Governance in Transition

The Governance in Transition research theme analyzes how governance structures shape decisions and subsequent outcomes by building on and contributing to research on decision-making processes, public acceptance, risk perception, cognitive biases, and cultural perspectives, as well as participatory governance design.

Raising hands © Claudiad | iStock

Raising hands © Claudiad | iStock

The Governance in Transition research theme contributes to the understanding of transformations in governance frameworks across diverse risk policy areas, including community flood resilience, disaster risk reduction and transfer, ecosystem services, siting controversial infrastructure and facilities, as well as climate change mitigation.   

It specifically involves the design of participatory governance via stakeholder processes and interactions, including methods of participatory modeling, games, and game theory.

Meeting the challenges of climate change, disasters, and social-ecological shifts requires not only technical and economic capabilities but also transitions in the way we govern - toward more adaptive and inclusive approaches. Thus operationalizing research on governance is more than communicating scientific results to policymakers and analyzing how these results are interpreted and implemented; it also involves working with stakeholders to co-generate actionable knowledge. 

Associated projects

The research feeds into a number of major projects: Equitable Governance of Common Goods (IIASA cross-cutting project), MENA Select, LINKS, BESTGRIDDESERTECTIONCHANGESMATRIX (2010-2013), SafeLand (2010-2013), MEDIATION (2010-2013).

Middle East North African Sustainable Electricity Trajectories (MENA Select)

This project investigates the socio-economic impacts, risks and opportunities, and potential for conflict, of different electricity scenarios and power production technologies in several countries within the MENA region. More

Linking Climate Change Mitigation, Energy Security and Regional Development in Climate and Energy Model regions in Austria (LINKS)

Focusing specifically on Austria's 'model regions', the project aims to provide insights into the implementation of the Austrian government’s previous target to become energy self-sufficient by 2050. More

Improving Landslide Risk Responses (SafeLand)

SafeLand responded to the growing risk of landslides in mountainous regions of Europe due to climate change-related increases in overall rainfall, concentrated rains over short periods, more extreme weather, and increased snowmelts in Alpine regions. More

Climate Change and Natural Disasters (CHANGES)

Global warming is expected to alter natural disaster patterns in Europe, and CHANGES researchers are modeling those anticipated changes to assist emergency preparedness officials and to train young scientists in the risk management skills needed to respond to future disasters. More

DESERTECTION: Social and Environmental Challenges of European-MENA Renewable Power Cooperation

A prerequisite for avoiding dangerous climate change is the complete decarbonization of the power systems of developed countries by mid-century, and developing countries must follow soon thereafter. This will almost certainly include heavy reliance on renewable energy sources, and could include complete reliance. More


The EU-funded BESTGRID project works towards modernizing and expanding the current European electricity grid for the integration of a growing share of electricity from renewable sources. More

Creating Policy Tools for Climate Change Adaptation (MEDIATION)

The MEDIATION project provided European policymakers with scientific information, as well as technical tools, for developing improved climate change adaptation policies More

Linking Disasters for Risk Reduction (MATRIX)

The project developed methods to link events such as earthquakes, landslides, and other natural disasters, to enable policymakers to take more effective risk reduction measures. More

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Last edited: 27 April 2018


Wei Liu

Research Scholar

Risk and Resilience

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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