INOGOV Workshop: “Pioneers and Leaders in Polycentric Climate Governance (PiLePoC)”


A burgeoning academic literature has identified pioneers and leaders as important drivers for climate change innovations (including innovative policies, instruments and approaches). Although a wide range of actors (e.g. international organisations, NGOs, corporations and cities) have been identified as potential and actual leaders and/or pioneers in climate change governance, much of the academic debate is still largely focused on states. What is missing is a systematic review and clear analytical conceptualization of the different types of actors who can act as leaders and/or pioneers at different levels of climate governance (e.g. local, national, regional, supranational and international). The proliferation of a wide range of competing definitions of what constitutes a leader and/or pioneer in climate change governance has led to analytical confusion and made difficult the emergence of theory-guided cumulative empirical research. Moreover, little systematic research exists on the motives, capacities, styles and strategies of different types of leaders and/or pioneers at different levels of climate governance.

The main goals of the workshop are to:

(1) Review systematically the often discipline-specific literature(s) with the aim of developing a common terminology and analytical framework which allows for more robust and generalizable conclusions on leaders and pioneers in climate change governance;

(2) Apply systematically this more robust analytical concept to different types of actors (such as states, international organisations, the EU, cities, NGOs and businesses) which operate at different levels of climate governance (e.g. the local, national, supranational and international level);

(3) Encourage mutual learning between experienced and early career researchers from different disciplines with the aim of closing important research gaps while identifying and helping to set new research agendas.

Topical themes:

The workshop is open for paper proposals which focus in particular on one (or several) of the following themes:

I) Governmental sources of climate leadership and pioneership

· International organisations as climate pioneers and leaders

· The European Union as climate pioneer and leader

· States as climate pioneers and leaders

· Cities and regions as climate pioneers and leaders

II) Non-governmental sources of climate leadership and pioneership

· Corporations as climate pioneers and leaders

· NGOs as climate pioneers and leaders

· Consumers and supermarkets as climate pioneers and leaders

· SMEs as climate pioneers and leaders

III) Drivers for and barriers to climate innovation

· Capacities and strategies for climate policy innovations

· Diffusion of climate policy innovations: The climate leader-follower dynamic

· Innovative climate policy instruments

· Retreating climate pioneers and leaders

· Climate laggards

· Non-diffusion of climate innovations: Inertia and the leader-laggard stalemate

· Domestic/internal and/or foreign/external motivations of climate pioneers and leaders

The above stated list of themes is not exhaustive. Paper proposals on other topics related to climate change leaders and pioneers are also welcome including proposals which take a comparative analytical perspective.

The following keynote speakers will give talks at the workshop:

Prof Alexander Aylett (INRS, Montreal, Canada)

Prof Martin Jänicke (FU Berlin and IASS Potsdam, Germany)

Prof Stacy VanDeveer (University of New Hampshire, USA)

Practicalities and submission deadlines:

· Submission deadline for paper proposals (which should not exceed 500 words): 11.05.2016

· Date by which the applicants will be informed of the acceptance/rejection of their proposal: 23.05.2016

· Submission deadline for full papers: 29.08.2016

Proposals for papers should be sent to the workshop organisers Prof Rüdiger Wurzel ( and/or Dr Duncan Liefferink ( who are happy to answer queries about the workshop which is supported under the COST Action funded Innovations in Climate Governance (INOGOV) programme. Applicants from COST-INOGOV member countries can apply for financial support for reasonable travel expenses and accommodation cost. COST Action IS1309 INOGOV countries include: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK. There is also some more limited financial support for participants from other countries.