Dr A. Mert

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Assistent Professor Environmental Governance and Law



Ayşem Mert holds a PhD in global environmental governance (2012, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) an MSc in Environmental Studies (2005, Bogazici University) and an MA in International Relations (2002, International University of Japan). She is an assistant professor of global environmental governance at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

For her PhD, Ayşem took part in the PARTNERS research project on public-private partnerships at the global and transnational levels of environmental governance. She focused her dissertation on a discourse theoretical study of sustainability partnerships, particularly the discourses of sustainable development, public participation and private governance. During her post-doctoral research at the Amsterdam Global Change Institute she studied democratic practices in environmental governance and argued for new mechanisms of accountability and transparency designed specifically for global governance institutions. Aysem successfully raised funding for her next research project on democratization of global governance architecture. As a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (University of Duisburg-Essen) she researched the democracy-environment nexus from the point of view of bottom-up movements, focusing on the case of 2013 Gezi protests, the hegemonic struggle among discourse coalitions and the formation of identities/political frontiers. Finally, she worked on issues pertaining to global partnerships on biotechnology and plant genetic resources wherein the ontologies of such interventions were discussed.

Before her involvement in academia, Ayşem worked for research and consultancy firms focusing on social and political issues, and worked and/or volunteered for organizations focusing on peace and environmental protection. She is a founding member of Green-Left in Turkey. At IVM, Ayşem conducts interdisciplinary research, and is involved in teaching and student supervision.

Academic training

2012PhD, Political Science, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
2005MSc, Environmental Social Sciences, Bogazici University
2002MA, International Relations, International University of Japan
1999BA, Political Science and International Relations, Bogazici University


Link to full publication list at IVM since 2007


5 key publications

Mert, A. (fc. 2016). The trees in Gezi Park: environmental policy as the focus of democratic protests. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning.

Mert, A. (2015). Environmental Governance through Partnerships: A Discourse Theoretical Study. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Deibel, E. & Mert, A. (2014). Partnerships and miracle crops: Open access and commodification of plant varieties. Asian Biotechnology and Development Review,16(1), 1–33 .

Mert, A. (2013). Hybrid governance mechanisms as political instruments: The case of sustainability partnerships. International Environmental Agreements (INEA),14(3), 225–244.

Pattberg, P. & Mert, A. (2013). The future we get might not be the future we want: Analyzing the Rio+20 outcomes. Global Policy,4(3), 305–310.



 Mert, A. (2015a) Environmental Governance through Partnerships: A Discourse Theoretical Study, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

 Pattberg, P., and M. Chan, A. Mert, F. Biermann (2012) Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Emergence, Influence and Legitimacy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Reprinted (2013) in paperback, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.


Special Issues

 with F. Gadinger and M. Kopf (2016) “Building Stories-Building Cooperation: The role of narrative and fiction in politics” Global Dialogues 6 (11), Duisburg.

 with W. Schinkel (in progress, 2016) “Representing Climate Change,” special issue to be proposed to Science as Culture.

 with L. Partzsch (in progress, 2017) “Sustainability–Power and Change” special issue to be proposed to Environmental Politics. (Article: Emergence of Sustainable Development as a Global Policy Response)


International Peer-Reviewed Articles

 Mert, A. and S. van der Hel (fc. 2016) “Representations of Climate Change in Online Video Games,” Global Dialogues 6 (11).

 Mert, A. (fc. 2016a) “The trees in Gezi Park: Environmental policy as the focus of democratic protests,” Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning.

 Mert, A. (fc. 2016b) “Democracy versus Governance: Participation as a legitimation strategy in global environmental governance,” Global Cooperation Research Papers, Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Duisburg.

 Deibel, E. and A. Mert (2014) “Partnerships and miracle crops: Open access and commodification of plant varieties,” Asian Biotechnology and Development Review, 16 (1): 1-33.

 Mert, A. (2013) “Hybrid governance mechanisms as political instruments: The case of sustainability partnerships,” International Environmental Agreements (INEA), 14 (3): 225-244.

 Pattberg P. and A. Mert (2013) “The future we get might not be the future we want: Analyzing the Rio+20 outcomes,” Global Policy, 4 (3): 305–310.

 Mert, A. (2012) “The Privatisation of Environmental Governance: On myths, forces of nature and other inevitabilities,” Environmental Values 21 (4): 475-498.

 Mert, A. and E. Dellas (2011) “Technology Transfer through Water Partnerships: A Radical Framework of Assessment for Legitimacy,” Global Governance Working Papers, No. 42. Amsterdam: The Global Governance Project.

 Mert, A. (2009) “Partnerships for Sustainable Development as Discursive Practice: Shifts in Discourses of Environment and Democracy,” Forest Policy and Economics, 11 (5-6): 326-339.

 Biermann, F. and M. Chan, A. Mert, P. Pattberg (2007) “Partnerships for Sustainable Development: An Appraisal Framework,” Global Governance Working Papers, No. 31. Amsterdam: The Global Governance Project.


 Book Chapters

 Chan, S., A. Mert, P. Pattberg (fc. 2016) “Between Global and Local Governance: A Case Study on the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund in China,” In: Risse, T., N. Helmerich, and A. Esguerra (eds.), Deliberating Sustainable Development: Scales of Statehood and Poly-centric Governance Networks, Palgrave.

 Mert, A. (2015b) “Institutions in global environmental politics: Public-private partnerships,” In F. Zelli and P. Pattberg (Eds.) Edward Elgar Encyclopaedia of Global Environmental Politics and Governance, pp. 291-295.

 Mert, A. and P. Pattberg (2015) “Public-Private Cooperation in Ecosystem Services: Agriculture, biodiversity, and forest governance” In: Bouma, J. and P. van Beukering (eds.) Ecosystem Services –From Concept to Practice, Cambridge University Press.

 Mert, A. (2013) “Discursive Interplay and Co-constitution: Carbonification of Environmental Discourses” In: Methmann, C., D. Rothe and B. Stephan (eds.), (De-)Constructing the Greenhouse: Interpretive Approaches to Global Climate Governance, Routledge.

 Bäckstrand K., and S. Campe, S. Chan, A. Mert, M. Schäfferhof (2012) “Transnational Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development” In: Biermann, F. and P. Pattberg (eds.) Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered: New Actors, Mechanisms, and Interlinkages, MIT Press.

 Compagnon D., S. Chan, and A. Mert (2012) “The Changing Role of the State in Contemporary Global Governance” In: Biermann, F. and P. Pattberg (eds.) Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered: New Actors, Mechanisms, and Interlinkages, MIT Press.

 Pattberg, P., and K. Szulecki, S. Chan and A. Mert (2009) “Assessing the Role and Relevance of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership in Global Sustainability Governance,” In: Vollmer, D. (ed.), Enhancing the Effectiveness of Sustainability Partnerships, US National Academies Press.

 Biermann, F. and M. Chan, A. Mert, P. Pattberg (2007) Multi-stakeholder Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Does the Promise Hold? In: Glasbergen, P., F. Biermann, and A. Mol (eds.), Partnerships, Governance and Sustainable Development: Reflections on Theory and Practice,   Edward  Elgar.


National Peer-Reviewed Articles (in Turkish and Dutch)

 Chan, S., and F. Biermann, A. Mert, P. Pattberg (2008) “Partnerschappen voor duurzame ontwikkeling,” In: van den Burg, S. , G. Spaargaren, and D. van Lith (eds.), Een andere rol voor de overheid?, Wageningen UP.

 Mert, A. (2006) “Bilimsel Düşüncenin Sınırları ve Ekolojik Kriz (The Limits of Scientific Thought and the Ecological Crisis),” Varlık, Issue 08/2006; 29-33.

 Keskin M., and A. Mert (2002) “Türkiye'de Enerji ve Çevre Konusunda Yapılan Hataların Laboratuvarı: Yatağan-Yeniköy-Gökova Termik Santralları (A Laboratory of Mistakes on Energy and Environment: Yatağan-Yeniköy-Gökova Power Plants)” Mühendis & Makina, Issue 509: 24-36.


 Book Reviews

 Mert, A. (2015e) “Review of Democratizing Global Climate Governance by Hayley Stevenson and John S. Dryzek,” Global Environmental Politics, 15 (3): 184-186.

 Mert, A. (2014) “Review of The politics of possibility: risk and security beyond probability, by Louise Amoore,” Critical Policy Studies, 8 (3): 366-367.

 Mert, A. (2010) “The disappearance of the political subject: Barry Sanders’ Unsuspecting Souls,The International Journal of Illich Studies 1 (2) At: www.ivan-illich.org/journal/index.php/IJIS/1/2/mert.pdf.

 Mert, A. (2006) “Devrim 1859’da Oldu!” (The Revolution Took Place in 1859! Review of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, and A Devil’s Chaplain by Richard Dawkins); Üç Ekoloji, Summer (5): 153-160.



 Mert, A. (2015d) “Sustainable development partnerships in the UN system,” in Networks for Prosperity: Advancing Sustainability through Partnerships, UNIDO/University of Leuven, pp. 55-67.