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Research Centre Amsterdam

The Amsterdam Earth System Governance Research Center is committed to contribute to the implementation of the Earth System Governance Project as part of the global alliance of Earth System Governance Research Centres and brings social scientists working on earth system governance together. It consists of the Environment Policy Analysis (EPA) Department of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) of the VU University Amsterdam, and the Governance and Inclusive Development (GID) programme group in the Faculty of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies of the University of Amsterdam.

The Department of Environmental Policy Analysis is a vibrant international group of around 35 researchers, faculty members and PhD students within the university’s Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), the oldest environmental research institute in the Netherlands. Within the Earth System Governance Project, the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis at IVM plans to contribute research on all five Analytical Themes identified in the Science and Implementation Plan of the Earth System Governance Project, with particular emphasis on the analytical themes of Architecture; Agency; and Adaptiveness. Regarding the four Flagships Activities of the Earth System Governance Project, we have a large number of research projects that focus on climate governance, food governance, and water governance.

The GID/UVA, a programme group consisting of a core staff of 12 and about 20 PhD students, focuses on transformations in political, social, cultural and economic landscapes in the context of processes of uneven development, globalisation and the risks of overuse of environmental resources, pollution of environmental resources and the ensuing global change problems they cause. This underpins the need for rethinking the governance of development capacities in developing countries (or countries in the global South) and also the need to focus on production and consumption patterns in the developed world that have externalities that reverberate in developing countries. Countries in the global South play an increasingly important role in international discussions on development, putting forward their own perspectives and claims. GID’s aim is to gain deeper insight into the ways in which governance processes influence the capabilities actors have at various scale levels, as well as how actors and institutions influence the architecture of governance of transformation processes within countries, urban and rural localities and globalising networks. The focus falls on issues of socio-economic inequality and issues of access and allocation (e.g. poverty), space and place, scaling of governance, the dynamics of governance networks, institutions, regimes and livelihoods and the impact of interventions aiming at so-called ‘resilient development’ and adaptive governance.

The programme group focuses on three strategic areas: (a) the governance of natural resources and well-being; (b) urban governance and resilient development; and (c) governance of resources for human development (education, knowledge, rights and social justice). The mission of the programme group is to promote research on governance issues from the perspective of the global South, and to provide a better inter-disciplinary understanding of how processes of governance can deal with inequalities and poverty issues at both differing and linking scale levels.