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Governance and Inclusive Development (GID) scrutinizes development dynamics at various geographical, jurisdictional and temporal scales, realizing that these are situated in different but interconnected multi-level processes. GID analyses and rethinks dominant development paradigms, and engages with international, national and local development practices, policies and debates to identify viable and socially just alternatives.
Governance and Inclusive Development

 It thereby  emphasizes that development pathways are affecting and affected by ‘planetary boundaries’ and climate change.   

  • Governance for environmental justice in the Anthropocene
  • Governance for social justice
  • Politics of knowledge

You can find more information on these themes in the full strategy document linked below.

Research goals

The team focuses on the strategic issues of multi-level (glocal) governance and inclusive development. The reason for doing this is that drivers of change and development processes emerge and interact at all scale levels in unpredictable ways. Such dynamics include feedback loops at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. 


GID hosts the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS) and chairs the social-science Centre for Maritime Research (MARE), each stimulating the vibrant intellectual exchange of knowledge through their biennial conferences and associated academic journals, newsletters and publication series.  

Our projects
  • ‘Glocal’ water governance

    The ‘Glocal’ Water Governance Research Agenda consists of two separate but synergising projects.

    The first research project 'Water Justice and Beyond' contributes to the work of the Global Commission on the Economics of Water and is aiming to redefine the way we value and govern water for the common good.

    The second research project ‘Water Allocation, Rights and Institution Study’ reviews a small sample of countries regarding the nature and effectiveness of the current legal, regulatory, and administrative practices in the application of water valuation and water allocation.

    Project team

    Prof. dr. J. (Joyeeta) Gupta

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Dr. H.J. (Hilmer) Bosch

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Dep. Human Geography, Planning & International Development Studies

    Dr A.B. (Andrea) Mueller

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Small fish for food and nutrition security in Africa (SmallFish4Food)

    Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires multifaceted transitions. The SmallFish4Food project addresses gaps in SDGs 2, 3, and 14. Fisheries are crucial for African economies, supporting 200 million people directly or indirectly. Despite their nutritional significance, fish are often overlooked in global food security discourse.

    SmallFish4Food aims to rectify this by leveraging LEAP-Agri findings and engaging stakeholders to improve the sustainable utilization of small fish resources for Africa's low-income populations. Fisheries, being energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, face challenges due to prioritization of large species and limited access. The project seeks to elevate the value of small fish species to combat nutritional deficiencies and promote sustainable food systems.

    Funded by: NWO

    Project duration: 31 March 2024 - 30 March 2027

    Project team

    Dr J.M. (Maarten) Bavinck

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Dr. J. (Joeri) Scholtens

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Development of a municipal wellbeing index for Amsterdam


    The current emphasis on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth as the primary economic indicator overlooks societal well-being and perpetuates urban-centric growth. Despite decades of growth, inequality persists, challenging the notion that economic growth benefits all.

    Recognizing the limitations of orthodox economic policies, a shift towards a well-being-focused economy is advocated. Well-being encompasses material, relational, and subjective dimensions, requiring a comprehensive indicator framework aligned with municipal budgets and policies.

    This applied research project aims to develop a well-being index and dashboard tailored to urban needs, integrating diverse indicators to guide policy and planning. Initial stages involve analyzing existing initiatives, identifying relevant indicators, and aligning with municipal goals.

    Project team

    Dr. N.R.M. (Nicky) Pouw

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Dr. H.J.L.M. (Hebe) Verrest

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • CLIFF – Climate Change & Fossil Fuels

    To combat global warming, we have to stop using fossil fuels. This will have a major impact on both investors in related industries who will have to write off trillions of dollars and developing countries that had hoped to use the fossil fuel industry to drive economic growth. This project looks into the roles of the various different stakeholders and develops tools to help them all move towards climate-resilient change and inclusive development.

    We argue that to halt climate change, the 2015 Paris Agreement implicitly requires leaving fossil fuels (FF) underground (LFFU) and coherent financial flows. This implies stranding huge amounts of FF resources and assets (worth $16-300 trillion), affecting big investors: FF firms, shareholders (pension funds/philanthropies), debt financers (aid agencies/development banks) and governments. Research is scarce on big investors, the implications for developing countries with FF resources, and how LFFU can be equitably mobilized.

    CLIFF combines institutional analysis and a theory of change for inclusive development (ICID) using a transdisciplinary, comparative case study approach. CLIFF will prepare an Interactive Atlas, and a Stranded Asset Index, co-create equitable policy instruments and assess strategies of agents of change to make such climate policy instruments politically feasible and effective. Rather than ‘Building Back Better’ from the COVID-19 pandemic, CLIFF strives for Catalysing Climate-resilient Change.

    Case studies

    CLIFF is using a transdisciplinary, comparative case study approach and has identified nine countries/regions within which these financial actors operate. From the industrialized world, CLIFF will examine the EU, UK, US and Canada; from the G77 & China: Brazil, South Africa, India and China; the BASIC countries; and possibly Saudi Arabia. These countries are selected since they are dominant players in financial flows and investments in FF, and have a strong potential blocking or promoting role in LFFU. In addition, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique will be studied as LMICs that are developing themselves as FF producers.

    Funded by: the European Research Council

    Project duration: Nov 2021- Nov 2026

    Project team

    Prof. dr. J. (Joyeeta) Gupta

    Principal Investigator


    dr. Yang Chen | Global Inventory of FF and Financial Flows (to be appointed).


    Augusto Heras | Focuses on Low- & Middle-Income Countries

    Frank de Morrée | His work relates to Philanthropic Foundations

    (Ja)Nina Herzog-Hawelka | Her research deals with Fossil Fuel Firms

    Moataz Yakan Talaat | His work relates to Debt Financiers

    Clara McDonnell | Her research focuses on Pension Funds

    Master students

    Together they work as a team on comparative and integrative research to ensure that the sum of all projects is significantly more than the sum of the individual work of each researcher.

    Inès Boivin, Claire Boogard, Thomas Cordes, Giuliana Gentile, Lynn Haasloop-Werner, Robin Hids, Juliette Linn, Marc Olsen, Vivien Schüßler, Gabriela Zuntová, Quynh Anh Chu, Glenn Dijks, Ben Kapadia, Blanca Reemst, Marika Schmitz, Ellen Snaathorst, Phani Varnava, Elise Granlie, Ingrid Ronglan, Janne Piper.

  • Earth Commission

    The Earth Commission is an international team of natural and social scientists, composed of 17 members from 12 countries, and divided into 5 working groups: Modelling, Biodiversity, Nutrients & Pollution, Transformation, and Translation Methods. It is led by three renowned professors: Johan Rockström, Joyeeta Gupta, and Dahe Qin.

    The commission aims to facilitate climate action based on science through solid academic cooperation for people and the planet. In doing so, it incentives individuals, companies, cities, and countries to hold stewardship of the global commons. The work of the commission serves as a form of translation from scientific calculations to science-based targets for nature, which can then be implemented at the local and global levels.

    Prof. Joyeeta Gupta co-leads with Diana Liverman Working Group 4, Transformation. This working group focuses on integrating justice framework into the Earth Commission work by investigating synergies and trade-offs between social and environmental goals, and socio-economic drivers of Earth system changes. The group, composed of social scientists, analyses policies and actors in order to identify transformative change, as well as the design of governance architecture and mechanisms aimed at achieving desired transformations. 

    On May 31st, the Earth Commission presented the Nature publication Safe and Just Earth system boundaries, which for the first time incorporated justice into boundary setting, and received considerable amounts of engagement both from academia and the general public.


    Global Challenges Foundation; the Global Commons Alliance, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (with support from Oak Foundation, MAVA, Porticus, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett and the Global Environment Facility).

    Project period

    • Phase 1 : 2020-2023
    • Phase 2 : 2023 - 

    Project Team Working Group 4 

    University of Amsterdam

Programme group leader

Prof. dr. W.H.M. (Maggi) Leung

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

Research staff