dr.ir. S (Severine) van Bommel

dr.ir. S (Severine) van Bommel

Associate professor

Severine is Associate Professor in Environmental Communication in the Strategic Communication Group of Wageningen University. She was born in the Netherlands and brought up in Tanzania, Mali and Zimbabwe. Her work critically examines human - environment interactions particularly in developing countries (mostly Africa). She holds a PhD from Wageningen University and is the co-editor of the books Forest-People Interfaces (Wageningen Academic Publishers 2012) and Forest and Nature Governance: a Practice based Approach (Springer 2013). She has published on topics such as storytelling and framing, boundary work, landscapes of meaning, social learning and interpretive methods. She teaches Research for Effective Communication, Critical Reflection on Research in International Development Practice, Analysing Discourse, Dilemmas in fieldwork & research ethics.

She is fascinated by the puzzle of how we can learn our way out of complex social - environmental inequalities in our increasingly interconnected and globalised world. Her research shows that these inequalities are not due to lack of technical knowledge or expertise but rather due to differences in perceptions, identities, values and power. We need knowledge on non-violent communication, interaction, and social learning in practice. She is interested in 1) how actors with diverse, often contradictory worldviews - ranging from local pastoralists to global policy makers - construct meaning in interaction; 2) while engaging with climate change, forests, biodiversity, wildlife and so on; 3) and simultaneously act upon, shape and re-shape broader policies, scientific insights, and economic incentives. Drawing on insights from Interpretive Policy Analysis, Science and Technology Studies and Development studies, she is passionate about the development of an interactive, interpretive and practice-based approach to environmental communication. She works in an applied, interdisciplinary and collaborative manner.