The image shows Luciakammen in Spitsbergen
Photograph: Allan Hopkins/Creative Commons/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Lorax Project: Understanding Ecosystemic Politics (LORAX)

2018 - 2023 (Ongoing)
Research Project
Do regional politics around border-crossing ecosystems share important resemblances and differ in significant ways from global politics?

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.” 
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

The Lorax project is a comparative effort to expand scholarly understanding of hitherto largely overlooked sites of politics – those located between global and national politics and built up around mutually acknowledged ‘shared ecosystems.’ The core question here is: Do regional politics around border-crossing ecosystems share important resemblances and differ in significant ways from global politics?

To address this question, the Lorax project analyzes the networks of participation, hierarchies of actors and diplomatic norms of the governance fields that have grown up around efforts to ‘speak for’ border-crossing ecosystems in three locations – the Arctic, the Amazon Basin, and the Caspian Sea. 

Funding program

The project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


Call for papers for a panel at the European International Studies Association Pan-European Conference (EISAPEC 2022)

February 10, 2022

Want to submit a paper for EISCAPEC 2022? Now is your chance.

Transnational Ecosystems Cooperation is Taking off

August 19, 2021

Do these efforts to govern border-crossing ecosystems have unique effects that matter for global politics more generally?

Reduced influence in the Arctic?

November 4, 2021

In the Arctic Council, eight states work on, among several other pressing issues, the alarming impacts of global climate change. But who gets a say? Research Professor Elana Wilson Rowe investigates this in a new article.

International Organisations and the Caspian Sea Ecosystem

June 27, 2022

Lorax in Motion is a series whereby we report and reflect upon the Lorax project team’s ongoing research activities. Here, we catch up with Paul Beaumont, who is co-authoring a paper with Elana Wilson Rowe ( the PI of Lorax) investigating the social and political consequences of environmental coope1


Lorax in Motion: Mapping Amazon Ecosystem Networks

April 16, 2021

This is the second in our “Lorax in Motion” series, which reports on our reflections from the project as it unfolds.


Lorax in Motion: Building the Transnational Ecosystem Politics Database

March 17, 2021

Lorax in Motion is a series whereby we report and reflect upon the Lorax project’s ongoing research activities. Here, we zoom in upon Lorax’s  Dr Cristiana Maglia, who recently received her PhD in Political Science Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), aft1

Bildet viser Luciakammen på Svalbard

Launching Norway’s Plan for the UN’s “Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development”

January 8, 2021

NUPI’s Centre for Ocean Governance is ready to step up to challenge. 


Prestigious ERC funding to Elana Wilson Rowe – ‘I’m thrilled!’

July 27, 2018

The European Research Council (ERC) yearly awards talented early career researchers project funding through Starting grants. 403 research projects were granted this year, and Elana Wilson Rowe's (NUPI) is one of them.



Introduction: Is the time nigh for ecological security?

Climate change and the ongoing destruction of the earth's ecosystems have increasingly been depicted as a security issue with the noble but not unproblematic ...

The Amazon rainforest and the global–regional politics of ecosystem governance

This article examines the global–regional politics of ecosystem governance through the case of the Amazon rainforest. Despite the bourgeoning literature ...

Networked territoriality: A processual–relational view on the making (and makings) of regions in world politics

This article proposes a processual–relational perspective on region-making and its effects in world politics. It revisits the concepts of regionalism ...
European Journal of International Relations - cover.jpeg

Space, nature and hierarchy: the ecosystemic politics of the Caspian Sea

The Anthropocene has given rise to growing efforts to govern the world’s ecosystems. There is a hitch, however, ecosystems do not respect sovereign borders; ...
Publication : Academic article

Ecosystemic politics: Analyzing the consequences of speaking for adjacent nature on the global stage

This article introduces a conceptual framework for analysing and comparing the broader or unintended effects of cooperation anchored in border-crossing ...
Publication : Editorial

Unexplored resources for EU Arctic policy: Energy, oceans and space

The EUs current Arctic policy from 2016 focuses on climate and environmental protection, sustainable development and international cooperation. The EU ...
Publication : Editorial

EU's Arktispolitik er for snæver

Energy politics, space policy and ocean governance need to be considered, if the EU is to succeed in creating a well-founded and effective political narrative ...

Considering ecological security from the perspective of Arctic ecosystemic politics

This brief essay is part of a book forum on Matt McDonald's book (2021) presenting the idea of ecological security. In the essay, I reflect on progress ...
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Ecosystems and Ordering: Exploring the Extent and Diversity of Ecosystem Governance

This article argues that, to grasp how global ordering will be impacted by planetary-level changes, we need to systematically attend to the question of ...

Project Manager

Governance  Oceans  Diplomacy  The Arctic  Russia and Eurasia  Climate  South and Central America  International organizations

Kristin Fjæstad

Senior Research Fellow, head of the Research group on Russia, Asia and international trade


Tue 14 Sep 2021
Time: 12:00 Europe/Oslo
Location: Microsoft Teams

Virtual Book Talk: Towards An Ecosystems Approach to Climate Security?

Matt McDonald discusses his radical new ethical framework for reckoning with the climate crisis and how it can be put into practice.

Wed 25 Sep 2019
Time: 14:30 Europe/Oslo
Location: Deichman's main library

Environmental challenges know no borders – Foreign policy for a habitable planet

What obstacles is there in solving the climate crisis? Who is responsible for saving us from it? Does it matter what we do locally and nationally? What role does foreign policy play in reaching the goal? WWF, J.M. Stenersens Forlag and NUPI invites you to a mini-lecture with David Wallace-Wells and1

Wed 25 Sep 2019
Time: 12:00 Europe/Oslo
Location: NUPI

Theory seminar: States and Nature – The Effects of Climate Change on Security

Joshua Busby, University of Texas-Austin, will present the main argument and empirical work from his draft book manuscript.

Mon 17 Jun 2019
Time: 08:30 Europe/Oslo
Location: NUPI

Governing oceans in an age of global shifts

How can we ensure that the oceans are governed in a secure and sustainable way? How can coastal states like Norway use the oceans to increase their economic growth? Welcome to this seminar and launch of NUPI’s new Center for Ocean Governance.

Tue 22 Jan 2019
Time: 09:00 Europe/Oslo
Location: Arena, Clarion Hotel The Edge, Tromsø

Science diplomacy and security in the Arctic

At this year's Arctic Frontiers, we will take a closer look at diplomacy and security in the Arctic.