The Wageningen Centre of Sustainability Governance (WCSG) was set up in 2017 as an interdisciplinary group of social science scholars committed to contributing knowledge on the design, functioning and implications of sustainability governance arrangements in the domain of food, nature and environment.

An interdisciplinary powerhouse

The WCSG covers a vast bredth of knowledge and expertise in relation to sustainability governance. In order to realise our collective ambitions, advance governance scholarship, and have policy impact, we will further develop our research programme through a combination of three theoretically driven research lines applied to three research themes.

Each of these lines and themes provides a starting point for collaborative research between the five Chair groups of the WCSG – they do not replace the diversity of other themes covered individually by the four Chair groups (see image below).

Our research lines

Transnational regulation and governance

Sustainability is a transboundary issue, which cannot – and arguably should not – be regulated within one jurisdiction, sector or one policy domain.

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Transformative sustainability practices

The practices needed for sustainable transformation are shaped by policy, knowledge and reciprocal action.

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Uncertainty, knowledge, and regulation

Governing in the face of uncertainty brought on in part by the rise of populism and post-truth “knowns” and “unknowns” presents considerable challenges to policymakers and private actors everywhere.

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Our mission

Our mission is to foster social science innovation on how we understand and address the governance of sustainability issues from the local to the global scale. We do this by contributing theoretically cutting-edge, interdisciplinary and empirically-rich knowledge that advances the design and effectiveness of sustainability governance in the context of the digital age, growing inequality, populism and uncertain futures. We support and encourage collaboration among critical scholars inside and outside academia by providing a dynamic, collegial space and hosting events for informal and formal networking, learning & exchange.


Aligning with our mission

In alignment with our mission, we prioritize focus on three research themes:

  1. Circular food systems
  2. Climate, water, and energy nexus
  3. Landscapes, biodiversity, and conservation

These themes cut across the disciplinary work of faculty in each of the Chair groups, align to the Social Science Group (SSG), Environmental Science Group (where FNP is located) and WUR strategic plans. These research themes are and will continue to be relevant to global challenges.

Futhermore these specific themes are effectively addressed by the interdsiciplinary expertise at WCSG through the integration of the following three substantive research lines:

  1. Transnational regulation and governance
  2. Transformative sustainability practices
  3. Uncertainty, knowledge, and regulation