Frank Biermann receives lifetime achievement Distinguished Scholar Award

Global Sustainability Governance professor Frank Biermann will receive the 2021 International Studies Association’s (ISA) Distinguished Scholar Award in Environmental Studies on April 9. The win is well-deserved: having edited and authored eighteen books and three book series as well as over a hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals, Biermann has shown that he plays an important role in furthering research on global environmental governance. He is the first Netherlands-based professor to win this prize. “Utrecht University is the right place to do my research.”

Political scientist and international lawyer Frank Biermann currently directs a €2.5 million ERC Advanced Grant research programme on the steering effects of the Sustainable Development Goals. He was the founder and first chair of the Earth System Governance Project, the office of which is hosted by Utrecht University and sits at the interface of Utrecht University’s strategic themes Pathways to Sustainability and Institutions for Open Societies.

Research and network building on global governance

Biermann joined Utrecht University in 2015 in order to further develop its profile on global sustainability science and what he calls ‘Earth System’ governance. “The entire earth system is being transformed by human actions. Climate change, the global mass extinction of species and the worldwide spread of plastic in the oceans: these are just some examples,” Biermann says. “To resolve these issues, all countries must work together, and for that we urgently need better governance at all levels. I am convinced that Utrecht University, with its interdisciplinary approach and international orientation, is the right place to advance an ambitious research agenda on governance transformations for the 21st century.”

Lifetime achievement award

The Distinguished Scholar award in Environmental Studies by the International Studies Association is a lifetime achievement award and recognises outstanding scholars whose long history of excellent research and teaching has had substantial impact on fields associated with international relations and environmental issues. One criterion is a long and distinguished career in both teaching and research, including a substantive publication record on international environmental issues and/or global environmental governance.