Johanna Coenen

Coenen, Johanna

Johanna Coenen joined the research group Governance, Participation and Sustainability at Leuphana University as a PhD researcher in September 2018. She received a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a focus on International Relations and Sustainable Development from University College Maastricht and a master’s degree in Political Science with a specialisation in Global Environmental Governance from VU University Amsterdam. Johanna spent an exchange semester at Queen’s University in Canada.

Her research focuses on governance institutions for sustainability in globally telecoupled systems, using the case of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Her main research interest concerns how to govern the environmental impacts of long-distance interactions between social-ecological systems. More details about the research project can be found here.

Johanna has been an Early-Stage Researcher in the EU-funded H2020 Marie Curie Innovative Training Network: COUPLEDOperationalising telecouplings for solving sustainability challenges related to land use (2018-2022). She spent a one-month research stay at UCLouvain in Belgium, hosted by her co-supervisor Prof. Dr. Patrick Meyfroidt. 

Johanna is a member of the Global Land Programme (GLP) and a co-coordinator of the Working Group “Telecoupling Research Towards Sustainable Transformation of Land Systems” within the GLP.

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Busck-Lumholt, L.M., Coenen, J., Persson, J., Frohn Pedersen, A., Mertz, O. & Corbera, E. (2022). Telecoupling as a framework to support a more nuanced understanding of causality in land system science. Journal of Land Use Science. 17(1). 386-406 [open free access content]. 

Cotta, B., Coenen, J., Challies, E., Newig, J., Lenschow, A., & Schilling-Vacaflor, A. (2022). Environmental governance in globally telecoupled systems: Mapping the terrain towards an integrated research agenda. Earth System Governance, 13, 100142 [free open access content].

Coenen, J., Newig, J., Meyfroidt, P. (2022). Environmental governance of a Belt and Road project in Montenegro – National agency and external influences. Land Use Policy, 119, 106136 [free open access content].

Coenen, J., Glass, L.M., Sanderink, L. (2022). Two degrees and the SDGs: a network analysis of the interlinkages between transnational climate actions and the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability Science. 17(4). 1489-1510 [open free access content].


Bager, S., Coenen, J., Nielsen, J.Ø., Trommler, K., & Haberl, H. (2021). Governing Land Use Beyond Borders. COUPLED White Paper. Berlin, Germany: COUPLED [non-peer-reviewed]. 

Coenen, J., Bager, S., Meyfroidt, P., Newig, J., & Challies, E. (2021). Environmental Governance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Environmental Policy and Governance, 31(1), 3-17.

Blog posts

Five challenges of leading a co-authored paper and how to overcome them (August, 2022)

The Journal of Cleaner Production tolerates plagiarism (March 2022)

Online visualization tools to communicate research results (April 2021)

Building a green Belt and Road Initiative? First steps on a long road ahead. (August 2020)

Responsible travel in sustainability science: How to overcome our dilemma of studying global connections and the urge to travel less (March 2020)

10 tips for future PhD students: What I have learned in my first year (October 2019)