2021 International Geneva Award, Swiss Network for International Studies

The International Geneva Award (IG Award) has been established to encourage outstanding research scientists to produce publications that are particularly relevant for International Organisations (IOs). The Award is a prestigious academic distinction specifically created to promote links between Switzerland’s academics and International Geneva. The Award is given to the three best papers published on a subject related to international studies that are especially useful from the perspective of international organizations. I received this award for my first-authored paper ‘Designing effective and equitable zero-deforestation supply chain policies‘ which was written together with Federico Cammelli, Sam A. Levy and Rachael D. Garrett at ETH Zurich’s Environmental Policy Lab and is published open-access in the journal Global Environmental Change. A summary for practitioners is available here.

2021 ONE Book Award, Organization and the Natural Environment Division, Academy of Management

The Organizations and the Natural Environment Division of the Academy of Management ONE 2021 Book Award recognizes the best book published in the previous three years (2018, 2019 or 2020) in the area of organizations and the natural environment. I received this prize for my book Selling Sustainability Short? The private governance of labor and the environment in the coffee sector.

Committee members were impressed with the book’s depth and ‘rigorous research with original survey and interview data’, and also praised its originality, saying that it makes ‘significant contributions to both theoretical and policy debates about the implications, impacts and outcomes of certification schemes for stakeholders (including the natural environment) in the coffee industry.’

2019 Oran R. Young Prize, Earth System Governance Project

The Oran R. Young Prize, awarded by the Earth System Governance Project, seeks to reward and encourage cutting-edge research on earth system governance by early-career scholars who could become the next generation of leading scholars in the field of environmental governance research – a field shaped and significantly influenced by the pioneering work of Prof. Oran R. Young. I received this prize for my paper ‘Is private environmental governance an oxymoron? The effectiveness of market-based sustainability standards in improving ecosystem conservation

According to Professor Young, “this highly impressive, data-rich paper seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of efforts on the part of non-state actors to create and administer governance systems. […] Her findings lead to skepticism regarding the results of market-based procedures as mechanisms to prevent deforestation and enhance ecosystem conservation in these settings. […] So what can we conclude from this splendid case study that Janina has done? Janina rightly warns us that we need to be extremely careful in thinking that private governance is some sort of a panacea when it comes to addressing a variety of issues like deforestation and ecosystem conservation[…].”

2019 Virginia M. Walsh Dissertation Award, STEP Section, American Political Science Association

The Virginia M. Walsh Dissertation Award is given for the best dissertation in science, technology and environmental politics finished in the last two years. I received this award for my dissertation ‘The Effectiveness of Market-Driven Regulatory Sustainability Governance: Assessing the Design of Private Sustainability Standards and Their Impacts on Latin American Coffee Farmers’ Production Practices‘.

According to the award announcement, “the members of the award committee unanimously agreed that Dr. Grabs makes an important theoretical contribution by examining the political dynamics transnational market-driven governance, focusing specifically on sustainability standards in the coffee industry. One committee member added that ‘while her focus is on market-driven standards in the coffee industry, I believe her use of extant theory provides a foundation for other commodities where the lines of consumer and global citizen overlap.’ Dr. Grabs seamlessly blends quantitative and qualitative methodologies, which makes for a very engaging read. Not only does this dissertation make an important contribution to the subfield of environmental policy and politics, but it will likely be of great interest to policymakers, issue advocates, and even some members of the general public.”

2018 Giandomenico Majone Prize, ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance

This prize recognizes recognizes outstanding research by scholars in early stages of her or his career (< 7 years post PHD) in the field of regulatory governance from all relevant disciplinary backgrounds. It is given for the best paper written by such a junior scholar presented at the Biennial Standing Group conferences. I received this prize for my paper ‘The Effectiveness of Private Sustainability Governance: A Micro-Institutional Approach‘.

According to the awards committee, “the paper posed important questions on the effectiveness of private regulatory governance; the data collection effort was vast, yet conducted with precision and care; the methods were rigorous and the paper had a high level of real-world applicability, given the direct questions on regulatory compliance and effectiveness. Consequently, the paper makes a strong theoretical contribution to the broad field of regulatory governance.”

2016 Best Paper Award in the category ‘relevance to managers’, IFAMA World Conference

My first-authored paper ‘Understanding Coffee Certification Dynamics: A Spatial Analysis of Voluntary Sustainability Standard Proliferation‘ was awarded the best paper award in the category ‘relevance to managers’ at the 2016 International Food and Agribusiness Management Association Symposium in Aarhus, Denmark. It was subsequently published open-access in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review (IFAMR).

Other distinctions

Member of the 2019-21 Bosch Postdoctoral Academy for Transformational Leadership

Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance Project

Recipient of the 2012 Allan Oliver Gold Medal, awarded to the McGill University graduate with the highest standing in political science