New directions in earth system governance research

Sarah Burch*, A. Gupta, C. Inoue, Agni Kalfagianni, Asa Persson, Andrea K. Gerlak, Atsushi Ishii, James Patterson, Jonathan Pickering, M. Scobie, Jeroen van der Heijden, J. Vervoort, Carolina Adler, Michael Bloomfield, Riyante Djalante, John Dryzek, Victor Galaz, Christopher Gordon, Renée Harmon, Sikina JinnahRakhyun E. Kim, Lennart Olsson, J. van Leeuwen, Vasna Ramasar, Paul Wapner, R. Zondervan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


The Earth System Governance project is a global research alliance that explores novel, effective governance mechanisms to cope with the current transitions in the biogeochemical systems of the planet. A decade after its inception, this article offers an overview of the project's new research framework (which is built upon a review of existing earth system governance research), the goal of which is to continue to stimulate a pluralistic, vibrant and relevant research community. This framework is composed of contextual conditions (transformations, inequality, Anthropocene and diversity), which capture what is being observed empirically, and five sets of research lenses (architecture and agency, democracy and power, justice and allocation, anticipation and imagination, and adaptiveness and reflexivity). Ultimately the goal is to guide and inspire the systematic study of how societies prepare for accelerated climate change and wider earth system change, as well as policy responses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100006
Number of pages18
JournalEarth System Governance
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Governance
  • Research networks
  • Earth system
  • Transformation


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