Stefan Renckens

Stefan Renckens
Associate Professor
Telephone number
Building HL 550


Stefan Renckens’ research focuses on global environmental governance and political economy. He examines the development, functioning and impact of transnational private sustainability governance, and interactions between private governance and public authority from an international and comparative perspective. Issue areas of interest include fisheries, sustainable finance, fair trade, organic agriculture, e-waste and renewable energy. His book “Private Governance and Public Authority. Regulating Sustainability in a Global Economy” was published in 2020 by Cambridge University Press. His work has also been published in Governance, Regulation & Governance, World Development, Ecological Economics, Journal of Common Market Studies, International Environmental Agreements, Business and Politics, and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Stefan holds a Ph.D. (2014) and M.Phil. (2011) in Global Environmental Politics from Yale University, and Master’s degrees in Political Science (2002), Economic Policy (2003), and Conflict and Peace Studies (2005) from the University of Leuven, Belgium. 

Click here for an interview with Assistant Professor Renckens and follow him on Twitter at: @stefanrenckens


  • Environmental Governance Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
  • Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance Project

Research Interests

  • Global environmental politics
  • Transnational private governance
  • International and comparative political economy
  • European Union politics

Awards and Grants

  • University of Toronto Scarborough, 2020, SIG grant (Principal Investigator), “Sustainable Finance and Private Regulatory Governance”
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), 2019-2021, Insight Development Grant (Principal Investigator), “Private Rule Making and Interest Representation in Sustainability Politics”
  • University of Toronto Scarborough, 2017-2019, Connaught Fund, New Researcher Award, “Transnational Private Sustainability Governance as Interest Community”
  • BioFuelNet Canada, 2015-2017, Research Grant (Co-Investigator), “Pathways to Reducing Policy Uncertainty in Sustainable Biofuels Governance”
  • American Political Science Association (APSA), 2015, Virginia M. Walsh Dissertation Award for best dissertation in Science, Technology and Environmental Politics.


  • Renckens, Stefan. 2020. Private Governance and Public Authority. Regulating Sustainability in a Global Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 335p. ISBN: 978-1-108-49047-4.
  • Auld, Graeme, and Stefan Renckens. Forthcoming. “Private Sustainability Governance, the Global South and COVID-19: Are Changes to Audit Policies in light of the Pandemic Exacerbating Existing Inequalities?” World Development
  • Renckens, Stefan, and Graeme Auld. 2020. “Time to Certify: Explaining Varying Efficiency of Private Regulatory Audits” Regulation & Governance (Early View Online)  
  • Renckens, Stefan. 2020. “Disaggregating Public-Private Governance Interactions: European Union Interventions in Transnational Private Sustainability Governance” Regulation & Governance (Early View Online).
  • Renckens, Stefan. 2020. “The Instrumental Power of Transnational Private Governance: Interest Representation and Lobbying by Private Rule-Makers” Governance 33(3): 657-674.
  • Renckens, Stefan and Graeme Auld. 2019. “Structure, Path Dependence, and Adaptation: North-South Imbalances in Transnational Private Fisheries Governance” Ecological Economics 166(106422): 1-10.
  • Renckens, Stefan, Grace Skogstad and Matthieu Mondou*. 2017. “When Normative and Market Power Interact: The European Union and Global Biofuels Governance” Journal of Common Market Studies 55(6): 1432–1448.
  • Auld, Graeme and Stefan Renckens. 2017. “Rule-Making Feedbacks through Intermediation and Evaluation in Transnational Private Governance” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 670(1): 93-111.
  • Renckens, Stefan. 2015. “The Basel Convention, US Politics, and the Emergence of Non-State E-waste Recycling Certification” International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 15(2): 141-158.
  • Auld, Graeme, Stefan Renckens and Benjamin Cashore. 2015. “Transnational Private Governance between the Logics of Empowerment and Control” Regulation & Governance 9(2): 108-124.
  • Kanie, Norichika, Peter M. Haas, Steinar Andresen, Graeme Auld, Benjamin Cashore, Pamela S. Chasek, Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira, Stefan Renckens, Olav Schram Stokke, Casey Stevens, Stacy D. VanDeveer and Masahiko Iguchi. 2013. “Green Pluralism. Lessons for Improved Environmental Governance in the 21st Century” Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 55(5): 14-30.
  • Auld, Graeme, Benjamin Cashore, Cristina Balboa, Laura Bozzi, and Stefan Renckens. 2010. “Can Technological Innovations Improve Private Regulation in the Global Economy?” Business and Politics 12(3): Article 9.
  • Renckens, Stefan. 2008. “Yes, We Will! Voluntarism in U.S. E-Waste Governance” Review of European Community and International Environmental Law 17(3): 286-299.

Teaching Interests

  • POLC66H3 - Public Policy Making
  • POLC69H3 - Political Economy: International and Comparative Perspectives
  • POLD64H3 - Comparative Public Policy