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Welcome to the Thor Heyerdahl Summer School in Environmental Governance

Evy Jørgensen and Josie Teurlings

The status of our natural environments – both locally and globally – warrants action. The Thor Heyerdahl Summer School in Environmental Governance aims at giving PhDs and young researchers the opportunity to develop high level skills in analysing environmental governance issues. The Summer School will offer an arena for critical reflection on the present status of both theory and practice in the field, and an opportunity to discuss alternatives to current developments and solutions.


The Summer School will organise one 10 ECTS course per year.

The idea behind this summer school is to bring renowned researchers of environmental governance to work with a selected group of PhD students/young researchers from all over the world. This way we aim at creating a forum for students of environmental governance across the globe. The Summer School will consist of a series of annual courses.

The third course will be organised in 2014 from June 16 - June 27. The topic will be The Green Economy. There will be a series of highly renowned speakers at the course including Richard Howarth, Tim Jackson, Sharachchandra Lele, Sian Sullivan and Heidi Wittmer.

The course will focus on the frontiers of theory formation and empirical analyses regarding ‘the green economy’. The concept is loaded with very different meanings, as it is connected to different traditions within economics. It also links up with ecology in various ways. We observe two major developments regarding ‘the green economy’ lately – i.e., the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB) and the UNEP green economy initiative. In relation to practical policy, this development is very much characterized by a push towards using economic valuation and ‘market-based’ instruments to ensure provision of ecosystem services. These developments are heavily discussed among defenders and critics. The aim of the course in 2014 is to offer opportunities to delve into these issues through getting a better understanding of the theoretical controversies and the practical implications.

The first course was organised in 2011. The topic was ‘Environmental governance: Institutions for sustainable development’.  Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom attended as speaker and hence set the tone and standard for the summer school series.

The second course was organized in 2012 with the title ‘Global Environmental Governance’ including speakers like Frank Biermann, Clive Spash and Oran Young.

The Summer School is organised by the Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Professor Arild Vatn is responsible for convening the whole series.

The Summer School is established in cooperation with the Thor Heyerdahl Institute. The Norwegian research institutes CICERO, the Fridtjof Nansen Institute and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) support the school by participating in planning and lecturing. The Summer School is also supported by the International Society for Ecological Economics ISEE , the European Society for Ecological Economics ESEE and the Earth System Governance Project.

Please read more about the international Thor Heyerdahl summer school series and the course in 2014.

Updated: 12.02.14
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Additional information

Programme for the course in 2014

A
pplication deadline: February 20, 2014


NOTE: There will be no participation fee for the summer school

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Articles by the participants from the courses:

THSS Vol. 1 Environmental governance: Institutions for sustainable Development

THSS Vol. 2 Global Environmental Governance