Working groups

WG 1: Complexity in Global Climate Governance cancelled
WG 2: Public and Private Regulation of Natural Resource Governance
WG 3: Food and sustainability
WG 4: Resolving conflicting interests in resources in Latin America
WG 5: New environmental theories


WG 2: Public and Private Regulation of Natural Resource Governance

Venue: Educa, E102


Increased global demand for natural and energy resources, such as minerals, wood, water and fish, has created both great economic opportunities as well as considerable environmental and social risks in societies. Regulatory frameworks can either enhance or impair the possibilities for sustainable governance of natural resources, and no single regulatory solution is right for all.

This working group analyzes the roles and performance of diverse public and private regulatory tools and policy instruments in the context of natural resource governance. The aim is to understand various functions of and interrelationships between regulatory instruments in natural resource governance, and indentify well-functioning combinations of public and private regulation.  Furthermore, dimensions and dynamics of the nexus between natural resource management and climate law, both from the perspective of climate change mitigation and adaptation, will be discussed. The working group is open for various approaches ranging from legal, policy instrument and empirical analysis to papers teasing out theories and concepts related to the sustainable use of natural resources.

The working group is organized by the Institute for Natural Resources, Environment and Society (LYY), University of Eastern Finland, in cooperation with research projects TERLA and WAPEAT funded by the Academy of Finland.

Chairs: Ismo Pölönen, Senior Lecturer, UEF, ismo.polonen(at), Niko Soininen, Lecturer, UEF, niko.soininen(at)

WG 3: Food and sustainability

Venue: Educa, E101


Food has become a central topic for sustainability considerations due to the significant environmental impact of food production and consumption, combined with a great potential for 'greening' in food activities. Emerged academic discussion has produced a broad variety of viewpoints to the issue, practical proposals, as well as areas of controversy.

Food issues are subject to tensions between public and private governance, and sustainability is one of the areas where these tensions are evidently present. The urge to improve the sustainability of food activities engenders questions about the legitimacy, fairness, and efficacy of public versus private food policies and strategies. It can also be argued that neither public nor private governance alone is effective, and more attention should be paid to the synergies and mismatches between them. Historically the food system has been very good in advancing efficiency, but now also the questions of sufficiency, i.e. what products can be produced have been put to the table. Food system is in a transition state.

This working group aims to stimulate discussion around food and sustainability. We call for papers that address related issues. Topics may include but are not restricted to

•comparing or relating public and private food governance
•various understandings of sustainable food
•sustainability transitions and food
•obstacles to sustainable food activities
•opportunities in the food chain
•food system and food chain studies
•sustainable consumption research and food culture studies

We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions.

Chairs: Teea Kortetmäki, Doctoral researcher, University of Jyväskylä, teea.kortetmaki(at) & Markus Vinnari, Post-doc researcher, University of Tampere, markus.vinnari(at)

WG 4: Resolving conflicting interests in resources in Latin America

Venue: Educa, E202


There has been a trend of increasing resource extraction in Latin America, the pressing issues concerning minerals – ranging from artisanal and small scale-mining to extraction on an industrial scale–, forest resources, transformation of land for large-scale agricultural use, as well as water resources and conservation. These utilisations of resources are also related to biodiversity protection, fresh water conservation, local community well-being, urbanisation, and local and regional economic development. The resource issues are often characterised by conflict on land use or between social movements, governments and businesses. The session seeks to explore the multitude of interests in natural resource extraction, and its links with environmental, social and political issues in South and Central America. In line with the theme of the colloquium on public and private models for governing environmental and resources issues, the session welcomes papers that deal with the resource issues in Latin America from a variety of perspectives.

Chair: Juha Kotilainen, professor, UEF, juha.kotilainen(at)

WG 5: New environmental theories

Venue: Educa, E204


The task of managing the mix of public and private benefits and burdens relating to green politics has become increasingly complex. Especially in the new political context of green growth and economy, norms and practices for governance have expanded and diversified among various state and non-state actors and across multiple scales. This raises questions concerning the dynamics of new governance arrangements, assumptions and ideologies engaging with green politics. It also calls for rethinking conceptual understandings regarding the changing nature-society relations, green social order, green statehood, environmental citizenship and ecological democracy.

Recently, green political theories have shown a renewed interest in theorizing the state and called for “bringing the state back in” to sustainability governance. At the same time, many scholars have emphasised the role and significance of non-state actors from the grassroots level to supranational organizations. Some have suggested market-based governance as a key means to tackle broad societal problems like climate change and to ensure the efficient and effective provision of ecosystem services, while others have argued that such problems cannot be solved with the very same mechanisms that have originally caused them. Despite diverging positions, however, the recent debate implies that we cannot respond to complex societal problems in the changing socio-technical and politico-economic contexts with established ways of thinking and social order. This workshop takes a theoretically informed and critical approach to this multi-dimensional phenomenon by addressing new conceptualisations and forms of public, private and hybrid sustainability and governance.

The workshop brings together contributions that discuss theories, conceptualisations and understandings of new governance arrangements for socio-technical systems and green politics. We welcome theory-informed papers that challenge established ways of thinking about sustainability and governance and discuss the changing roles and responsibilities of and relations between various state and non-state actors, institutions and networks. The papers may address topics such as the ideals and theorizations of green statehood; paradigm changes; human-nature interactions and capitalism; environmental governance by and through the market; the private sector’s engagement with issues of sustainability and responsibility; new partnerships and public-private collaboration; competing and parallel perceptions concerning sustainability and green growth; the management of ecosystem services; ecological democracy and citizenship; and hybrid structures of green governance.

Chairs: Tuula Teräväinen-Litardo, Post-doc researcher, UEF, tuula.teravainen-litardo(at) & Eerika Albrecht, Doctoral researcher, UEF, eerika.albrecht(at)