Pardee Center Task Force: Environmental Governance

Project CoordinatorsAnne Short, Henrik Selin, James McCarthy


A study of the current structure and function of governance from local customs and approaches to multilateral international agreements.

Environmental governance has emerged as one of the most important and challenging domains in the contemporary world, and all indications are that its centrality and significance in the health and well-being of humans and ecosystems will continue to grow in the coming decades. The Pardee Center Task Force on Environmental Governance in and for the 21st Century was convened to synthesize current knowledge, set a new research agenda, and produce policy-relevant insights by bringing together scholars of two of the most important research traditions of environmental governance: formally designed and recognized multi-level governance and institutions, and informal, emergent, local relations of environmental governance. The former tradition draws largely from political science, law, and environmental economics while the latter has roots in political ecology, geography, anthropology, and history. Bridging the gap between these research traditions is vital to the creation and implementation of better environmental governance in the future.

A Task Force meeting was held at the Pardee Center in October 2012 and featured a keynote address by international sustainable development governance expert Prof. Joyeeta Gupta of VU University Amsterdam.  Task Force co-conveners are Pardee Center Faculty Fellows Anne Short (Earth and Environment) and Henrik Selin (International Relations) of Boston University and James McCarthy of the Clark University Graduate School of Geography.

Task Force members who participated in the October 11 -12 meeting include:

Anthony Bebbington, Clark University
Benjamin Cashore, Yale University
Joyeeta Gupta, Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam University)
Matthew Hoffmann, University of Toronto
Sikina Jinnah, American University
Brian King, Penn State University
James McCarthy, Clark University*
Robin Mearns, World Bank
Henrik Selin, Boston University*
Anne Short, Boston University*
Steven Wolf, Cornell University
Wendy Wolford, Cornell University

*Task Force Co-Conveners