• Room C522, W&N-building

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

    1081 HV Amsterdam

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Personal profile

Personal information

Philipp Pattberg is professor of transnational environmental governance and policy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He specializes in the study of global environmental politics, with a focus on climate change governance, biodiversity, forest and ocean governance, transnational relations, public-private partnerships, network theory and institutional analysis. Pattberg’s current research scrutinizes institutional complexity, functional overlaps and fragmentation across environmental domains (http://fragmentation.eu/).

Pattberg has authored, co-authored or edited 8 books, and published 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 35 chapters in academic books, along with more than 80 papers, reports, and contributions to policy-oriented journals. His most recent publication is the Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Governance and Politics (co-edited with Fariborz Zelli, Edward Elgar 2015). Pattberg’s research has been cited over 4,700 times, and his Hirsch-index in Google Scholar is 32. Several of his papers belong to the top-10 most cited papers in their respective journals. Pattberg is the co-editor (with A. Kalfagianni) of the Routledge Research Series in Global Environmental Governance, and reviewer for more than 20 academic journals. His work has appeared, among others, in Ambio; Annual Review of Environment and Resources;European Journal of International Relations; Global Environmental Politics;Global Governance; Global Policy; Governance; and Science. He also regularly serves as reviewer for research foundations and universities in Europe and North America and Australia, and has been an invited speaker at universities, companies and public agencies from Paris to St. Petersburg.

At VU Amsterdam, Pattberg heads the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis, a team of more than 25 researchers that was evaluated in a 2014 international review as ‘world leading’ and as being ‘one of the highest profile academic research groups involved with sustainability governance from around the world’. Pattberg is Chair of the Board of the Global Environmental Change Section of the German Political Science Association (http://www.ak-umwelt.de/) and a senior research fellow of the international Earth System Governance Project http://www.earthsystemgovernance.org/). Since 2016, Pattberg is serving as the General Director of the Netherlands Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (www.sense.nl). Pattberg is representing the Netherlands as Management Committtee member  in the EU COST Action 'Ocean Governance' (http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA15217?). From 2006-2011, Pattberg was the deputy-director of the Global Governance Project, a joint research program of 12 European institutes with about 40 affiliated researchers (www.glogov.org).

Earlier professional or visiting affiliations include American University (Washington DC), the Freie Universität Berlin, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), SciencesPo Bordeaux, and TU Darmstadt. Pattberg has 12 years of teaching experience in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. At present, he teaches in the MSc Environment and Resource Management and the specialization Global Environmental Governance in the MSc Political Science at VU Amsterdam. He is currently supervising 12 PhD students.

Pattberg has won several scholarships, grants and awards, including the 2009 Science Prize of the German Political Science Association (DVPW) , a Innovational Research Incentives Scheme Grant (VIDI) from the Netherlands Scientific Organization (NWO), and a PhD research grant from the German Federal Environment Foundation. Pattberg holds a PhD summa cum laude from Freie Universität Berlin (2006), a master’s degrees in political science (University of Bonn, 2000) and a post-graduate diploma in International Relations from the John Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS, 2001).

Ancillary activities

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Education/Academic qualification

Political Science, PhD, Freie Universität Berlin


  • J Political Science
  • JZ International relations
  • sustainability
  • governance
  • institutional fields

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2005 2019

Complex Systems and International Governance

Orsini, A., LePrestre, P., Haas, P., Brosig, M., Pattberg, P. H., Widerberg, O. E., Gomez-Mera, L., Morin, J-F., Harrison, N., Geyer, R. & Chandler, D., 19 Mar 2019, In : International Studies Review.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

international relations
global governance

Hybrid accountability in cooperative initiatives for global climate governance

Widerberg, O. E., Pattberg, P. H. & Brouwer, L., 15 Feb 2019, Global Environmental Governance and the Accountability Trap. Park, S. & Kramarz, T. (eds.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, p. 121-142 21 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Smart mixes and the challenge of complexity: the example of global climate governance

Pattberg, P. H. & Widerberg, O. E., Mar 2019, Smart Mixes for Transboundary Environmental Harm. van Erp, J., Faure, M., Nollkaemper, A. & Philipsen, N. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 49 68 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Conclusion: towards a ‘deep debate’ on the Anthropocene

Hickmann, T., Partzsch, D. R., Pattberg, P. H. & Weiland, S., 5 Sep 2018, The Anthropocene Debate and Political Science. Hickmann, T., Pattberg, P., Partzsch, L. & Weiland, S. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 237-251 15 p. (Routledge Research in Global Environmental Governance).

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Energy Transition in the Arab Gulf: Analyses of Challenges and Opportunities

Atalay, Y., 2018, Amsterdam: Vrij Universiteit Amsterdam. 183 p.

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD Thesis - Research VU, graduation VUAcademic

Activities 2010 2018

  • 19 Lecture / Presentation
  • 5 Membership
  • 1 Editorial work

Governing the Anthropocene: The Contributions of Political Science

P.H. Pattberg (Speaker)
12 Sep 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Be Aware of Side-Effects! Global Climate Action after Paris

P.H. Pattberg (Speaker)
12 Apr 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Governance and Planetary Crises: Exploring the challenges and agenda for human ecology

P.H. Pattberg (Speaker)
15 Jun 2017

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

The Paris mandate: reflecting on the UN climate change conference

P.H. Pattberg (Speaker)
14 Dec 2015

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

The role of business actors in closing the climate governance ambition level

P.H. Pattberg (Speaker)
10 Dec 2015

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


Wissenschaftspreis 2009

P.H. Pattberg (Recipient), 15 Sep 2009


honors and awards