Aarti Gupta is Lead Faculty of the Earth System Governance Project, and an Associate Professor in the Environmental Policy Group of the Department of Social Sciences, at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
Aarti’s research area is global environmental politics and policy, with a particular focus on:
Education and research trajectory
Aarti holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from Yale University, and a Masters in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Prior to coming to Wageningen, she was a Research Fellow for two years at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where she participated in the Global Environmental Assessment Project, and focused on the role of science and expertise in global biosafety governance. She has also been a post-doctoral scholar at Columbia University’s Center for Science, Policy and Outcomes, based in Washington DC, where she participated in a Rockefeller-funded project on technological divides and anticipatory risk governance in a North-South context.
Aarti’s research trajectory has evolved from a strong disciplinary grounding in political science and international relations to a growing interest in interdisciplinary (within the social sciences) analyses of environmental and sustainability issues. Her research interests currently center on the politics of global environmental and sustainability governance; with a focus on inter-state environmental negotiations; the (contested) normative bases underpinning global environmental and anticipatory risk governance; as well as the role of science, knowledge and expertise in multilevel environmental governance.
Her empirical focus has been on the issue-areas of biotechnology, biodiversity, forests and climate governance. Theoretically, she has sought to combine insights from constructivist international relations theories with international law, and science and technology studies (STS). Her most recent focus has been on the contested politics of transparency and accountability in environmental governance, with an edited volume on Transparency in Global Environmental Governance: Critical Perspectives, published by MIT Press (2014).
She has supplemented this academic journey with working extensively outside of academia as well. This includes, for example, working as global policy officer at the United Nations Development Programme, and the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, both in New York, USA; as well as with foundations and bilateral aid agencies (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, GIZ- Germany); and with international non-governmental organizations (Oxfam-Novib in the Hague, Netherlands; Transparency International in Berlin, Germany). She has also been a writer for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and in this capacity attended numerous international environmental negotiations on biodiversity, food security, genetic resources, and forests from 1994 – 2000.
Grants and awards
Aarti is the recipient of multiple graduate, pre-doctoral and post-doctoral grants and awards, including:
International networks and functions
Journal editorships and board memberships:
Vice-Chair, Management Committee, EU-FP7 European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action IS0802 Transformations in Global Environmental Governance, research network of 19 European countries, coordinated by the VU-Amsterdam (2008 – 2012).
National and university networks and functions
Founder and co-coordinator, Wageningen University–wide REDD@WUR network: coordinating REDD+ seed project activities, including network-building, joint publications, and fund-raising
Co-coordinator, Netherlands Research School for Socioeconomic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE) Cluster X on Environmental Governance
Aarti teaches introductory and advanced courses in International Environmental Politics and Diplomacy. She has also taught courses in Environmental Policy: Analysis and Evaluation and Bachelors Thesis preparation.
She is the recipient of 6 Wageningen University Excellence in Education Awards over the last 7 years (three for excellence in lecturing; and three for her course being among the top 25 at the University in a given year). In 2010, she was listed 2nd on the list of 25 top lecturers at Wageningen University.
She is currently supervising 4 PhD students, and various MSc thesis students in the areas of global environmental politics, forest and climate governance, and the science-politics interface.
She is also involved in various teaching management tasks at the University, including:
Wageningen University REDD@WUR website
Contact: aarti.gupta [at] wur.nl