Published on Mar 12, 2010

The Earth System Governance Project announces the launch of a new book series on Earth System Governance, published by The MIT Press.

Humans now influence all biological and physical systems of the planet. Recent scientific findings suggest that the entire earth system now operates outside the normal state exhibited over the past 500,000 years. Yet at the same time, it is apparent that the institutions, organizations and mechanisms by which humans govern their relationship with the natural environment and global biogeochemical systems are utterly insufficient – and poorly understood. More fundamental and applied research is needed.

Such research is no easy undertaking. It must span the entire globe because only integrated global solutions can ensure a sustainable co-evolution of natural and socio-economic systems. But it must also draw on local experiences and insights. Research on earth system governance must be about places in all their diversity, yet seek to integrate place-based research within a global understanding of the myriad human interactions with the earth system. Eventually, the task is to develop integrated systems of governance, from the local to the global level, that ensure the sustainable development of the coupled socio-ecological system that the Earth has become.

The series Earth System Governance is designed to address this research challenge. Books in this series will pursue this challenge from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, at different levels of governance, and with a plurality of methods. Yet all will further one common aim: analyzing current systems of earth system governance with a view to increased understanding and possible improvements and reform. Books in this series will be of interest to the academic community but will also inform practitioners and at times contribute to policy debates.

Information on the earth system governance book series as well as details on the published and forthcoming books is available here.

For information on the submission of proposals and manuscripts, please contact either:

  • Frank Biermann, Professor and Head of the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis at the Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Guest Professor, Lund University; and chair of the Earth System Governance Project [frank.biermann@ivm.vu.nl]
  • Oran R. Young, Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara; [young@bren.ucsb.edu]
  • Clay Morgan, The MIT Press [claym@mit.edu]