This author workshop on ‘Agency in Earth System Governance’ will work on a special issue that collects papers that advance our understanding of the actors and agents that drive earth system governance and the ways in which authority is granted to them and how it is exercised. Contributions address the influence, roles and responsibilities of both state actors and non-state actors, such as business and non-profit organizations. Core questions are: What is agency in earth system governance, and who are the agents? How do different agents exercise agency in earth system governance, and how can we evaluate their relevance?

The special issue will more specifically seek to do three things: First, provide a theoretical perspective on agency and agents in global environmental governance; second, focus empirical examples of agents hitherto neglected in environmental governance research (international bureaucratic agents, sub-national agents, entrepreneurs and consultancies); third, present case studies across different issue areas (climate, water, biodiversity).The special issue will thus be both timely and salient, provide solid academic analysis of a novel analytical approach in global environmental governance.

The contributions to this special issue have been selected among the participants of the 2009 Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change “Earth System Governance: People, Places and the Planet”, held 2-4 December 2009 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Articles to be discussed

1. Sofie Bouteligier – Conceptualizing global environmental consultancy firms as actors in global environmental governance

2. Teresia Rindefjäll, Emma Lund and Johannes Stripple – Wine, fruit and emission reductions: CDM as development strategy in Chile

3. Gudrun Benecke – Networking for Climate Change: Agency in the Context of Renewable Energy Governance in India

4. Rafael Ziegler and Lena Partzsch – The Political Biography of Water and the People‟s Biography – A Case Study of Social Entrepreneurship in the Water Sector

5. Michele Betsill, Philipp Pattberg and Eleni Dellas – Agency in Earth System Governance: taking stock and moving forward

The workshop is organised by Prof. Michele Betsill (Colorado State University) and Prof. Philipp Pattberg (VU University Amsterdam).