Balsiger, Jorg

Associate Professor

University of Geneva, Geneva School of Social Sciences, Switzerland


Max Weber alumnus

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Cohort(s): 2007/2008

Ph.D. Institution

University of California, Berkeley, United States


My academic training includes an undergraduate degree in history and international affairs from Holy Names College (1993), a masters degree in international relations from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (1996), and a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management from the University of California at Berkeley (2007). Within these disciplinary fields, I have carried out research on international and comparative environmental politics, policy and administration for close to fifteen years.
Between 1995 and 2001, I worked as a researcher and policy advisor to non-governmental organizations such as World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund, German and Swiss bilateral donors, and international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank.My specialties during this time included the role of non-governmental environmental organization, forest policy and administration, capacity building and donor coordination, and evolved around consulting work in the United States, Europe, Africa, East Asia and Southeast Asia. Several research products emerged during this period, including a book titled Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission: The First Fifty Years (FAO, 2000).
My current research interests straddle the fields of international relations, global and comparative environmental politics and organization theory. My dissertation Uphill Struggles: the Politics of Sustainable Mountain Development in the Swiss Alps and California’s Sierra Nevada, published in 2009 with Lambert, examines the role of mountain regions in the political landscape of modern nation states and seeks to lay the groundwork for comparative sustainable development as a new field of inquiry. I have also co-authored an article on international cooperation theory with Kate O’Neill and Stacy VanDeveer, published in the Annual Review of Political Science, have several articles on issues pertaining to international and comparative environmental politics under preparation, and written numerous book reviews for academic journals.
As a Max Weber Fellow, I explored the role of global environmental change as a driving force of regionalization in the context of sustainable development governanceance. 

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