The United Nations have identified ‘Aligning Governance to the Challenges of Global Sustainability’ as a key problem of the 21st century. The Copernicus Institute has responded by developing a strong research line in this field. We study governance systems and processes at all levels of decision-making, from urban politics to the reform of international organizations. Our work is empirical-analytical as well as normative: we study what makes governance effective but also how to transform governance systems towards a more sustainable future. Our research on governance is sometimes issue-focussed and case-based, but often addresses also broader societal questions such as democracy, legitimacy and justice.