Profile summary

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Collective action
  • Environmental governance
  • Livelihood resilience
  • Social networks
  • Spatial planning
  • Sustainable Development

Philipp Gorris studies the challenges of organizing environmental governance in rural landscapes.

Gorris’ work focuses on regional development, environmental governance and sustainability transformation in rural areas. He is particularly interested in the challenges of organising biodiversity conservation, cross-sectoral spatial planning and environmental policy implementation. Gorris combines research approaches from geography with perspectives and theories from other fields such as political science, organization studies, environmental economics and complex systems science.

At the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Gorris is currently working on an interdisciplinary European research project on the conservation and restoration of calcareous grasslands. These grasslands were created by traditional land use in cultural landscapes and are one of the most species-rich habitat types in Europe. They are home to many rare and highly endangered species, but are threatened by abandonment and eutrophication. A social-ecological systems perspective is adopted to investigate factors that strengthen farmers’ active engagement in the conservation and restoration of grassland biodiversity in Germany, Estonia and Spain.

Gorris holds an MA in Cultural Anthropology, Political Science and International Law from Bonn University and a PhD in Political Science from Jacobs University, Bremen. Before joining the centre, he worked at the Leibniz-Centre for Tropical Marine Research in Bremen and the Alexander-von-Humboldt Professorship on Behavioural Environmental Economics at the University of Osnabrueck. Currently, he also works at the Institute for Geography and the interfaculty research centre Institute of Environmental Systems Research at the University of Osnabrueck (Germany).

Combining social and natural science knowledge in inter- and transdisciplinary research to facilitate the transformation of human-nature relationships is at the heart of Gorris’ work. He has used a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed empirical research methods with a recent emphasis on social network analysis and modelling techniques. Gorris has designed and implemented data collection campaigns in several countries in Europe and in the Global South. Some of these have involved co-production of knowledge with different types of stakeholders.