Alumni Postdoc Fellow

Dr Alejandro Esguerra

Alumni Fellows

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

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


Dr. Alejandro Esguerra Portcarrero joined Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Postdoc Fellow. He conducted his research in Research Unit 1 “The (Im)Possibility of Cooperation” from April 2015 to March 2016.

Research Project at the Centre

The Micro-Politics of Negotiating and Manufacturing Governance Innovation in the Transnational Realm

The research project examines how actors with diverse backgrounds negotiate and manufacture novel inter- and transnational governance arrangements in sustainability politics, and thereby engage in global cooperation. In contrast to many functionalist approaches in political science, the research project conceptualizes novel governance arrangements as the outcome of contextualized negotiations. These arrangements are negotiated and manufactured in communicative interactions that are conceptualized as both performative and embedded in institutional and discursive structures.

Empirically, the project focuses on two cases. (1) The negotiations toward a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): In the early 1990s transnational actors founded the first private transnational certification organization in the realm of sustainable forestry with a heterogeneous, antagonistic stakeholder body. Founding members had to build the organization from scratch, and in doing so, innovated and created transnational private governance as governance without the state. (2) Innovation in Science-Policy Organizations - the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). This organization brings together science, policy, and stakeholders to bundle and coordinate state of the art knowledge on biodiversity. After a seven year long negotiation process the IPBES was established in 2012. Design and tasks of the IPBES innovate the ways in which expert bodies operate and thus, reconfigure the classic relationship between experts, policymakers and citizens.

The project adopts an interpretive approach to the study of micro-politics of negotiation processes. More specifically, it draws on an emerging approach of communicative constructivism in sociology of knowledge (Knoblauch 2013), as well as on work in Science and Technology Studies (STS) on experiments and laboratory work (Callon 2009; Rheinberger 1997), on expert organizations (Jasanoff 2012; Lidskog & Sundqvist 2011), and on participatory instruments (Lezaun & Soneryd 2007; Wynne 2007). One of the aims of this interdisciplinary research project is to communicate these approaches back into the discipline of International Relations (IR)

Research Interests

  • Transnational Multi-stakeholder Partnerships
  • International Expert Organizations
  • Sustainability and Higher Education
  • Constructivist Theories of International Relations, Sociology of Knowledge and Science and Technology Studies
  • Interpretative Methods

Current Projects

  • The Politics of Beginning: An Inquiry into Transnational Governance in Action
  • Contested Sustainability Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood
  • Politicization of Epistemic Authority: The Case of the IPBES
  • Translation in World Politics


06/2014-03/2015 Örebro University, Sweden / Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany
Department of Environmental Politics
Post-Doctoral Researcher
10/2012-05/2014 Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
Department of Environmental Politics
Research Fellow
11/2012-06/2013 Freie Universität Berlin
Center for Transnational Relations, Foreign and Security Policy
Research Fellow
08/2011-12/2011 Cornell University, Ithaca, USA
Department of Science and Technology Studies
01/2009-06/2014 Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies
Freie Universität Berlin / Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) / Hertie School of Governance

PhD Candidate
08/2005-06/2006 University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA
Department of Political Science
10/2002-12/2008 University of Tübingen, Germany
Department of Political Science & Department of Philosophy
BA & MA student

Selected Publications

Esguerra Portcarrero, Alejandro with S. Beck and C. Görg (2015): The Co-Production of Scale, Level and Power: The Case of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, in: Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning.

Esguerra Portcarrero, Alejandro (2015): Toward Two Narratives of Knowledge, in: Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 28(1): 3–10.

Esguerra Portcarrero, Alejandro with Beck, S. et al. (2014): Towards a Reflexive Turn in the Governance of Global Environmental Expertise. The Cases of the IPCC and the IPBES, in: GAIA 23(2): 80–7.

Esguerra Portcarrero, Alejandro with Beck, S. et al. (2014): Climate change and the assessment of expert knowledge: does the IPCC model need updating?, in: Bridges 40: 1–7.

Esguerra Portcarrero, Alejandro with Meisch, S. et al. (2012): Wissenschaft für Nachhaltige Entwicklung. Multiperspektivische Beiträge zu einer verantwortungsbewussten Wissenschaft <Science for sustainable development. Multi-perspective issues for a responsible science>, Marburg: Metropolis Verlag.

Esguerra Portcarrero, Alejandro with Meisch, S. et al. (2012): Einleitung: Wissenschaft für Nachhaltige Entwicklung <Introduction: Science for a sustainable development>, in: S. Meisch et al. (eds.): Wissenschaft für Nachhaltige Entwicklung. Multiperspektivische Beiträge zu einer verantwortungsbewussten Wissenschaft, Marburg: Metropolis Verlag, 9–26.

Esguerra Portcarrero, Alejandro with F. Roosen-Runge (2012): Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaft - Die undisziplinierte Disziplin. Transdisziplinäre Herausforderungen Nachhaltiger Entwicklung <Science of sustainability - the undisciplined disciplin. Transdisciplinary challenges of sustainable development>, in: S. Meisch et al. (eds.): Wissenschaft für Nachhaltige Entwicklung. Multiperspektivische Beiträge zu einer verantwortungsbewussten Wissenschaft. Marburg: Metropolis Verlag, 135–55.

Esguerra Portcarrero, Alejandro with F. Roosen-Runge, and D. Löw Beer (2009): Greening the University - Perspektiven für eine nachhaltige Hochschule <Greening the University - Perspectives for a sustainable university>, München: OEKOM.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Winter term 2014/2015: PhD Seminar: Doing Discourse Analysis in International Relations. Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Summer term 2014: Interdisciplinary Seminar: Einführung in die Wissenschaftsforschung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung. Studium Oecologicum, University of Tübingen
  • Summer term 2012: Interdisciplinary Seminar: Unsicheres Wissen und poröse Grenzen: Nachhaltige Entwicklung und die Politik des Wissens. Studium Oecologicum, University of Tübingen
  • Winter term 2010/2011: BA-Seminar: Is anybody still a constructivist? Interpretive and critical constructivism under investigation. Otto Suhr Institut for Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin

Expertise and Consulting Work

  • Co-organisator of the international workshop 'Nested Networks: Between wishful thinking, empirical evidence and practical relevance', Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, May 2013.
  • Facilitator for the German Network-Forum for Biodiversity Research (NeFo)
  • Co-organisator of the workshop 'Praxis der interpretativen politikwissenschaftlichen Wissens-und Wissenschaftsforschung', AK DVPW: Politik, Wissenschaft und Technik, April 2011
  • Founder and former chairman of the NGO Greening the University e.V.

Seminars and Conferences

  • 'Translation as Communicative Practice', 5th Annual Graduate Conference of the Cluster of Excellence 'The Formation of Normative Orders', November 2014
  • 'Von der Lust gemeinsam zu Handeln', Keynote at the Conference: Hochschule weiter denken, Netzwerk n. Bochum, October 2014
  • 'Regierungswissen in Aushandlung', DVPW Sektion Internationale Beziehungen, Magdeburg, September 2014
  • 'The Politics of Global Environmental Expertise: The Case of the IPCC and IPBES', ECPR General Conference, Glasgow, UK, September 2014
  • 'Inside a Transnational Parliament in Action', STS Graz Conference: Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies, Graz, Austria, May 2014
  • 'Performative Power: Participatory models in global biodiversity politics', DVPW AK-Umwelt, Berlin, January 2014
  • 'From Passive Audience to Rights-Holder? Assessing the public participation turn in international expert organizations', Workshop: Transnational public participation and social movement activism. Ambiguities of global spread, professionalization and standardization, Lissabon, November 2013
  • 'The Co-Production of Scale, Level and Power: The Case of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services', International Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference (IPA), Wien, Austria, June 2013
  • 'Political Devices and Transnational Assemblages', Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) held jointly with the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), Kopenhagen, Denmark, October 2013
  • 'The Politics of Beginning', Science Studies Research Group des STS Department der Cornell University, Ithaca USA, October 2011
  • 'Studying Co-production on a micro-level', Second Berlin Forum der Innovation in Governance Research Group, Berlin, May 2011
  • 'Transnational Knowledge Institutions: The Case of the Forest Stewardship Council', Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), New Orleans, USA, February 2010


  • Finishing Grant for PhD Candidates, WZB Berlin
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Research Stipend and Visiting Scholar Fellowship of the STS Department at Cornell University, Ithaca USA
  • Travel Grant from the Dahlem Research School (Freie Universität Berlin) for field research in Malaysia at General Assembly of the Forest Stewardship Council
  • Phd Research Grant from the Thyssen Foundation, Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
  • DAAD and Baden-Württemberg Stipend for research at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA

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

Prof. Dr Anja Jetschke

Prof. Dr Jonathan Joseph

Dr Yannis Kallianos

Dr phil. habil. Otto Kallscheuer

Prof. Dr Babacar Kanté

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