Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen ← Back


  • Assistant Professor, Public Administration and Policy Group, Wageningen University, Netherlands

Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen is Assistant Professor with the Public Administration and Policy Group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands and Adjunct Professor in global environmental governance at Helsinki University, Finland.

In her research Sylvia seeks to understand the key determinants of what makes global energy and climate change governance processes exert influence and build legitimacy among different actors. Among such determinants are participation, transparency, accountability and equity. On this track she has compared different global governance arenas that addresses climate change mitigation from the energy sector, both within the UN system and outside it. She has also analysed the particular history and dynamics of addressing energy in global governance and proposed normative frameworks for making such governance less of a taboo for states. Sylvia is particularly interested in the role of international norms in their diversity (legal and non-legal, vague and precise etc.) as a governance tool.

Sylvia holds an M.Sc. in Biology/Ecotoxicology from Uppsala University and a PhD (political science) from Linköping University, Sweden. She has been a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Public International Law, Leiden University and held a five year position as Research Fellow with the Academy of Finland. She has also worked for the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) in Bonn, Germany. Sylvia has followed global sustainable development law and governance from the Rio conference in 1992 onwards.

She is a senior research fellow of the international Earth System Governance Project and a member of the editorial board of the journal International Environmental Agreements.


des Bouvrie, Nicole, Sylvia I Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, and Nigel Jollands. forthcoming. Responsibility for Radical Change in Addressing Climate Change. Journal of Carbon Management.
Vinkhuyzen, O.M., Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S.I., 2014. The Role of Moral Leadership for Sustainable Consumption and Production. Journal of Cleaner Production 63, 102-113.
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S.I., McGee, J., 2013. Legitimacy in an Era of Fragmentation: The Case of Global Climate Governance. Global Environmental Politics 13, 56-78.
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S.I., Jollands, N., Staudt, L., 2012. Global Governance for Sustainable Energy: The Contribution of a Global Public Goods Approach. Ecological Economics 83, 11-18.
Vihma, A., Mulugetta, Y., Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S.I., 2011. Negotiating Solidarity? The G77 Through the Prism of Climate Change Negotiations. Global Change, Peace & Security 23, 315-334.
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S.I., Kok, M.T.J., 2011. Interplay Management in the Climate, Energy, and Development Nexus, In: Oberthür, S., Stokke, O.S. (Eds.), Managing Institutional Complexity: Regime Interplay and Global Environmental Change. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, pp. 285-312.
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S.I., 2010. The United Nations and Global Energy Governance: Past Challenges, Future Choices. Global Change, Peace and Security 22, 175-195.
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S.I., van Asselt, H., 2009. Introduction: exploring and explaining the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 9, 195-211.
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S.I., Vihma, A., 2009. Comparing the Legitimacy and Effectiveness of Global Hard and Soft Law: An Analytical Framework. Regulation & Governance 3, 400-420.