• Room A-554, W&N-building

  • Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), De Boelelaan 1087

    1081 HV Amsterdam


Personal profile

Personal information

James Patterson is a Research Fellow in the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM).

His current research project is titled: 'Institutional Innovation for Adapting to Climate Change in Water Governance within Cities (INNOVCITIES)'. This project investigates types and mechanisms of institutional innovation occurring in cities for enhancing adaptability under climate change. It is funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Individual Fellowship (grant No. 659065).

James is a social science researcher in water and environmental governance, with a cross-disciplinary background spanning social and natural sciences. His core research theme is understanding social and political change for sustainability. Key theoretical lenses through which he explores this theme include: institutional change, collective action, adaptive governance, and sustainability transformations.

Before joining IVM, James was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and conducted his PhD research at the University of Queensland, Australia. Prior to this, he was a Research Consultant in urban water policy and planning at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney, and was originally trained in civil and environmental engineering at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

James is a Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance project, and a Fellow of the Future Earth young scientists programme. He has organised workshops at several international conferences, and contributed to public engagement on sustainability issues in forums such as The Conversation and The Guardian science-policy blog.

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Research Output 2015 2018

Boundary Judgments in Water Governance: Diagnosing Internal and External Factors that Matter in a Complex World

de Loë, R. C. & Patterson, J. J. 2018 In : Water Resources Management. 32, 2, p. 565-581 17 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Political feasibility of 1.5°C societal transformations: the role of social justice

Patterson, J. J., Thaler, T., Hoffman, M., Hughes, S., Chu, E., Mert, A., Huitema, D., Burch, S. & Jordan, A. Apr 2018 In : Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 31, p. 1-9 9 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview article

Open Access

Exploring the governance and politics of transformations towards sustainability

Patterson, J., Schulz, K., Vervoort, J., van der Hel, S. C., Widerberg, O. E., Adler, C., Hurlbert, M., Anderton, K., Sethi, M. & Barau, A. 1 Sep 2017 In : Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. 24, -, p. 1-16 17 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Open Access

Governing for resilience: the role of institutional work

Beunen, R., Patterson, J. & Van Assche, K. Oct 2017 In : Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 28, p. 10-16

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Implementing the “Sustainable Development Goals”: towards addressing three key governance challenges—collective action, trade-offs, and accountability

Bowen, K. J., Cradock-Henry, N. A., Koch, F., Patterson, J., Häyhä, T., Vogt, J. & Barbi, F. 17 May 2017 In : Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 26-27, p. 90-96 7 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview article