Wageningen Centre of Sustainability Governance

Forty staff members and 80 PhD students in four chair groups in Wageningen University have pooled resources in research and education.


  1. contribute to world leading research and education on the politics, sociology and law of sustainability governance
  2. focus on understanding the intersection of state, market and civil society forms of steering at various spatial scales
  3. co-create sustainable practices with various stakeholders

Fields of study

  • forest and nature
  • urban infrastructures
  • food and agriculture
  • sustainable production and consumption
  • marine, fisheries and aquaculture
  • climate change
  • global mobilities
  • tourism

Research themes

  • sociology, politics and law of sustainability governance
  • organisation of political and societal steering
  • patterns of interaction and decision making among public and private actors

Incubator projects


  • Its co-directors are the chair holders of the four participating groups: prof. dr. Simon Bush, prof. dr. Bas Arts, prof. dr. ing Katrien Termeer, dr. Nadia Bernaz-Potter
  • The research committee is chaired by dr. Art Dewulf.
  • The education committee is chaired by dr. Mattijs Smits.
  • The PhD committee is currently chaired by Jonna Gjaltema.

PhD writing retreat

Participating chair groups


Environmental Policy (ENP)

Political and sociological perspectives for understanding the incorporation of environmental transformations into processes of modernisation and globalisation


Forest and Nature Conservation Policy (FNP)

Understanding interactions among people, forests and nature as a set of context-specific practices that shape and are shaped by policies, ideas and knowledge


Law and Governance (LAW)

Legal approach for analysing law and regulation in the life science domains, sustainable food supply chains (food, trade, business and environmental law)


Public Administration and Policy (PAP)

Public administration, political and organisational science perspectives for analysing the practices of actors embedded in governance institutions, and how these generate new arrangements to solve 'wicked problems'