Jörg Balsiger

Jörg Balsiger
University of Geneva | UNIGE · Department of Geography and the Environment

PhD, UC Berkeley

About

59
Publications
28,884
Reads
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1,000
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - August 2015
University of Geneva
Position
  • Senior Research Associate and Lecturer
May 2008 - December 2012
ETH Zurich
Position
  • Senior Researcher and Lecturer

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
There is growing recognition that using the properties of nature through nature-based solutions (NBS) can help to provide viable and cost-effective solutions to a wide range of societal challenges, including disaster risk reduction (DRR). However, NBS realization depends critically on the governance framework that enables the NBS policy process. Dr...
Article
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Close to two thousand environmental human rights defenders have been killed in 57 countries since 2002, with about four losing their lives every week in 2019. Many of these defenders represent Indigenous Peoples and local communities protecting ecosystems from large-scale environmentally destructive projects. As the positive contributions of Indige...
Article
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This article provides insights from a survey of education programs for sustainable mountain development (ESMD) and comments on the findings from the perspective of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's.(UNESCO) Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for 2030 framework. Twenty-eight programs implemented by universit...
Article
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The Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) promotes basic and applied research to understand how drivers and processes of global change present challenges and opportunities in mountain social-ecological systems. It convenes a global network that collectively generates and synthesizes knowledge on global change in mountains that also supports decisions...
Technical Report
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The Policy Business Forum (PBF) consists of Nature-based Solutions (NBS) experts and knowledgeable stakeholders at the international, European, and national scale. The main aim of the PBF is to explore innovative ways to strengthen the science-policy-business nexus in order to exploit opportunities and overcome barriers in NBS implementation in the...
Article
Initiated in 2002, the International Environmental Agreements Data Base (IEADB) catalogs the texts, memberships, and design features of over 3,000 multilateral and bilateral environmental agreements. Using IEADB data, we create a comprehensive review of the evolution of international environmental law, including how the number, subjects, and state...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Attention to the special role of mountains has historically benefited enormously from sustained interaction between scientists, practitioners, and policy makers. The Caucasus Regional Research Agenda (C-RRA) is but the latest sign of these crucial and productive interactions. The C-RRA is the collective outcome of a dialogue among scientists from A...
Article
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European macro-regional strategies (MRS) are established around physical features such as seas, mountain ranges and river basins. They focus on a new type of policy-making area (the ‘macro-regions’) while seeking to design and implement innovative governance approaches. They are therefore considered innovative both in their geographical focus (in t...
Article
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Mountains are globally distributed environments providing significant societal benefits, a function increasingly compromised by climatic change, environmental stress, political and socioeconomic transformations, and unsustainable use of natural resources. Gaps in our understanding of these processes and their interactions limit our capacity to info...
Article
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Reviewed: No Friends but the Mountains: Dispatches from the World's Violent Highlands. By Judith Matloff. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2017. 253 pp. US$ 28.00. ISBN 978-0-465-09788-3.
Article
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Is higher education capable of promoting learning for change? Can transformative learning nurture spaces for innovation in education for sustainable development? A call to action from saguf.
Article
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The Perth conferences, held every 5 years in Perth, Scotland, bring together people who identify as mountain researchers and who are interested in issues related to global change in mountain social-ecological systems. These conferences provide an opportunity to evaluate the evolution of research directions within the mountain research community, as...
Article
Full-text available
Reviewed: Die Alpen: Raum, Kultur, Geschichte [The Alps: Space, Culture, History] By Jon Mathieu. Stuttgart, Germany: Reclam, 2015. 254 pp. € 38.80. ISBN 978-3-15-011029-4.
Article
The aim of this paper is to investigate how sustainability perceptions are emergent properties of collaborative networks in flood governance in Switzerland. In recent decades, the impact of global warming and multiple stresses on water regimes has influenced the design of new approaches to flood risk management, especially in Western Europe. The us...
Chapter
Full-text available
The emergence of macro-regional strategies on the European policy agenda is a curious development. On the one hand, the new instrument offers a promising approach to address several previous shortcomings in the implementation of the territorial cohesion objective, including the widespread shortage of meaningful policy integration and the apparent l...
Article
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During the last 30 years, growing demand for science-based policy making has contributed to the mobilization of scientific cooperation alongside transnational political arrangements for addressing environmental issues. Following the contemporary trend toward regionalizing environmental policy and practice, many of these scientific joint efforts hav...
Article
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This preface to the special issue “Frames on the move: Regional governance in mountain areas” has the following aims. First, it introduces governance in mountain regions as a special and instructive case of regional environmental governance in terms of territorial scaling, policy integration, and actor diversity. Second, the preface elaborates thre...
Article
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The aim of this article is to propose a new analytical framework for comparing and explaining the emergence and diffusion of European regional mountain initiatives (ERMIs), envisaged as ‘functional regulatory spaces’ (FRS). The article examines three exploratory hypotheses. The first hypothesis considers that the different ERMIs (Alps, Pyrenees, Ju...
Technical Report
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This report synthesizes expert findings on the importance of mountain regions for global green development and for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It illustrates the crucial environmental services that mountains provide, especially relating to water, food and energy. It also highlights fields less commonly associated with m...
Article
Global agreements to mitigate climate change, conserve biodiversity, or combat desertification typically take center stage in scholarly discussions about international environmental politics. Even though the United Nations Environment Programme reported 10 years ago that regional agreements make up two-thirds of all international treaties, regional...
Article
Full-text available
During the last 30 years, growing demand for science-based policy making has contributed to the mobilization of scientific cooperation alongside transnational political arrangements for addressing environmental issues. Following the contemporary trend toward regionalizing environmental policy and practice, many of these scientific joint efforts hav...
Article
Full-text available
Despite its many advantages, teaching transdisciplinary is a costly enterprise. Transferring diverse theoretical, methodological, and practical skills may require several teaching staff; developing meaningful stakeholder interaction is time-intensive; and managing the research process demands significant efforts in logistics and coordination. This...
Article
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The institutionalization of mountain regions in Europe, Regional Studies. Since the 1990s, many ‘project regions’ have emerged in Europe, a trend deriving from the tendency to adopt ad hoc institutions for specific spatial and environmental issues and the empowerment of diverse stakeholders who compete with the dominant role of states. This article...
Article
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Climate adaptation policies increasingly incorporate sustainability principles into their design and implementation. Since successful adaptation by means of adaptive capacity is recognized as being dependent upon progress toward sustainable development, policy design is increasingly characterized by the inclusion of state and non-state actors (hori...
Article
Climate change mitigation demands the implementation of policies concerning CO2 sequestration in natural ecosystems. Forests and wetlands particularly have significant potential for carbon dioxide sequestration. The successful implementation of climate mitigation policies focusing CO2 sequestration in natural ecosystems, calls for the active involv...
Article
Full-text available
Global agreements to mitigate climate change, conserve biodiversity or combat desertification typically take center stage in scholarly discussions about international environmental politics. Even though the United Nations Environment Programme reported ten years ago that regional agreements make up two]thirds of all international treaties, regiona...
Article
Full-text available
Global environmental governance is growing increasingly complex and recent scholarship and practice raise a number of questions about the continued feasibility of negotiating and implementing an ever-larger set of global environmental agreements. In the search for alternative conceptual models and normative orders, regional environmental governance...
Article
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In the context of increasing fragmentation and functional differentiation in international governance, new environmental regionalism represents a recent trend involving initiatives that seek to territorialize environmental governance at the level of transboundary ecoregions, such as mountain ranges or river basins. This article examines the implica...
Article
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The conference on Global Change and the World's Mountains held in Perth, Scotland, in 2010 offered a unique opportunity to analyze the state and progress of mountain research and its contribution to sustainable mountain development, as well as to reflect on required reorientations of research agendas. In this paper we provide the results of a three...
Article
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This contribution is based on a set of reflections presented at the REGov Workshop. These reflections were offered as part of a panel discussion around the topic “New environmental regionalism.” Additional presentations provided in the context of this panel discussion include those of William Jackson, International Union for the Conservation of Nat...
Article
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The international workshop “Regional environmental governance: international approaches, theoretical issues, comparative designs” (REGov) – held at the University of Geneva on 16–18 June 2010 – was organized as a collaborative initiative of scholars and practitioners who share a concern with the regional dimensions of environmental governance. The...
Article
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In both Europe and the U.S., pesticide regulation has long been established as a legitimate field of public health and environmental protection. Many of the techniques and institutional frameworks of pesticide regulation are well established and shared on both sides of the Atlantic. Our preliminary research on pesticide regulation, however, pointed...
Article
This paper examines how local communities adapt to climate change and how governance structures can foster or undermine adaptive capacity. Climate change policies, in general, and disaster risk management in mountain regions, in particular, are characterised by their multi-level and multi-sectoral nature during formulation and implementation. The i...
Article
Full-text available
Mountain regions have occupied a significant role in the political evolution, economic history, and sociocultural imaginary of Switzerland and California, yet the emergence of the modern state and the global economy have meant their increasing marginalization. During the last four decades, both polities have devised targeted strategies, policies, a...
Article
Full-text available
Mountain regions have occupied a significant role in the political evolution, economic history, and sociocultural imaginary of Switzerland and California, yet the emergence of the modern state and the global economy have meant their increasing marginalization. During the last four decades, both polities have devised targeted strategies, policies, a...
Article
Mountain regions have occupied a significant role in the political evolution, economic history, and socioculturel imaginary of Switzerland and California, yet the emergence of the modern state and the global, economy have meant their increasing marginalization. During the last four decades, both, politics have devised targeted strategies, policies,...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews three recent developments in international coop-eration theory: the introduction of nonstate actors, the study of norms and ideas, and increased examination of the effectiveness, or impact, of international cooperation. Through the lens of the agent-structure debate, we critique the literature that addresses these themes. We ar...
Article
The coordination and integration of sectoral policies is one of the most challenging tasks in the pursuit of sustainable development. Various procedural and substantive approaches have sought to overcome sectoral fragmentation, including the design of cross-sectoral regional policies popular during the 1960s-1980s but criticized since the 1980s. My...

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Water resources are at the centre of the global agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG6 aiming to “Guarantee access to water and sanitation services for all managed in a sustainable manner”. However, there are competing forms of knowledges and practices in relation to water resources. On a global scale, international experts produce ecosystem services knowledge, often linked to imaginaries of green growth, inclusive technologies and sustainable infrastructures, which are associated to technical and scientific interpretations. These imaginaries compete with water justice claims, and local/traditional knowledge, defended by grassroots movements seeking to promote a more politicised approach of sustainability and territorial water conservation schemes. Mainly based on the disciplines of political science and political geography, this project offers perspectives for transdisciplinary research. On the one hand, it opens up reflections at the crossroads of different disciplines and theoretical approaches of political ecology, science and technology studies (STS), and biology, around core concepts of environmental studies such as science, knowledge, justice and sustainability. On the other hand, it aims to combine qualitative and quantitative methods, including local case studies, critical discourse analysis, and water quality assessment. In terms of scientific impact, the objective is to strengthen cooperation between academic institutions in Switzerland and Latin America, in order to build shared research agendas, carry out collaborative projects and promote student mobility. In terms of societal impact, this project is socially innovative by ensuring a direct transfer to society and local communities, as well as using participatory methods and diffusing results to stakeholders.
Project
Describe, compare and contrast transboundary governance initiatives and policy diffusion dynamics at the level of mountain regions in the Pyrenees, Jura, Alps, Carpathians, Dinaric Arc, Balkan Mountains, and Caucasus.