Jens Newig

Jens Newig
Leuphana University Lüneburg ·  Institute of Sustainability Governance

Professor of Governance and Sustainability

About

173
Publications
94,525
Reads
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8,550
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2010 - present
Leuphana University Lüneburg
Position
  • Professor (Full)
June 2010 - present
Leuphana University Lüneburg
Position
  • Professor (Full)
December 2002 - May 2010

Publications

Publications (173)
Article
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Although current literature on sustainability governance and institutions is preoccupied with innovation, novelty, success, and "best practice," there is an emergent tendency to consider decline and failure as opportunities and leverage points to work toward and to achieve sustainability. However, although failure, crisis, and decay have been treat...
Article
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There is much enthusiasm among scholars and public administrators for participatory and collaborative modes of governance as a means to tackle contemporary environmental problems. Participatory and collaborative approaches are expected to both enhance the environmental standard of the outputs of decision-making processes and improve the implementat...
Article
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This paper suggests that the field of environmental governance, policy and planning (EGPP) may be seen as an (emerging) scientific field, which can be characterised as ‘fragmented adhocracy’, explaining the widespread failure to produce robust and cumulative knowledge. We argue that in order to produce reliable knowledge and to become credible in t...
Article
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Telecoupling constitutes a particular class of globalized environmental issues that are neither local-cumulative, nor transboundary, nor concerning global commons, but that arise because of specific linkages between distal regions. Such telecoupled issues, e.g., associated with global commodity chains, waste flows, or migration patterns, have been...
Article
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en Most efforts at explaining major policy transformation apply a single lens to study specific cases. Recent contributions have called for a more plural use of theories to facilitate the production of valuable new perspectives and research agendas. The German energy transition is a good example of such a transformative change. This article takes u...
Article
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Environmental governance is increasingly challenged by global flows, which connect distant places through trade, investment and movement of people. To date, research on this topic has been dispersed across multiple fields and diverse theoretical perspectives. We present the results of a systematic literature review of 120 journal articles on the en...
Article
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China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious effort to increase trans-continental connectivity and cooperation mainly through infrastructure investments and trade. On the one hand, this globally unparalleled initiative is expected to foster economic growth, but on the other hand, it can have substantial environmental implications. The BRI...
Chapter
This chapter examines policy and governance institutions that seek to address the pressing water issues facing the world. It describes major paradigms of water governance before looking at international expert networks, key actors, formal agreements, and the substance of policy and governance.
Article
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The discourse revolving around “new modes of knowledge production”—particularly in sustainability-oriented research—seems to suggest a duality of transdisciplinary versus non-transdisciplinary research. Yet, in reality, a spectrum of transdisciplinary research modes may be expected. This article offers an empirically grounded distinction of five re...
Article
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More and better collaboration between farmers and other stakeholders has repeatedly been identified as a key strategy for sustainable agriculture. However, for collaboration to actually benefit sustainable agriculture certain conditions have to be met. In this paper, we scrutinize the conditions that support or hamper the success of collaborative e...
Article
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Meta-analytical methods face particular challenges in research fields such as social and political research, where studies often rest primarily on qualitative and case study research. In such contexts, where research findings are less standardized and amenable to structured synthesis, the case survey method has been proposed as a means of data gene...
Chapter
Water management is often facing complex problems, which are particularly challenging to address. But while the term ‘complexity’ has increasingly been used, the concept and its implications for management and governance have often remained unclear. Building on both conceptual and empirical research, this chapter sheds light on complexity in the wa...
Technical Report
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The workshop "The Sustainability of interregional linkages: Lessons from the Brazil-Europe Soy complex" was organized collaboratively by professors and researchers from the Ger-man Universities of Osnabrück and Lüneburg and the Brazilian University of Brasília as well as the newly founded Earth System Governance (ESG) centre in Brasília. The report...
Technical Report
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O workshop internacional “A Governança socioambiental das conexões inter-regionais: Aprendizagens sobre o comércio da soja e carne bovina entre o Brasil e Europa” foi organizado em uma colaboração entre professores e pesquisadores das Universidades alemãs de Osnabrück e Lüneburg e da Universidade de Brasília, bem como do recém-fundado centro de Ear...
Article
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Adaptive management has been proliferating since the 1970s as a policy approach for dealing with uncertainty in environmental governance through learning. Learning takes place through a cyclical approach of experimentation and (possible) adjustment. However, few empirical studies exist that cover full iterations of adaptive management cycles. We re...
Article
In environmental governance, participatory modes of political decision-making and planning are becoming more prevalent. A rationalist model of governance would assume that instrumental rationales prevail in choosing participatory process designs. Some argue, however, that public policy-makers also follow administrative or governance ‘culture’. The...
Research
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Citizen and stakeholder participation are often expected to improve the outcomes of public governance. Little attention has been paid so far to whether and under what circumstances the outputs of participatory processes are actually taken up by policy decisions and get implemented. This study reports on findings from a case survey meta-analysis of...
Article
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The need for fundamental changes in the way humans interact with nature is now widely acknowledged in order to achieve sustainable development. Agriculture figures prominently in this quest, being both a major driver and a major threat to global sustainability. Agricultural systems typically have co-evolved with other societal structures—retailers,...
Chapter
The 2000 EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) set a turning point in European water governance: mandated participatory planning substituted conventional top-down approaches, the ecology of aquatic environments became the WFD’s focal point, and the river-basin scale was institutionalized as the central governance unit. In 2007, the Floods Directive –...
Article
The massive expansion of soy production in Brazil has contributed to a loss of access for local communities to land and water, particularly in highly dynamic frontier regions in the Cerrado. Soy certification standards like the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) contain principles that are supposed to prevent such problems. In this paper, we exam...
Article
Adaptive planning, as opposed to the conventional ‘predict-and-act’ approach, has emerged as a paradigm to increase the resilience of our built environment and infrastructure systems. However, we have a limited understanding of the broader governance environment that can enable or hinder adaptive planning. Research is dominated by individual case s...
Article
Environmental governance and management are facing a multiplicity of challenges related to spatial scales and multiple levels of governance. Water management is a field particularly sensitive to issues of scale because the hydrological system with its different scalar levels from small catchments to large river basins plays such a prominent role. I...
Article
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The participation of societal groups and of the broader public has been a key feature in implementing the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). Non-state actor participation in the drafting of river basin management plans was expected to help achieve the directive’s environmental goals, but the recent literature leaves us doubtful whether this...
Article
Wind turbine construction, governed by complex multi-scale governance systems, can cause conflict between actors interested in forest management. We examined wind turbine conflicts in forests in two case studies, the state of Maine, USA and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Specifically, we examined based on triangulation of documents, pa...
Article
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China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in 2013, is rapidly subsuming much of China's political and economic involvement abroad. As a far‐reaching infrastructure development and investment strategy, officially involving more than 130 countries, the expansion of the BRI raises important questions about its environmental impacts and its impl...
Article
Environmental governance is characterized by complex dynamic issues where new knowledge is constantly emerging that can shape how we understand the system and what kinds of policies and strategies are most effective. As a result, targeted mechanisms to acquire, translate, and disseminate knowledge into new policies are critical for adaptive environ...
Article
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Understanding the performance of collaborative governance regimes (CGRs) necessitates an understanding of how stakeholders and their interactions evolve over time. However, few studies assess the evolution of the structure or process dynamics of CGRs over time. This paper contributes to our understanding of the longitudinal dynamics of CGRs. We app...
Chapter
Democratic innovations, such as participatory and deliberative fora have proliferated in the field of environmental governance, with the expectation that these novel approaches to public decision-making will improve environmental policy. This chapter reviews the interdisciplinary literature on democratic innovations in environmental governance, and...
Article
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It is widely accepted that the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depends on effective governance arrangements. However, it is less clear which modes and aspects of governance are important for which of the 17 goals. Until now, empirical research has mostly studied individual cases, with comparative studies largely missing....
Article
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The concept of telecoupling is increasingly used as a framework to understand globally distant interconnections and their sustainability implications. Although there is a growing research focus on issues of governance related to global telecoupling, there appears little consensus over the meaning of “governance” in this respect. Papers in the recen...
Article
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Sustainability-oriented research has increasingly adopted "new" modes of research promoted under labels such as 'post-normal science', 'mode 2 knowledge production' or 'transdisciplinarity', aiming to address societally relevant problems and to produce 'socially robust' knowledge by involving relevant scientific disciplines and non-academic actors...
Article
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Theory on participatory and collaborative governance maintains that learning is essential to achieve good environmental outcomes. Empirical research has mostly produced individual case studies, and reliable evidence on both antecedents and environmental outcomes of learning remains sparse. Given conceptual ambiguities in the literature, we define g...
Article
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Recognised as an integral part of the political process, the topic of institutional failure has recently received increased attention in the literature, particularly with respect to policy failure. Nevertheless, the difference between various types and aspects of failure is unclear conceptually, hampering the development of cumulative theory buildi...
Chapter
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Telecoupling describes specific global flows and interconnections that pose novel challenges for sustainability governance. This chapter examines contributions to the governance literature that have addressed aspects of global interconnectedness and that might inform a more systematic engagement with and theorisation of the phenomenon of telecoupli...
Article
Much existing research on collaborative conservation has focused on process, even as researchers have called for greater attention to explaining what results these processes yield. It is time to take stock of collaborative conservation research by mapping what kinds of variables researchers are including in analyses. Here we conduct a case survey f...
Article
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Public policy problems are increasingly being characterised as wicked or tame problems, assuming that this classification is also meaningful for attempts to effective problem-solving. But do distinct 'wicked' or 'tame' problems empirically exist? We investigate 37 water-related problems in Germany, based on interview-based data on problem wickednes...
Article
In this paper, we present an alternative governance system for managing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Focusing primarily on the European Union (EU), we start with the premise that there is a need to rethink biodiversity governance to bring together land managers for collaboration and to close mismatches between levels of governance and e...
Article
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Wind power development as an alternative to fossil fuels or nuclear energy is currently a challenge for many countries. Wind power development often leads to conflicts between different actors. This case study examines conflict about wind power projects in forested landscapes in Rhineland‐Palatinate, Germany, and Maine, USA. Specifically, actor per...
Article
Biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes continues to be a key challenge in the European Union (EU). However, to date the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which is central for addressing this issue, has proven ineffective in improving biodiversity outcomes. In contrast to solutions that focus on individual policies or measures, we take...
Article
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Public participation is potentially useful to improve public environmental decision-making and management processes. In corporate management, the Vroom-Yetton-Jago normative decision-making model has served as a tool to help managers choose appropriate degrees of subordinate participation for effective decision-making given varying decision-making...
Book
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Does participation in environmental governance benefit the environment? While it is widely assumed that it does, the expectation that participation helps to solve environmental problems remains largely unsubstantiated, and widely disputed. This volume seeks to move a step further in tracing causality between participation and environmental outcomes...
Article
Environmental governance regularly has to cope with complex problems. However, ‘complexity’ has mostly been used as a heuristic concept and hardly made operable for empirical research. Drawing on psychological research on complex problem solving, we propose a structured operationalization of complexity in the five dimensions of (1) goals, (2) varia...
Article
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Many have advocated for collaborative governance and the participation of citizens and stakeholders on the basis that it can improve the environmental outcomes of public decision making, as compared to traditional, top-down decision making. Others, however, point to the potential negative effects of participation and collaboration on environmental...
Article
Problem complexity is often assumed to hamper effective environmental policy delivery. However, this claim is hardly substantiated, given the dominance of qualitative small-n designs in environmental governance research. We studied 37 types of contemporary problems defined by German water governance to assess the impact of problem complexity on pol...
Article
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Governance for complex problem solving has been increasingly discussed in environmental sustainability research. Above all, researchers continuously observe that sustainability problems are complex or “wicked”, and suggest participatory models to address these problems in practice. In order to add to this debate, this study suggests a more differen...
Article
Understanding what drives the regional implementation of renewable energy is a prerequisite for energy transitions toward a post-fossil-based energy economy. This paper presents an empirical analysis of driving factors for the regional implementation and use of renewable energy. We tested literature-derived driving factors in a comparative analysis...
Article
Eurpean Union (EU) environmental policy has increasingly advanced multi-level governance (MLG) to improve policy implementation. MLG approaches mandate (sub-) national planning and introduce functional governance layers to match the biophysical scale of environmental problems. Whereas the literature on policy implementation has focused on the chall...
Article
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Current European Union (EU) policies require policy-makers on different levels of government to engage with new forms of governance such as participatory planning, aiming to improve environmental policy delivery. We address the central issue of how policy-makers learn about the appropriateness of different modes of governance. By way of example, we...
Article
We argue that the current system of agri-environment management in the European Common Agricultural Policy is ineffective at conserving biodiversity in part because it promotes fragmentation insteadd of collaboration of actors, thus hindering coordinated biodiversity management. Actor fragmentation is reinforced by the Common Agricultural Policy (C...
Article
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Experimentation has been proposed as a key way in which governance drives sustainability transitions, notably by creating space for innovative solutions to emerge. In seeking to bring greater coherence to the literatures on climate and sustainability governance experiments, this article reports on a systematic review of articles published between 2...
Article
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Managing forest use conflicts between different stakeholders is an important part of participatory forest management at the local level. Trust is thought to be an important factor in conflict management. We examined how stakeholders at a local level perceive the role of trust in the development and management of natural resource conflicts. Aggregat...
Article
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This article attempts to shed new light on prevailing puzzles of spatial scales in multi-level, participatory governance as regards the democratic legitimacy and environmental effectiveness of governance systems. We focus on the governance re-scaling by the European Water Framework Directive, which introduced new governance scales (mandated river b...
Research
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Protecting biodiversity and enhancing the provision of ecosystem services are key chal- lenges for managing European agricultural landscapes. However, current approaches as implemented in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union (EU) have been limited in their effectiveness to deliver positive biodiversity outcomes. To im - prov...
Article
Effectiveness of participation in environmental governance is a proliferating assertion in literature that is also reflected in European legislation, such as the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). The Directive mandates participatory river basin management planning across the EU aiming at the delivery of better policy outputs and enhanced im...
Article
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Despite substantial focus on sustainability issues in both science and politics, humanity remains on largely unsustainable development trajectories. Partly, this is due to the failure of sustainability science to engage with the root causes of unsustainability. Drawing on ideas by Donella Meadows, we argue that many sustainability interventions tar...
Article
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This article explores the role of actors and agency in the literature on sustainability transitions. We reviewed 386 journal articles on transition management and sustainability transitions listed in Scopus from 1995 to 2014. We investigate the thesis that actors have been neglected in this literature in favor of more abstract system concepts. Resu...
Article
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Although the design of participatory processes to manage social-ecological systems needs to be adapted to local contexts, it is unclear which elements of process design might be universal. We use empirical evidence to analyze the extent to which context and process design can enable or impede stakeholder participation and facilitate beneficial envi...
Article
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The European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires EU member states to produce and implement river basin management plans, which are to be designed and updated via participatory processes that inform, consult with, and actively involve all interested stakeholders. The assumption of the European Commission is that stakeholder participa...