of abstracts of up to 400 words that address either the
main conference theme; one or more of the six conference streams; or any other
topic that is relevant to the Earth System Governance Project.
All abstracts will be anonymized and evaluated in double-blind peer-review by
generally five members of our conference review panel.
In addition, we invite Panel proposals that address the main conference theme;
one or more of the six conference streams; or any other topic relevant to the
Earth System Governance Project.
Panel proposals must include a description of the panel (300 words or less),
4-5 abstracts (each up to 400 words), as well as the name of a chair and a
discussant. Please note that all paper abstracts will be evaluated individually
in the general double-blind peer-review of the conference, with the possible
outcome that only some papers submitted for a panel might eventually be
accepted. Only panels with three or more accepted papers will be included in
the programme. If fewer than three papers for the panel are accepted, these
accepted papers will be integrated into other panels.
We also welcome proposals for non-traditional sessions, such as roundtables
(which may include policy-makers, academics, or representatives of social
movements and non-governmental organizations), policy games, book launches, and
book seminars (that may discuss recently published academic works in the
field). All non-traditional sessions can be proposed directly to the conference
organizers by e-mail: uc2...@earthsystemgovernance.org. Proposals should
include a description of the session (1 page) and a list of participants.
Proposals will be reviewed by the conference organizers and members of the
Please note that while there is no limit on the number of submissions,
individuals will only be permitted to present, at a maximum, 2 papers.
The Special Taskforce and Meeting Day on 8 November
On Thursday, 8 November, extensive meeting space - including joint lunches and
a special session on Science-Policy Interactions - will be provided for
back-to-back events of our Project's Taskforces and Affiliated Projects, as
well as early-career workshops, author writing retreats, planning sessions,
workshops on teachings and methods, and similar events. Suggestions for such
meetings can be submitted to uc2...@earthsystemgovernance.org by 1 April 2018
(in exceptional cases, also later). We will ensure wide dissemination of the
events through our network, and assist with formal registration. All interested
conference participants can select the event they plan to participate in
through the conference registration form.
Winter School on Earth System Governance, 31 October - 4 November 2018
Prior to the conference we will organize a five-day Winter School on Earth
System Governance. The Winter School will focus on key concepts and new ideas
in earth system governance research. The Winter School is meant both for
early-career researchers already familiar with the Earth System Governance
Project and those new to this broad research field. More information on content
and registration will be made available separately on our conference website -
The organizers are undertaking all efforts to secure travel support for
participants who are based at institutions in developing countries and for
early-career researchers. To the extent that travel funds are available, they
will be disbursed on merit basis according to the relative ranking of the
abstract. Acceptance of a paper for presentation does not guarantee travel
Details on abstract submission and answers to frequently asked questions are
available at our conference website www.earthsystemgovernance.org/utrecht2018.
More information on the Earth System Governance Project can be found at
We look forward to welcoming you to Utrecht in November 2018!
Frank Biermann, co-chair, 2018 Utrecht Conference on Earth System Governance
Agni Kalfagianni, co-chair, 2018 Utrecht Conference on Earth System Governance
-- Utrecht University, Faculty of Geosciences, Copernicus Institute of
-- Earth System Governance Project
CO-HOSTS AND SPONSORS
-- Colorado State University, Environmental Governance Working Group, United
States of America
-- German Development Institute, Germany
-- Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
-- Keio University, Japan
-- Utrecht University, Strategic Programme "Institutions for Open Societies",
-- University of Waterloo, Faculty of Environment, Canada
-- Academic Council of the United Nations System
-- Future Earth
-- Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future
Sandra van der Hel, Utrecht University
EARTH SYSTEM GOVERNANCE INTERNATIONAL PROJECT OFFICE
Ruben Zondervan, Executive Director
Charlotta Kjöllerström, Network Coordinator and Administrative Assistant
Frank Biermann | Research Professor of Global Sustainability Governance |
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development<http://www.uu.nl/copernicus>,
Utrecht University | Environmental Governance Group | Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS
Utrecht | Room 1124 | P.O. Box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands | + 31
30 253 5580 | Skype fhb.biermann | Personal
Website<https://www.uu.nl/staff/fhbbiermann> | Google
Chair, Earth System Governance Project<http://www.earthsystemgovernance.org/>
Co-editor, MIT Press book series on Earth System
Earth System Governance: World Politics in the
Anthropocene<http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/earth-system-governance> (MIT Press
Governing through Goals: Sustainable Development Goals as Governance
Innovation<https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/governing-through-goals> (MIT Press
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