The more regulatory competence and authority is conferred upon larger institutions and systems of governance—especially at the global level—the more we will be confronted with questions of how to ensure the accountability and legitimacy of governance. Simply put, we are faced with the need to understand the democratic quality of earth system governance. What are the sources of accountability and legitimacy in earth system governance? What are the effects of different forms and degrees of accountability and legitimacy for the performance of governance systems? How can mechanisms of transparency ensure accountable and legitimate earth system governance? What institutional designs can produce the accountability and legitimacy of earth system governance in a way that guarantees balances of interests and perspectives?

Upcoming Events

09-12-2015 - 12-12-2015
Earth System Governance Summer School at the University of Canberra

Summer School to precede the 6th Annual Earth System Governance Conference, co-hosted by the Australian National University and the University of Canberra.

Canberra, Australia
14-12-2015 - 16-12-2015
2015 Canberra Conference on Earth System Governance: ’Democracy and Resilience in the Anthropocene’

This event is part of the annual conference series organized by the Earth System Governance Project. The conference will be co-hosted by the Australian National University and the University of Canberra.

Canberra, Australia
18-12-2015 - 19-12-2015
Accountability on Global Environmental Governance Workshop

Organized by The Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of Sydney, in partnership with the School of Social and Political Sciences and the Department of Government and International Relations.

Sydney, Australia
24-06-2016 - 25-06-2016
Disclosing Sustainability: The Transformative Power of Transparency?

Organized by the Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University, sponsored, among others, by the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Environment and Society (ISA-RC24), and the Earth System Governance Project. 

Wageningen, The Netherlands


Author(s) Title Year
Anderson, Paul. Which Direction for International Environmental Law?. Journal of Human Rights and the Environment , 6(1): 98–126. 2015
Baber, Walter F., Robert V. Bartlett. Consensus and Global Environmental Governance: Deliberative Democracy in Nature's Regime. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 2015
Habtezion, Senay., Ibidun Adelekan, Emmanuel Aiyede, Frank Biermann, Margaret Fubara, Christopher Gordon, Kwabena Gyekye, Emmanuel Kasimbazi, Robert Kibugi, Elaine Lawson, Adelina Mensah, Chipo Mubaya, Felix Olorunfemi, Alexander Paterson, Debay Tadesse, Raheem Usman, and Ruben Zondervan. Earth System Governance in Africa: knowledge and capacity needs. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 14: 198–205. 2015
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia I. The Legitimation of Global Energy Governance: A Normative Exploration. F. Mancebo and I. Sachs (eds.). Transitions to Sustainability119-130. Dordrecht, Springer. 2015
Patterson, James., Karsten Schulz, Joost Vervoort, Carolina Adler, Margot Hurlbert, Sandra van der Hel, Andreas Schmidt, Aliyu Barau, Pedi Obani, Mahendra Sethi, Nina Hissen, Mark Tebboth, Karen Anderton, Susanne Börner, and Oscar Widerberg. ‘Transformations towards sustainability’. Emerging approaches, critical reflections, and a research agenda. Earth System Governance Working Paper, No.34: 2015


Dr. Paul Anderson, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Prof. Karin Bäckstrand, Lund University, Sweden
Carola Betzold, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Prof. Frank Biermann, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Lau Blaxekjaer, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Gregory Borne, Plymouth University, United Kingdom
Dr. Sarah Burch, University of Waterloo, Canada
Dr. Tim Cadman, Griffith University, Australia
Prof. Jennifer Clapp, University of Waterloo; and CIGI Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada
Dr. Maria Noelyn Dano, Australian National University, Australia