Research

In my research, I describe the dynamics of knowledge politics in environmental affairs across scales. Claims to knowledge permeate current debates about climate change and biodiversity loss. Often, these claims are based on scientific evidence and technological know-how, but likewise on experience, social positionality, and varying cosmologies; they are competing offering different problem-frames and corresponding solutions.

Given this multivocality of environmental knowledge, I ask questions such how claims to knowledge are rendered authoritative and black-boxed, whose knowledge is declared as relevant, and what future visions guide transformation processes. This set of questions unveils the dynamics of knowledge politics that are intertwined with issues of power and justice.

My work opens-up for more plural engagements with environmental problems. It sensitizes to both the deeply social and political as well as the material and technological aspects of transformation. All of those are important to consider, when envisioning the future otherwise.

Trained in International Relations (IR), I extend existing political science perspectives by integrating Science and Technology Studies (STS) and sociological approaches. My theoretical interventions evolve around the concepts of authority, objects, performance, and translation. Collectively, they draw the contours of a political epistemology that is sensitive to the embedded and socio-material nature of knowledge practices.

Empirically, I have mobilized this vocabulary to investigate the emergence of private forest governance with reference to global certification systems. I have published on global expertise organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). And, I have examined social movement protests, especially of Indigenous Youth in the USA.