European Summer School on Earth System Governance

Successfully concluded the 2007 Marie Curie European Summer School on Earth System Governance

The 2007 summer school focused on broadening and deepening the understanding of young European social scientists of the theories, methods and tools that social scientists can use within the larger endeavour of earth system analysis. The summer school aimed at bringing together sociology, political science and international law with the current models of earth system analysis. Out of more than 250 applicants 39 participants where chosen, representing 16 different nationalities.

Specific topics that were covered include: Earth System Governance as an integrative approach; International Relations and International Law perspectives on Global Change; Case studies on Climate and Water Governance, including aspects of spatial planning; Scenarios and modelling within the larger sustainability debate.

The programme consisted of three distinct phases. First, the students participated in the 2007 Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, bringing together more than 350 participants to discuss theories and strategies for sustainability under the heading of Earth System Governance. A number of summer school participants presented their research in the conference panels.

The second programme phase consisted of a master class coordinated by Lorraine Elliott, Peter Haas and Lennart Olsson. Within this two-day event, summer school students had the opportunity to present and discuss their current work with the international resource persons and thus engage in close interaction with leading scholars in the field. The master class closed with a round-table on career opportunities within the area of sustainability research.

The third programme phase consisted of lectures and discussions organized according to major theories, concepts and cases of earth system governance. Special emphasis was laid on scenarios and modelling within sustainability science (in collaboration with the University of Maastricht).

Next year´s Summer School will take place in Berlin. For more information, see .

The Summer School papers are available on the Summer School website at

The 2007 European Summer School on Earth System Governance is funded by the European Community's Sixth Framework Programme, Marie Curie Action "Conferences and Training Courses".


Institute for Environmental Studies
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


ADAM Project
AIRD - Environment Canada
Global Governance Project

Netherlands Environmental
    Assessment Agency

NeWater Project
REFGOV Project
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts
    and Sciences, Global Change

SENSE Research School
Tyndall Centre


International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP)

World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS)

Environmental Policy and Global Change Working Group of the German Political Science Association (DVPW)  


Conference manager, 2007 Amsterdam Conference: