Alex Giurca

Alex Giurca
European Forest Institute | EFI

Doctor of Philosophy

About

42
Publications
21,724
Reads
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517
Citations
Citations since 2016
26 Research Items
496 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
Introduction
My research interests and expertise are in the broader area of bioeconomy, spanning from sustainability transformations, innovation networks and environmental communication, with a particular focus on the actors, policies and politics of the forest-based sector. I use a variety of methods including, but not limited to, social network analysis, qualitative content analysis, Delphi studies, quantitative and qualitative surveys as well as other mixed methods.
Additional affiliations
April 2015 - March 2020
University of Freiburg
Position
  • Research Associate
September 2014 - April 2015
Nordic Forest Reseacrh (SNS)
Position
  • Admin
January 2014 - September 2015
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Position
  • Forestry and Standards Intern
Education
August 2012 - September 2013
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Field of study
  • Forestry and Agriculture
August 2011 - June 2012
University of Eastern Finland
Field of study
  • Forestry and Agriculture
September 2009 - May 2010

Publications

Publications (42)
Article
The present study undertakes a social network analysis (SNA) to identify some of the main organisations involved in Germany’s wood-based bioeconomy (WBE) innovation system, their relationship to each other and their shared beliefs. The resulting network map shows a rather densely connected “strategic” WBE network where actors exchange mainly inform...
Article
Full-text available
The ambition to develop a bioeconomy depends largely on the availability of biomass from forests. To tap into this resource, technological innovations are sought in the field of lignocellulosic biorefining. Although biorefinery concepts have been under development for decades now in Germany, many relevant technological developments are still confin...
Article
Bioeconomy is an emerging concept that is gaining momentum both in science and policy. Within the forest sector, the bioeconomy discourse is already shaping the international forest policy debate. Given the sector’s importance for the national economy, this study investigates the perceptions of bioeconomy by forest owners, forest industry and ENGOs...
Article
Full-text available
The term bioeconomy has been generated as a new discourse in the environmental policy arena. This paper raises three questions: (i) are environmental concerns integrated in the political discourses of bioeconomy and, if so, to what extent?, (ii) in which way is the environment framed in the political discourses of bioeconomy?, and (iii) are environ...
Article
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The wood-based sector has the potential to contribute significantly to the circular bioeconomy. This paper examines the potential for implementing circular bioeconomy principles across two value chains, covering five sectors: “sawnwood”, “bioenergy”, “construction”, “paper and pulp”, and “cellulose-based fibres and plastics”. The qualitative value...
Article
Full-text available
The circular bioeconomy concept has been around for years now, yet despite increased efforts to popularize it, the concept has so far gained little public attention. Communicating this concept effectively, therefore, poses an important challenge. This commentary synthesizes what is known, presumed, and still unknown about how to effectively communi...
Article
Full-text available
As national governments continue developing bioeconomy strategies, the forest-based sector becomes increasingly important. Romania’s forest sector can be at the heart of a sustainable circular-bioeconomy transition. However, despite recently launching its national forest strategy, the country has yet to produce a comprehensive bioeconomy strategy w...
Chapter
Full-text available
Book
Full-text available
This book is a call for collective and integrated action to global leaders, investors, companies, scientists, governments, nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations, funding agencies and the society at large to put Romania’s forests on a sustainable path. This vision is put forward by Romanian and international experts whose exceptional...
Article
Civil society has so far been little involved in bioeconomy discussions. In 2019, German non-governmental organizations (NGOs) concerted their criticism towards the bioeconomy policy in Germany in two joint statements. Assuming that such developments may further polarize the societal debate on bioeconomy, we set out to understand the NGOs’ criticis...
Article
The COVID-19 crisis and its underlying health, socio-economic and environmental challenges warrants a discussion about transformative policies for a more sustainable, post-pandemic world. At EU level, policy packages and initiatives such as the European Green Deal (EGD), the Bioeconomy Strategy (BES) or the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) may h...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract This study investigates how and by whom the Swedish (forest) bioeconomy has been shaped so far. We unpack emerging bioeconomies as discursive constructs and use the ‘apparatus of capture’ as a conceptual framework to understand and rethink the Swedish bioeconomy. Based on analysis of empirical data from multiple sources (e.g., online surve...
Article
The European Green Deal is being promoted as the cornerstone of European policy over the next five years. One of the many actions planned under the Green Deal is the third EU Forest Strategy. The objective for this commentary is to discuss whether and how the Green Deal may affect the next EU Forest Strategy. Using the pathways to sustainability ap...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides useful information for universities offering forestry programs and facing the growing demand for bioeconomy education. An explorative survey on bioeconomy perception among 1400 students enrolled in 29 universities across nine European countries offering forestry programs was performed. The data have been elaborated via descrip...
Article
Full-text available
This review article examines how social science literature co-produces various imaginaries of forest-based bioeconomy transformations and pathways for reaching desired ends. Based on an analysis of 59 research articles, we find that despite a growing number of social sciences studies on the forest-based bioeconomy, much of the research tends to rep...
Chapter
Full-text available
Der Forst- und Holzsektor ist ein wichtiger Baustein der Bioökonomie. Die nordeuropäischen Länder sehen die Ressource Wald und die starke Forstindustrie als wesentlichen Faktor für die Entwicklung einer wettbewerbsfähigen, bio-basierten Ökonomie und haben den Begriff „forstbasierte Bioökonomie“ geprägt. Ob eine forstbasierte Bioökonomie in anderen...
Article
Full-text available
To foster innovativeness for supporting (forest-based) bioeconomy development, participation in decision-making and interaction between diverse actors become a necessary precondition for designing and implementing transition policies. However, who forms the emerging policy networks, and which policy beliefs are promoted? Based on data from a nation...
Article
Full-text available
This study starts from the assumption that, besides its more obvious techno-scientific and economic claims, the bioeconomy is primarily a political project where actors with different interests and strategies pursue different agendas. It thus proposes a reconceptualization of the wood-based bioeconomy network in Germany (WBN). For this purpose, a m...
Article
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Der Übergang zu einer Bioökonomie (BÖ) steht seit einigen Jahren auf der politischen Agenda der Bundesregierung. Es wird erwartet, dass der Forst- und Holzsektor eine hohe Bedeutung für die BÖ haben wird, da nachwachsende Rohstoffe die Basis für eine BÖ darstellen. Dem zur Folge wird Akzeptanz für das Konzept der BÖ durch Akteure aus dem Forst- und...
Preprint
Full-text available
Im 19. Jahrhundert gelang die historische Energiewende von Holz zu steinkohle, heute befinden wir uns auf dem Weg zur nachhaltigen Bioökonomie. Forschungsarbeiten der Fakultät für Umwelt und Natürliche Ressourcen der Universität Freiburg zeigen, dass und die Geschichte etwas über den Übergang zu einer nachhaltigen, biobasierten Wirtschaft lehren ka...
Chapter
Full-text available
The first part of this chapter discusses some national bioeconomy strategies and country highlights in relation to forests. The second part turns to reviewing and discussing some of the most recent social scientific research focusing on the forest-bioeconomy in Europe.
Book
Full-text available
The European forest-based bioeconomy is affected by a huge number of policy instruments. Different policies affect distinct stages of the forest-based value chain (and its respective sub-sectors) in different ways. Diversification processes, as part of a cross-sectoral bioeconomy, increase this complexity. (i) Several policies address trade-offs be...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Sustainable forest management (SFM) has been broadly established as a policy objective in European and national forest policy and laws. However, for forest policy-makers, owners, managers, and stakeholder groups across Europe, one key challenge for implementing SFM in practice remains the integration of different forest-related policy objectives an...
Article
Full-text available
This explorative study aims to shed light on the ways in which Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification interacts with the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) in Romania. To this end, the EUTR implementation process is examined, and the relationship between this implementation and FSC certification is explored. There is a partic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sustainable development (SD) is highlighted in different national strategies as the overarching goal of the shift towards bioeconomy. It promises to address major societal and economic challenges and at the same time to create a more favourable environment. The bioeconomy in itself however cannot be considered as self-evidently sustainable as visio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bioeconomy has been identified as a new (meta-)discourse (Pülzl et al., 2014) fueled by different political organizations and at different political levels highlighting sustainable development (SD) as a major goal. Addressing major societal and economic challenges and at the same time create a more favorable environment is promised in different bio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bioeconomy has been identified as a (meta-) discourse supported in particular by the OECD, the European Union (EU), and numerous G7 governments and other countries worldwide. The discourse has been taken up by diverse sectors, amongst them the agricultural, water and forest sector. In Germany, bioeconomy shows promising potentials of growth and emp...
Book
Full-text available
The EU Timber Regulation and FLEGT Action Plan aim to combat illegal timber logging and trade, and improve forest governance. In 2015, FLEGT has been in force for 12 years, and the EUTR for two years. What does scientific evidence say about the effectiveness and impacts of these policy measures? The results of the new EFI policy study “Assessment o...
Article
Full-text available
The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) is the most recent effort by the European Union (EU) to curb imports of illegally sourced timber. The regulation raises important questions concerning the international timber trade. In order to successfully implement this regulation it is of paramount importance to classify the actors concerned, and examine how they...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The implementation of the FSC Pesticide Policy in Sweden has proven to be successful both in decreasing the use of pesticides and consequently in promoting the development of environmentally friendly mechanical protection techniques. Over the past four years, FSC Sweden’s certificate holders have made significant efforts towards eliminating chemica...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The trade of illegal timber, often from illegal logging, has severe environmental, social and economic consequences. The EU’s response to this problem came with the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, with its specific goal to end illegal logging, thereby improving sustainability of forest resources. In March 2013, an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Implemented in March 2013, the EU Timber Regulation is affecting hardwood exporters and importers. The EUTR requires proof of timber’s origin and legality to ensure that no illegal timber is imported into the EU. The EUTR is part of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, with its specific goal to end illegal logg...
Article
Full-text available
Raised public concern in the European Union (EU) about the legality of its timber imports has pushed the European Commission to raise its standards and legality demands for wood imports. Combining literature reviews, structured interviews and trade data analyses, this study assesses the potential influence from Forest Law Enforcement Governance and...
Thesis
Full-text available
Raised public concern in the European Union (EU) about the legality of its timber imports, the need to combat illegal logging and deforestation, and for promoting sustainable forest management practices, have pushed the EU commission to raise its standards and legality demands for wood imports. Combining literature review, structured interviews of...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
Does anyone know of any theoretical and/or empirical policy studies that first employ quantitative social network analysis then, as a follow up, use this data to conduct in-depth qualitative interviews with central nodes in the network?
Thanks in advance
Question
Was wondering why you included in your analysis two countries (RO and BG) who do not have a Mediterranean seaboard nor vegetation? This can be found in Figure 3.5 (p15), Figure 3.6 (p.16) and in the table on p. 21

Network

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Projects

Projects (5)
Archived project
PerForm is a European cooperation network supported by the European Forest Institute. We are an international team of social scientists investigating societal perceptions of the forest-based Bioeconomy. The aim of PerForm is to better understand regional disparities of national bioeconomy policies and the perceptions of a forest-based bioeconomy. We explore the diversity of perceptions and acceptance of a forest-based bioeconomy in Europe in order to foster participation of different forest stakeholders and the broader public through an informed and open dialogue. We analyze perceptions of various stakeholder groups across Europe (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, France, Italy, Sweden, Finland). Methodologically, we build extensively on qualitative document analysis, stakeholder interviews and innovative communication tools.