Events & Media: Oran Young

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara




Oran Young
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414

"Sugaring Off: Enduring Insights from a Career of
Theorizing about Environmental Governance"

Hosted by Steve Gaines

Note: a reception to celebrate Dr. Young's work and his transition to emeritus status
will follow in Bren Hall's Michael J. Connell Courtyard


On a good run, boiling sap to make maple syrup produces usable syrup amounting to 2-5% of the volume of the sap. This process is known as “sugaring off.” If we’re lucky, we can expect about the same ratio of enduring insights to the total volume of our research. In this presentation, I review my own work from this perspective, seeking to extract enduring insights from the corpus of my research on environmental governance. The result is a set of 14 notable propositions. Some of these propositions now form part of the prevailing discourse on environmental governance; others have provoked a fair amount of critical attention. I comment on these propositions not only in terms of their substance but also in terms of the analytical issues they raise. I round off this presentation with some observations about what all this means for the Bren School and its place in the world of higher education and advanced training.

Oran Young is a renowned Arctic expert and a world leader in the fields of international governance and environmental institutions. His scientific work encompasses both basic research focusing on collective choice and social institutions, and applied research dealing with issues pertaining to international environmental governance and the Arctic as an international region. Professor Young served for six years as vice-president of the International Arctic Science Committee and was the founding chair of the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change within the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. He currently chairs the Scientific Committee of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change and the Steering Committee of the Arctic Governance Project. Among the more than 20 books he has authored are The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change and Governance in World Affairs. His most recent book is Institutional Dynamics: Emergent Patterns in International Environmental Governance.


NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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