Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers


Ingrid J. Visseren-Hamakers, Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director
Ph.D. and M.S. Environmental Studies, Utrecht University
M.S. Business Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Research Focus: Transformative global environmental governance

Office: DK 3040

Phone: 703-993-5805

Email: Click here

The research program of Dr. Visseren-Hamakers, known as “transformative global environmental governance,” studies global environmental governance with a view to contribute to its transformation. Such transformation is urgently needed, given the current state of the environment around the world, despite often well-intentioned efforts by numerous societal actors to move towards sustainable development.

This research is theoretically embedded in the political and policy sciences, with a specialization in International Relations (IR). Even though global environmental governance can be considered an institutionalized field of study, many questions remain. One prime question is the question of transformative governance – how our current mostly unsustainable societies, economies and practices can be transformed to become sustainable, and especially how this transformative change can be governed.

To date, the research program has especially zoomed in on international biodiversity governance. While the point of departure of the research has mostly been at the international level, where international initiatives and trends are born, the research program also includes analyses of their roles and impact in different regional, national and local contexts, and thereby often focuses on multi-level governance. Empirically, current research themes include partnerships, certification, tourism & conservation, climate change mitigation (including REDD+) and adaption, and animal, forest and biodiversity governance.

The research program as a whole is inspired by the ambition of Dr. Visseren-Hamakers to contribute to both the academic and the societal debates on global environmental governance. An important part of her research is inter- and transdisciplinary, in collaboration, among others, with colleagues from the natural sciences and conservation organizations, with a vision to do research that matters and makes a difference.  The research of the “transformative global environmental governance lab” can be organized into four main focal areas. The first is Integrative Governance, defined as the theories and practices focused on the relationships between governance instruments and/or systems. Other focal areas are: transforming international biodiversity governance; learning from current governance instruments; and the emerging theme of animal and environmental governance.

Dr. Visseren-Hamakers is affiliated with the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy group at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and is currently serving as Coordinating Lead Author in the Global Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). She holds an MBA, and MS and PhD degrees in Environmental Studies.