Alumni Postdoc Fellow

Aysem Mert, Ph.D.

Alumni Fellows

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstr. 44
47059 Duisburg

Tel:  +49 (0)203 379-5230
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-mail: mert@spam


Aysem Mert joined the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Postdoc Fellow. She conducted her research in Research Unit 4 “Paradoxes and Perspectives of Democratization” from May 2014 to April 2015.

Research Project at the Centre

Scalar Revolutions in the History of Democracy: Transforming Global Governance

Our understanding of democracy has changed with globalization: nation-states are no longer the main locus of politics. Large-scale transformations (e.g. the digital revolution, the ecological and financial crises) influence all humanity. Various social, ethical, and economic challenges are regarded as global issues that require global and transnational policy responses. However, the ‘democratic deficit’ in global governance and the inequalities resulting from this deficit cause governance failures in coping with global crises (Haas 2004, Bäckstrand 2006, Mouffe 2000). My research focuses on the critical question, “how can the issues concerning all of humanity be governed more democratically?”

A new configuration of democratic principles must be developed, which suits the structure of power at the global (rather than the national) level, with the explicit aim of democratising global governance. To do this, my study has one historical-discursive and one empirical foci: Studying the transformation of democracy from ancient city-states to modern nation-states provides the background to understand how democracy can be reconfigured, and what  concepts might be revived to democratize global governance. Subsequently, a meta-analysis of democratic experiments provides the empirical component: ‘Governance experiments’ that seek to reframe democracy in the context of global environmental governance are a good source of ideas for its reconfiguration.

Research Interests

  • Global Governance
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Discourse Theory
  • Political Theory
  • Democratic Theory
  • Transnational Sustainability Partnerships
  • Global Environmental Politics


01/2012-01/2014 VU University Amsterdam
Amsterdam Global Change Institute
Post-doctoral researcher
02/2006-12/2011 VU University Amsterdam
Institute for Environmental Studies
PhD Researcher
09/2002-06/2005 Bogazici University, Istanbul
Institute for Environmental Sciences
Part-time MSc Student
09/2000-07/2002 International University of Japan
Dept. of International Relations
MA Student


Mert, Aysem (forthcoming 2014): Environmental Governance through Transnational Partnerships: A Discourse Theoretical Study, Edward Elgar

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

Mert, Aysem (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., S. Campe, S. Chan, A. Mert, and 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

Mert, Aysem (2008): Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Shifts in Discourses of Environment and Democracy, in: Böcher, M., L. Giessen, and D. Kleinschmit (eds.), Environmental and Forest Governance: The Role of Discourses and Expertise, Universitätsverlag Göttingen

Mert, Aysem (2013): Hybrid Governance Mechanisms as Political Instruments: The Case of ustainability Partnerships, International Environmental Agreements (INEA) (DOI 10.1007/s10784-013-9221-6)

Mert, Aysem (2012): The Privatisation of Environmental Governance: On myths, forces of nature and other inevitabilities, Environmental Values 21 (4): 475–98

Mert, Aysem, 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, Aysem (2009): Partnerships for Sustainable Development as Discursive Practice: Shifts in Discourses of Environment and Democracy, Forest Policy and Economics 11 (5-6): 326–39

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

Seminars and Conferences

  • Conference Manager, 2007 Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change


  • Founding Member, Green/Left, Turkey

Dr Philip Liste

Dr. Blayne Haggart

Prof. Dr Marianne Marchand

Dr Tamirace Fakhoury

Dr Adam Sandor

Prof. Dr Claudia Derichs

Dr Stephen Adaawen

Dr Dr Ariel Hernández

Prof. Dr Frank Adloff

Dr Bettina Mahlert

Dr Franz Mauelshagen

Prof. Dr Dr Marlies Ahlert

Dr Zeynep Sahin Mencutek

Dr Mariana Nardone

Dr Ying Shen

Prof. Dr Andreas Thiel

Dr Esref Aksu

Dr Micheline van Riemsdijk

Prof. Dr Wouter Werner

Dr Pol Bargués-Pedreny

Dr Burcu Bayram

Dr Isaline Bergamaschi

Dr Felix Bethke

Dr Sarah Van Beurden

Jun.-Prof. Dr Manuel Borutta

Gerardo Bracho

Dr Morgan Brigg

Prof. Dr Lothar Brock

Prof. Stephen Brown

Prof. Dr Susanne Buckley-Zistel

Prof. Dr Bettina Burger-Menzel

Dr Alessandra Cappelletti

Prof. David Carment, Ph.D.

Dr Paula Castro

Dr Ayse Cavdar

Prof. Dr Gerald Chan

Prof. David Chandler

Prof. Hongming Cheng

Prof. Dr Manjiao Chi

Prof. Andrew Cooper

Prof. Dr Larry Crump

Prof. Dr Susan Erikson

Dr Alejandro Esguerra

Prof. Dr Isabel Feichtner

Dr Peter Finkenbusch

Jaroslava Gajdošová, Ph.D.

Prof. Noemi Gal-Or, Ph.D., LL.B.

Dr Daniel Gaus

Mneesha Gellman, Ph.D.

Dr Payam Ghalehdar

Prof. Faten Ghosn

Dr Gianluca Grimalda

Dr Jennifer Gronau

Dr Stefan Groth

Prof. Dr Eric Grynaviski

Dr Petra Gümplová

Prof. Dr Gunther Hellmann

Dr Heike Hennig-Schmidt

Prof. Dr Pablo Holmes

Dr Joe Hoover

Prof. Dr Jon Hovi

Prof. Meibo Huang

Dr Abou Jeng

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Prof. Dr Jonathan Joseph

Dr Yannis Kallianos

Dr phil. habil. Otto Kallscheuer

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Prof. Dr Ina Kerner

Dr Kai Koddenbrock

Mag. Dr Martina Kopf

Prof. Dr Bernd Lahno

Prof. Siddharth Mallavarapu

Dr Xavier Mathieu

Aysem Mert, Ph.D.

PD Dr Christian Meyer

Dr Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby

Dr Elisabetta Nadalutti

Dr James Nyomakwa-Obimpeh

Dr Dirk Peters

Dr Steven Pierce

Prof. Elena Pulcini

Prof. Dr Sigrid Quack

Dr Salvador Santino F. Regilme

Dr Nicole Renvert

Dr Mathieu Rousselin

Dr Galya Ruffer

Dr Olivia Rutazibwa

Mag. Dr Ariane Sadjed

Dr Shirin Saeidi

Prof. Dr Enrique Saravia

Dr Andrea Schapper

Prof. Dr Klaus Schlichte

Dr Jessica Schmidt

Dr Mario Schmidt

Prof. Dr Ulrich Schneckener

Prof. Jan Aart Scholte

Dr habil. Birgit Schwelling

Dr Katrin Seidel

Dr Balraj K. Sidhu

Dr Deepshikha Shahi

Dr Abdolkarim Soroush

Prof. Detlef Sprinz, Ph.D.

Dr Holger Straßheim

Dr Ángela Suárez-Collado

Dr Liam Swiss

Prof. Dr Christian J. Tams

Margret Thalwitz

Dr Peter Thiery

Prof. emerit. Arild Underdal

Dr rer. pol. Winfried Veit

Dr Wanda Vrasti

Prof. Dong Wang

Dr Hung-Jen Wang

Prof. Dr Herbert Wulf

Prof. Dr Dvora Yanow

Dr Fariborz Zelli

Prof. Dr Shirin Zubair