I am a PhD candidate in International Relations/Political Science, affiliated with the Centre for International Environmental Studies, at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in Geneva, Switzerland. My research interest lies in on environmental governance and politics, with a regional focus on China and emerging economies. I’m particularly interested in the rise and effects of transnational governance initiatives led by non-state actors, such as private certification programs and public-private partnerships.

Funded by Doc.CH grant of the Swiss National Science Foundation, my dissertation project examines China’s uptake of private sustainability standards in food and agricultural sectors. I also participate in a large survey project on nexus between food and environmental/climate governance. My published work covers a range of topics, including online environmental activism, China’s environmental policy, global chemicals governance, and climate change governance.

Besides my research, I am also a writer for Earth Negotiations Bulletin, and have attended various intergovernmental meetings. I hold a M.A. in International Relations/Political Science from Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (2014), also M.A and B.A from Nanjing University.

For more information, please visit www.yixiansun.com.


Selected publications

  • Schleifer, P., & Sun, Y. (2018). Emerging markets and private governance: the political economy of sustainable palm oil in China and India. Review of International Political Economy, 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2017.1418759
  • Sun, Y. (2017). Transnational Public-Private Partnerships as Learning Facilitators: Global Governance of Mercury, Global Environmental Politics, 17 (2), 21-44, doi:10.1162/GLEP_a_00399.
  • Fedorenko, I., & Sun, Y. (2016). Microblogging-based civic participation on environment in China: A case study of the PM 2.5 Campaign. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations27(5), 2077-2105, doi: 10.1007/s11266-015-9591-1.
  • Sun, Y. (2016). The Changing Role of China in Global Environmental Governance. Rising Powers Quarterly1(1), 43-53, accessible at http://risingpowersproject.com/quarterly/changing-role-china-global-environmental-governance/.

    Associated Crosscutting Themes

  • Power

    Associated Analytical Problems

  • Agency