Project team

The ACTS project brings together researchers from Stockholm University, Linköping University and Free University. 

With backgrounds in International Relations, Environmental politics, Science and Technology Studies, Organizational and Management Studies they contribute with various perspcetives to the ACTS project activities.

Stockholm University, Sweden

Karin Bäckstrand is a Professor in Environmental Social Science at the Department of Political Science at Stockholm University. This new position is intended to strengthen environmental social science research and teaching at the faculty of social science as well as across faculties at Stockholm university She co-directs the research group Environmental Policy, Politics and Learning (EPPLE), nominated as leading research area by the Faculty of Social Science. ) Bäckstrand is Editor of the domain Climate Policy and Governance at Wiley’s Interdisciplinary Review (WIREs) Climate Change, a leading journal for climate studies.

Her primary research revolves around global environmental politics, the role of science in environmental decision-making, the politics of climate change and the democratic legitimacy of global governance. Bäckstrand received her doctorate in Political Science at Lund University in 2001. Between 2002 and 2004 she held a postdoctoral position as a Wallenberg Fellow for Environment and Sustainability at the Laboratory for Energy and Environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During 2013, she was visiting scholar at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford and was a senior member at St. Anthony’s’ College.

Bäckstrand’s work is published in journals Global Environmental Politics, European Journal of International Relations, Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Environmental Politics, Journal of European Public Policy. Her recent books are The Research Handbook on Climate Governance (co-edited with Eva Lövbrand, Edward Elgar, 2015) and Rethinking the Green State: Environmental Governance towards Climate and Sustainability Transition (with Annica Kronsell, Routledge, 2015

Bäckstrand has been awarded grants and led several research projects funded by the Swedish Research Council, Formas, Riksbanken Jubileumsfund, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra), The Swedish Energy Agency, Wennergren Foundation, EU-FP7 and the Leverhulme Foundation. She serves on the board of the Norwegian Research Council’s 10-year research program on Climate Change, the Mistra Program New Governance for Sustainable Development in the Artic, and the social science faculty representative on the Board of the Stockholm Resilience Center. She is Senior Faculty of the Earth System Governance Project.

Naghmeh Nasiritousi is a research fellow at the Political Science Department at Stockholm University. Her research focuses on global environmental governance and questions of agency and architecture. Prior to Stockholm University, Naghmeh obtained her doctorate at Linköping University. Her dissertation, titled ‘Shapers, Brokers and Doers: The Dynamic Roles of Non-State Actors in Global Climate Change Governance’, examined why and how non-state actors are involved in global climate change governance. She worked with the International Negotiations Survey to explore attitudes and opinions held by the diverse set of participants attending the international climate change negotiations on issues such as legitimacy and agency in global environmental governance.

Her research has been published in journals such as Nature Climate Change, European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Quarterly, Global Environmental Politics, International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, and Annual Review of Political Science.

Jens Marquardt works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science at Stockholm University, primarily on a research project on climate action in the post-Paris context. Trained as a political scientist with additional education in science and technology studies (STS), my research interests revolve around environmental governance, climate politics, and development. I am particularly interested in questions of legitimacy, power and knowledge production related to societal transformations.

Having investigated how power shapes energy transitions in Southeast Asia, I received my Ph.D. in Political Science at the Environmental Policy Research Centre at Freie Universität Berlin in 2015. Before joining Stockholm University, I worked at universities in Lüneburg, Berlin and Halle, where I also taught in comparative politics and international relations. From 2017 to 2018 I worked on the challenges of climate policy implementation as a visiting research fellow at the Harvard STS Program.

Salvador Perez is the project’s research assistant. The major part of his work has been in module 1: mapping Swedish non-state and sub-state and sub-national climate initiatives. Salvador has a Master’s degree in international relations from Stockholm University.

Linköping University, Sweden

Eva Lövbrand‘s research is focused on the knowledge politics of the environment. She explores how ideas, knowledge claims and expert practices are enacted, legitimated and used in global environmental politics and governance. Environmental policy debates are often permeated by claims to knowledge and expertise, perceptions of environmental risk and scientific uncertainty. As a consequence, a growing scholarship has asked questions about how knowledge interacts with power and gains political effect in environmental affairs. Eva’s research is informed by such questions.

Throughout her research, Eva has explored how ideas, knowledge claims and expert practices are mobilized, legitimated and enacted in global environmental politics and governance. The knowledge politics of climate change serve as her primary empirical arena. In numerous journal articles and book chapters Eva examines the systems of thought and every-day knowledge practices that inform how climate change is governed internationally, transnationally and in our every-day lives. Eva’sresearch is rooted in an interpretative research tradition and located at the interface of political science, environmental studies and science and technology studies. Inspired by Michel Foucault’s nominalist approach to central political concepts such as politics, power and government, Eva asks questions about ‘the how’ of environmental governance and statehood. How is the environment construed as a domain of government? How is environmental governance accomplished in practical and technical terms? How are agent categories and subjectivities constituted through the practices of environmental governance?

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

Oscar Widerberg is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM).He study and teaches global sustainability governance, primarily focusing on the connections between state and non-state actors. Dr. Widerberg teaches and coordinates courses on environmental policy and research methods in the Environment and Resource Management (ERM) Master programme. He conducts resarch on policy and governance for sustainability, primarily on the international and transnational level.

Oscar is a fellow to the Earth System Governance project, a member of the Swedish think tank FORES Reference Group on International Climate Policy, and member of INOGOV’s Early Career Investigators’ Network (ECIN). He has published academic articles, policy reports, debate articles and book chapters on a variety of global environmental issues. He regularly participates in the public debate on environment, climate and energy, among other, through radio appearances, UNFCCC side-events, and open lectures.

Cornelia Fast is since October 2019 a Junior Researcher at the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis (EPA) at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. She has a master’s degree in Political Science – Global Environmental Governance from VU Amsterdam, which has allowed her to engage in questions regarding how various environmental issues are interlinked and governed in challenging political landscapes.

Working for the ACTS research project, she mainly contributes to Module 1 and the mapping of Swedish non-state and sub-national actors’ climate action and membership in transnational climate initiatives. However, she also assists and collaborates with the project’s researchers by collecting and analyzing data belonging to Module 2.

Julia Grimm works since February 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis in the Institute for Environmental Studies at the VU Amsterdam. Julia is part of the “Action for Climate Transformation in Sweden” research project. She has a background in management and organizational studies, economics and qualitative research methods. Her primary research interests include collective action, transnational governance institutions and organizational legitimacy.

Julia has earned her PhD from the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg in February 2019. In her PhD, she explored how private governance institutions can emerge and under which conditions they are most effective. In this vein, she conducted an exhaustive process analysis of the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.

Since a few years, Julia is a visiting lecturer for Business Ethics at the University of Applied Sciences Konstanz and the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg.