EADI Prize 2017 - Anne-Kathrin Weber

The EADI Prize 2017 awarded to Anne-Kathrin Weber

We are very delighted to award the 2017 EADI Prize for Excellence in development Studies to a young researcher who has submitted a paper which addresses a global and pressing topic within the area of climate governance.

Among the entries of this year’s competition, the jury has identified a clear winner.

Anne-Kathrin Weber with her outstanding paper on "Why companies go green – A constructivist view on corporate sustainability activities in the forest sector"

From the abstract: “In the context of global climate governance, multinational companies are no longer just seen as the origin of the problem. Quite on the contrary, they are increasingly considered as financial, technical and even political partners. This is particularly true for the forest sector, where business actors are engaged in various forms of governance, both through public-private and private-private partnerships. This paper takes a closer look at environmental and social sustainability activities that take place at the individual business level. It aims to elaborate the different motivations behind these activities and discuss the related challenges and pitfalls. In order to acknowledge and demonstrate the complexity of corporate motivation, the topic is approached from a constructivist viewpoint. This meta-theoretical perspective appears to be the most appropriate; mainly because it does neither ignore the material interests of businesses nor the social context they are operating in.”

The paper was selected for the EADI Prize because it clearly reveals the complexity of motivation of the actors involved, - what factors drive their decisions, and argues convincingly and critically that:

“Returning to the empirical reality, it is questionable if the high expectations towards multinational companies can be met. The case study has demonstrated that change is possible and business actors may fulfil at least some of their commitments. However, there are various challenges that cannot be easily resolved. All actors must strive to create win-win scenarios that unite economic interests with sustainable and community-friendly corporate policies.” (from the conclusion of the paper)

Anne-Kathrin Weber is Research Associate at the Chair of International Politics | University of Freiburg

Dissertation project: A new role for business? Exploring corporate forest governance beyond carbon market.

We congratulate Anne Kathrin and wish her all the best for her future career!