Karin Bäckstrand is Professor in Environmental Social Science at the Department of Political Science at Stockholm University. This new position is intended to strengthen environmental social science research and teaching at the faculty of social science as well as across faculties at Stockholm university through new collaborative research projects and new International Master Program in Environmental Social Science (IMPRESS) starting fall 2016). She co-directs the research group Environmental Policy, Politics and Learning (EPPLE), nominated as leading research area by the Faculty of Social Science.
Karin Bäckstrand's primary research revolves around global environmental politics, the role of science in environmental decision-making, the politics of climate change and the democratic legitimacy of global governance. Bäckstrand received her doctorate in Political Science at Lund University in 2001. Between 2002 and 2004 she held a postdoctoral position as a Wallenberg Fellow for Environment and Sustainability at the Laboratory for Energy and Environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During 2013, she was visiting scholar at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford and was a senior member at St. Anthony’s’ College.
Bäckstrand’s work is published in journals Global Environmental Politics, European Journal of International Relations, Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Environmental Politics, Journal of European Public Policy. Her recent books are The Research Handbook on Climate Governance (co-edited with Eva Lövbrand, Edward Elgar, 2015) and Rethinking the Green State: Environmental Governance towards Climate and Sustainability Transition (with Annica Kronsell, Routledge, 2015). Bäckstrand is Editor of the domain Climate Policy and Governance at Wiley’s Interdisciplinary Review (WIREs) Climate Change, a leading journal for climate studies.
Bäckstrand has been awarded grants and led several research projects funded by the Swedish Research Council, Formas, Riksbanken Jubileumsfund, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra), The Swedish Energy Agency, Wennergren Foundation, EU-FP7 and the Leverhulme Foundation. She serves on the board of the Norwegian Research Council’s 10-year research program on Climate Change, the Mistra Program New Governance for Sustainable Development in the Artic, and the social science faculty representative on the Board of the Stockholm Resilience Center. She is Senior Faculty of the Earth System Governance Project, which now is organized under the Future Earth.
Books and edited volumes
K. Bäckstrand and E. Lövbrand (eds.) (2015) Research Handbook on Climate Governance. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
K. Bäckstrand and A. Kronsell (eds.) (2015). Rethinking the Green State: Environmental Governance toward Climate and Sustainability Transitions. London: Routledge.
K. Bäckstrand, J. Khan, A. Kronsell and E. Lövbrand (eds.) (2010) Environmental Politics and Deliberative Democracy. Examining the Promises of New Modes of Governance, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
K. Bäckstrand (2001) What Can Nature Withstand? Science, Politics and Discourses in Transboundary Air Pollution Diplomacy, Lund Political Studies 116, Dissertation, Department of Political Science.ISBN 91-88306-35-6.
K. Bäckstrand and E. Lövbrand (2016). “The Road to Paris: contending climate governance discourses in the post-Copenhagen era”, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1523908X.2016.1150777 .
J. Kuyper and K. Bäckstrand (2016) “Accountability and Representation: Non-state actors in UN climate diplomacy”, Global Environmental Politics 16 (2).
N. Nasiritousi, M. Hjerpe, K. Bäckstrand (2015) “Normative arguments for non-state actors participation in international policymaking processes: Functionalism, neocorporativism or democratic pluralism”, European Journal of International Relations, doi:10.1177/1354066115608926.
K. Bäckstrand and M. Kylsäter (2014). “Old Wine in New Bottles? The Legitimation and De-legitimation of UN Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development from the Johannesburg to the Rio+20 Summit”, Globalizations Vol. 11, Issue 3.
K. Bäckstrand, O. Elgström (2013) ”The EU’s role in climate change negotiations. From Leader to Leadiator”, Journal of European Public Policy, Vol 20, No. 10, pp. 1369-1386.
H. Bulkeley, L. Andonova, K. Bäckstrand et. al (2012) “Governing Climate Change Transnationally: Assessing the Evidence from a Database of 60 Initiatives”, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol 30: 591-612.
F. Biermann, K. Abbot, S. Andresen, K. Bäckstrand et. al (2012) ”Towards Effective Earth System Governance: Navigating the Anthropocene”, Science Vol. 335, pp. 1306-1307.
F. Biermann, K. Abbot, S. Andresen, K. Bäckstrand, et al. (2012) ”Transforming Governance and Institutions for Global Sustainability. Key Insights from the Earth System Governance Project”, Current Opinion for Sustainability Vol. 4, pp. 1-10.
K. Bäckstrand, J.Meadowcroft and M. Oppenheimer (2011) “The Politics and Policy of Carbon Capture and Storage, An Emergent Technology” in K. Bäckstrand, J. Meadowcroft and M. Oppenheimer (eds.) Special Issue of Global Environmental Change Vol. 21, No. 2.
H. De Coninck and K. Bäckstrand (2011) “An International Relations Perspective on the Global Politics of Carbon Capture and Storage” in K. Bäckstrand, J. Meadowcroft and M. Oppenheimer (eds.) Special Issue of Global Environmental Change Vol. 21, No.2.
Schlyter, P., K. Bäckstrand and I. Stjernquist (2009) ”Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees? The Environmental Effectiveness of Forest Certification in Sweden”, Forest Policy and Economics, Vol. 11, No. 5-6, 375-382.
K. Bäckstrand. (2008) ”Accountability of Networked Climate Governance: The Rise of Transnational Climate Partnerships, Global Environmental Politics Vol. 8, No. 3, 74-104.
K. Bäckstrand (2006) “Democratising Global Environmental Governance. Stakeholder Democracy after the World Summit on Sustainable Development”, European Journal of International Relations Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 467-498.
K. Bäckstrand (2006) ”Multi-stakeholder Partnerships for Sustainable Development. Rethinking Legitimacy, Accountability and Effectiveness”, European Environment Vol. 16, No. 5, pp. 290-306.
K. Bäckstrand and E. Lövbrand (2006) “Planting Trees to Mitigate Climate Change. Contested Discourses of Ecological Modernization, Green Governmentality and Civic Environmentalism”, Global Environmental Politics Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 51-71.
K. Bäckstrand (2004) “Scientisation vs. Civic Expertise in Environmental Governance. Ecofeminist, Ecomodernist and Postmodernist Responses”, Environmental Politics, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 695-714.
K. Bäckstrand (2003) “Civic Science for Sustainability. Reframing the Role of Experts, Policymakers and Citizens in Environmental Governance”, Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 24-41.
K. Bäckstrand, A. Kronsell and P. Söderholm (1996) “Organizational Challenges to Sustainable Development” Environmental Politics, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 209-230.
G. Öberg and K. Bäckstrand (1997) “Conceptualization of the Acidification Theory in Swedish Environmental Research’, Environmental Reviews, Vol. 4, pp. 123-132.
G. Öberg and K. Bäckstrand (1997) “Praktik och ideal i försurningsforskningen-en studie av vetenskapens självförståelse.” VEST--tidskrift för vetenskapsstudier, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 23-39.
Chapters in edited volumes
K. Bäckstrand (2015) ”Civil Society” in P. Pattberg and F. Zelli (eds.) Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Governance and Politics, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
K. Bäckstrand and E. Lövbrand (2015) “Climate Governance after Copenhagen: research trends and policy practice”, in K. Bäckstrand and E. Lövbrand (eds.) (Research Handbook on Climate Governance. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
K. Bäckstrand and A. Kronsell (2015) “The Green State Revisited”, in K. Bäckstrand and A. Kronsell (eds.), Rethinking the Green State: Environmental Governance toward Climate and Sustainability Transitions. London: Routledge.
K. Bäckstrand and A. Kronsell (2015) “Conclusions”, in K. Bäckstrand and A. Kronsell (eds.), Rethinking the Green State: Environmental Governance toward Climate and Sustainability Transitions. London: Routledge
K. Bäckstrand (2013) ”Kan klimathotet lösas genom internationella förhandlingar?” L. Björkman (red) Statsvetenskapens frågor. Stockholm: SNS Förlag.
K. Bäckstrand, S. Chan, S. Camp, A. Mert, M. Schäfferhoffer (2012). ”Transnational Public-Private Partnerships” , F. Bierman and P. Pattberg (eds.) Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered. New Actors, Mechanisms and Interlinkages, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
K. Bäckstrand (2012) ”Are Partnerships for Sustainable Development Democratic and Legitimate?” in F. Biermann, S. Chan, P. Pattberg, A. Merts (eds.) Multistakeholder Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Emergence, Influence and Legitimacy. Edward Elgar.
K. Bäckstrand (2012) ”Democracy and Global Environmental Politics” in P. Dauvergne (ed.) Handbook of Global Environmental Politics. Cheltenham; Edward Elgar.
K. Bäckstrand (2011), ”The Democratic Legitimacy of Global Climate Change”, in J. Dryzek, R. Noorgard, and D. Schlosberg (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
K. Bäckstrand (2010) “The Legitimacy of Global Public-Private Partnerships on Climate and Sustainable Development” in K. Bäckstrand, J. Khan, A. Kronsell and E. Lövbrand (eds.) (2010) Environmental Politics and Deliberative Democracy. Examining the Promises of New Modes of Governance, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
A. Kronsell and K. Bäckstrand (2010) ” Analysing the Legitimacy of New Modes of Governance” in K. Bäckstrand, J. Khan, A. Kronsell and E. Lövbrand (eds.) (2010) Environmental Politics and Deliberatiev Democracy. Examining the Promises of New Modes of Governance, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
K. Bäckstrand (2010). ”From Rhetoric to Practice. The Legitimacy of Global Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development”, in M. Bexell and U. Mörth (Eds.) Democracy and ´Public-Private Partnerships in Global Governance, Palgrave McMillan.
K. Bäckstrand, (2010) “Climate Change and Energy Security in the European Union: From Rhetoric to Practice?”, in C. Lever-Tracy (ed.) Handbook of Climate Change and Society, London and New York: Routledge.
K. Bäckstrand (2010) “EU:s uppgång och fall som global klimatledare” i R. Bengtsson (red.) I Europas tjänst. Sveriges ordförandeskapet i EU 2009. Stockholm: SNS Förlag.
K. Bäckstrand (2009) ”EU:s klimat-och energipolitik. En tandlös tiger?” i B. Johansson (red.) Osäkrat klimat – laddad utmaning. Formas Fokuserar. Stockholm: Formas.
K. Bäckstrand (2008) ”Klimat-och energisäkerhet i EU. Förenlighet eller målkonflikt?” i P. Cramer, S. Gustavsson och L. Oxelheim (red.) Klimat, miljö och energi i Europa. Stockholm: Santereus förlag.
K. Bäckstrand and E. Lövbrand (2007) “Contested Climate: Competing Discourses of Planetary Management, Market Efficiency and Ecological Justice” in M. Pettenger (ed.) The Social Construction of Climate Change, London: Ashgate.
K. Bäckstrand (2006) “Global miljöpolitik’, in J. Gustavsson och J. Tallberg (red) Internationell Politik. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
K. Bäckstrand, A. Kronsell and P. Söderholm (2004) “Hållbar utveckling och administrativa utmaningar”, A. Nilsson, M. Sillén, P. Wickenberg (red) Miljö och hållbar utveckling, Lund: Studentlitteratur.
K. Bäckstrand (2003) “Precaution, Scientisation or Deliberation? Prospects for Greening and Democratizing Science” in M. Wissenburg and Y. Levy (eds.) Liberal Environmentalism, London and New York: Routledge.
K. Bäckstrand (2003) “Samspelet mellan vetenskap och politik. Experternas, beslutsfattarnas och medborgarnas roll i miljöpolitiken” in L. Lundgren (ed.) Vägar till kunskap. Några aspekter på humanvetenskaplig miljöforskning och annan miljöforskning. Stockholm: Symposium.
K. Bäckstrand and H. Selin (2000) “Sweden – A Pioneer of Acidification Abatement”, in A. Underdal and K. Hanf (eds.) International Environmental Agreements and Domestic Policies. The Case of Acid Rain. London: Ashgate.
International conference contributions
J. Kuyper, K. Bäckstrand and H. Schröder (2015) “Accountability of Non-state Actors in the UNFCCC: Exit, Voice and Loyalty. Paper presented at a Workshop Accountability in Global Environmental Governance 18-19 December 2015, University of Sidney, Australia.
J. Kuyper and K. Bäckstrand (2015) “Non-State Actors and the Democratic Legitimacy of Global Climate Governance”, Paper presented at the Earth System Governance Conference 14-16 December 2015, ANU, Canberra, Australia.
K. Aggestam, K. Bäckstrand and K. Jönsson (2015) “The Politics of Re/De-politization. Policy and Practice of Peace-building, Environment and Development” Paper presented at the 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Sicily, Italy, 23-26th September, 2015.
K. Bäckstrand and J. Kuyper (2015) “Accountability and Representation. The Case of UN Climate Diplomacy”. Paper presented at the International Studies Association (ISA)in New Orleans, 16-20 February, 2015.
K. Bäckstrand (2013) “Civil Society Participation in Sustainable Development Diplomacy. Toward Stakeholder Democracy”, Paper presented at the 8th pan-European Conference on International Relations, 18-22 September, 2013, Warsaw, Poland.
K. Bäckstrand (2013) ”The Legitimacy and Legitimation of Global Climate Governance”, Paper presented at Tokyo Earth System Governance Conference, 20-31 January 2013, Tokyo.
K. Bäckstrand and E. Lövbrand (2012) “Rethinking Climate Governance post Copenhagen: Power, Knowledge and Discourses at the Durban Summit”, Paper presented at Planet under Pressure Conference, March 26-29 2012, London.
K. Bäckstrand (2010) ”The Democratic Legitimacy of Global Climate Governance after Copenhagen at international conference on Democratizing Climate Change, Australian National University (ANU), 15-17 July, Canberra, Australia.
K. Bäckstrand (2007) ”Accountability of Public-Private Multilateralism: Multi-sectoral Networks in Climate Change”, proceeding of the Amsterdam Conference on Earth System Governance, May 24-27, Amsterdam.
K. Bäckstrand (2005) “Accountability and Legitimacy of Networked Governance. Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development”, proceeding of the Berlin Conference on Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, “International organisations and Global Environmental Governance, Berlin 2-3 December.
K. Bäckstrand (2005) ”Multistakeholder Partnerships in the Global Governance for Sustainable Development. Rethinking Legitimacy, Accountability and Effectiveness”. Paper presented at the 7th Nordic Conference on Environmental Social Science, June 15-17, Gothenburg.
K. Bäckstrand and E. Lövbrand (2005) ”Planting Trees to Mitigate Climate Change. Contested Discourses of Market Efficiency, Planetary Carbon Control and Civic Participation”, proceeding of the Annual Meeting of International Studies Association, 1-6 March, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Popular scientific articles and reports
Biermann, F., K. Abbot, S. Andresen, K. Bäckstrand et al. (2011). Transforming Governance and Institutions for a Planet Under Pressure. Revitalizing the institutional framework for global sustainability. Key insights from social science research. Rio+20 Policy Brief No. 3.
Bäckstrand, K. (2009) “EU:s klimat-och energipolitik. En tandlös tiger?” i B. Johansson (eds.) Osäkrat klimat – laddad utmaning. Formas Fokuserar. Stockholm: Formas.
Bäckstrand, K. and J. Stripple (2009). TheTransatlantic Divide in Post-2012 Climate Policy, policy brief written for the Swedish Prime Minister’s Commission on Sustainable Development, Stockholm.
Bäckstrand, K. (2007) Kommission för Hållbar utveckling. Hearing om klimatpolitikens grunder. Expert hearing (Government’s Commission for Sustainable Development), September 3, 2007. Stockholm: Regeringskansliet, Statsrådsberedningen.
Bäckstrand, K. (1999) “Environmental Security and Transboundary Air Pollution: Lessons for Understanding Climate Risks” in J. Stripple, B. Wiman and S. Chong (eds.) From Climate Risk to Climate Security, Stockholm: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
Bäckstrand; K (1998) “Vad tål naturen? Vetenskap, rationalitet, könsordning i miljöpolitiken”, Aktuellt om Kvinnoforskning, No. 2 December 1999.
Bäckstrand, K. (1994) “Acidification Policy in Sweden”, Workshop report to project The Domestic Basis of International Environmental Agreements: Modelling National-International Linkages, Oslo Fridjof Nansen Institute.
Co-coordinator: Legitimacy in Global Governance, 2016-2021, program funded by Riksbanken Jubuleumsfond, 36 million SEK. Lead coordinator: Jonas Tallberg, Stockholm University.
Project leader: Challenges and Opportunities in Fragmented Global Climate and Energy Governance 2015-2018, funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, 5,5 million SEK. In collaboration with Lund University, Vriije University Amsterdam and SEI Oxford.
Project leader: Revisiting National Renewables Mix (REMIX), funded by the Norwegian Research Council and the Swedish Energy Agency 2015- 2018. In collaboration with Oslo University and CICERO.
Principal Researcher: Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Protection, funded by the Swedish Research Council and Formas 2012-2014, 6 million SEK. In collaboration with Linköping University.
Principal researcher: Transnational Adaptation Governance, funded by Formas 2016-2018, 3 million SEK. In collaboration with Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).
Principal researcher: Climate Change and Security. Funded by the Ministry of Foregein Affairs, Project leader Malin Mobjörk, Stockholm University.
Principal Researcher: Governing Climate Change (CLIMGOVERN), funded by Formas, 2014-2016. Project coordinator: In collaboration with Lund University.
Deputy coordinator and steering group member: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate (BECC), government’s strategic research area funded by the Swedish Research Council, 2010-2012, 120 million SEK.
Principal researcher: Democracy beyond the Nation State. Transnational Actors and Global Governance (TRANSDEMOS), funded by the the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, 2008-2013, 33 million SEK.
Project leader: Abandoned Leadership. EUs role in global climate negotiations, funded by Formas 2011-2013. Postdoc Jakob Skoovgard.
Project leader: The Politics, Policy and Regulation of Carbon Capture and Storage, financed by the Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA) 2008-2011, 8 million SEK.
Project leader: Participation, Deliberation and Sustainability: Governance beyond Rhetoric in the Domain of Climate, Forestry and Food Safety (GREENGOV), 2006-2009, funded by Formas (FORMAS), 6.8 million SEK.