About EPG

Environmental governance is a core challenge of modern times. While scholars have made impressive contributions to understanding environmental sciences, environmental politics and governance remain understudied. Indeed, progress on many environmental issues especially climate change is impeded by political factors and not by the lack of scientific knowledge. The reason is that environmental politics provokes the classic questions of who gets, what, how, and when.

The Environmental Politics and Governance (EPG) network provides a platform for scholars studying environmental issues to present research, exchange ideas, and collaborate. While many EPG scholars are trained as political scientists, EPG welcomes scholars from any discipline who work on the issues of environmental politics, policy, or governance.  

EPG does not have a formal organizational structure. The “EPG elders,” who founded this network and regularly participate in its activities, constitute an informal international steering committee. EPG organizes five events: (1) the annual conference, (2) biweekly online seminars, (3) deep climate conversations, (4) the annual graduate workshop, and (5) mentoring.

The annual conference rotates between North American and European Universities and is held typically in June or July. The Call for Papers is put out in October-November with the submission deadline in January. Each proposal is reviewed (blindly) by two members of the international steering committee. Based on this feedback, the local host, who acts as the program chair for the conference, constructs the program. 

Often the program includes plenary sessions where prominent scholars are invited to share their views. For example, in the 2022 Penn State conference, Francis Fukuyama delivered a talk on Climate Realism. At the same conference, another plenary session was devoted to the problems and prospects in inter-disciplinary research with panelists representing social, physical, and biological sciences.

By design, the annual conferences are limited to about 40-50 participants. There are no parallel sessions to ensure that participants attend all panels and are able to interact with each other. Sessions are marked by high-level of audience involvement and civility. Typically, conference participants are expected to sign up to provide written feedback on two papers.

To date, the annual conferences have been hosted by University of Washington, Seattle (2015), ETH Zurich (2016), Indiana University, Bloomington (2017), Stockholm University (2018), University of California, Santa Barbara (2019), University of Oslo (2020, 2021, virtual conferences due to COVID) and Penn State (2022). The 2023 Conference will be hosted by University in Glasgow with Patrick Bayer as the program chair. For past conference programs, click here.

EPG organizes several other events.  EPG also organizes a biweekly online seminar series which provides an additional venue for scholars to present their research in progress.  If you wish to present a seminar, please contact Liam F. Beiser-McGrath. For the list of presenters in previous seminars, click here.

Deep Climate Conversations is an online structured roundtable (i.e., questions circulated in advance to speakers) on a specific issue. The objective is to explore climate issues at a deeper, theoretical level. For more information on Deep Conversations, contact Jennifer Hadden or Aseem Prakash. For the program, click here.

EPG is committed to training and supporting the next generation of scholars. It organizes two events to support this objective. EPG organizes an annual graduate workshop in May in Seattle. This workshop is modeled along the lines of the annual conferences but is limited to graduate students only. The objective is to create a low-stress environment for graduate students to present their work and network. The call for papers is typically announced in January and the participants are notified in March. For more information on the workshop, contact Aseem Prakash. For workshop programs, click here.

Finally, EPG has launched a mentoring initiative to connect emerging scholars with senior scholars in the EPG network. For more information on the mentoring program, please contact David Konisky.

EPG network maintains the EnvironmentalGovernance listserv. If you wish to join it, click here.