I am an incoming Assistant Professor of Business and Society at the Department of Society, Politics and Sustainability at ESADE Business School in Barcelona (start date Sept 1st 2021).
I received my PhD in Political Science from the University of Münster, Germany, and previously was a post-doctoral researcher at ETH Zurich and visiting researcher at Yale University. My work focuses on the private governance of sustainability in global value chains and the options of states, firms, NGOs and other actors to improve the environmental and social sustainability of commodity production. I place a special focus on tropical agricultural commodities such as coffee and palm oil.
The questions that fascinate me are the following: who defines and controls what sustainability means in the marketplace? What types of rule-making and enforcement mechanisms exist that govern these processes, and how effective are they in creating change? Do they set the right incentives for market actors, particularly those in the Global South, to adhere to them? As global production and consumption processes are threatening to erode our planet’s resources, what actions can states and non-state actors take to steer these processes into more amenable directions, and how do these actions work within the market framework? My current projects include investigating the implementation of zero-deforestation commitments in the palm oil sector, the role of traders as sustainability governance actors, and the paradoxes of climate-smart coffee production.
My work on the effectiveness of private sustainability governance in the coffee sector has been widely recognized, inter alia with ESG’s Oran R. Young Prize, APSA’s Virginia M. Walsh Dissertation Award, and ECPR’s Giandomenico Majone Prize, and is published in the book “Selling Sustainability Short? The Private Governance of Labor and the Environment in the Coffee Sector” (2020, Cambridge University Press). I have further published in leading peer-reviewed journals including Regulation & Governance, Business Strategy and the Environment, New Political Economy, the Journal of Economic Geography, Ecological Economics, and the Journal of Environmental Management.
I take a problem-focused approach to teaching that empowers my students to understand and find solutions to complex sustainability problems, and teach courses in business in society, sustainability governance, and political economy.
I am also an active member of my research community, inter alia as a research fellow of the Earth System Governance project, an Outreach Committee officer of the International Studies Association’s Environmental Studies Section, and founding member of the ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance’s Early Career Network. I regularly speak at industry events and make media appearances to share my insights with practitioners and the public at large.
Please contact me by email if you are interested in collaborating or would like me to speak at an event!