I am interested in the governance of climate change mitigation at the local scale. Specifically, I focus on gaining an understanding of the mechanisms of success of grassroots civil society local low-carbon energy initiatives. In this effort, I further investigate how innovations in governance and policy can contribute to an effective support structure for these bottom-up civil society initiatives.
As a scholar with a (European) public administration background, I am intrigued by the role of governance in climate change mitigation. The governance of climate change, being a multi-scalar, -level, and –actor problem vexed by unprecedented complexity, seems to render traditional institutions and policies ineffective in making substantive progress. Against this background, grassroots civil society low-carbon energy initiatives are emerging throughout Western-Europe (in specific the Netherlands) and challenge the organizational status quo of the energy system. Small scale low-carbon energy projects initiated by citizens foster a decentralized and distributed way of generating energy with both processes and outcomes being characterized by significant civic involvement.
As a PhD-student, I am currently researching what lessons can be learned from on-going grassroots civil society local low-carbon energy initiatives in the Dutch province of Fryslân and what innovations in governance and policy are needed to effectively support this bottom-up movement.