Toward spatial fit in the governance of global commodity flows

Coenen, Johanna; Sonderegger, Gabi; Newig, Jens; Meyfroidt, Patrick; Challies, Edward; Bager, Simon L.; Busck-Lumholt, Louise M.; Corbera, Esteve; Friis, Cecilie; Frohn Pedersen, Anna; Laroche, Perrine C.S.J.; Parra Paitan, Claudia; Qin, Siyu; Roux, Nicolas; Zaehringer, Julie G. (2023). Toward spatial fit in the governance of global commodity flows. Ecology and Society, 28(2) Resilience Alliance Publications 10.5751/ES-14133-280224

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Global commodity flows between distally connected social-ecological systems pose important challenges to sustainability governance. These challenges are partly due to difficulties in designing and implementing governance institutions that fit or match the scale of the environmental and social problems generated in such telecoupled systems. We focus on the spatial dimension of governance fit in relation to global commodity flows and telecoupled systems. Specifically, we draw on examples from land use and global agricultural commodity governance to examine two overarching types of governance mismatches: boundary mismatches and resolution mismatches. We argue that one way to address mismatches is through governance rescaling and illustrate this approach with reference to examples of three broad types of governance approaches: trade agreements, due diligence laws, and landscape approaches to supply chain governance. No single governance approach is likely to address all mismatches, highlighting the need to align multiple governance approaches to govern telecoupled systems effectively.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Wyss Academy for Nature
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

Graduate School:

International Graduate School North-South (IGS North-South)

UniBE Contributor:

Sonderegger, Gabi, Zähringer, Julie Gwendolin


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Resilience Alliance Publications


[1718] COUPLED – Operationalizing telecoupling to solve sustainability challenges related to land use
[805] Sustainability Governance




Melchior Peter Nussbaumer

Date Deposited:

27 Jun 2023 09:55

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2023 09:55

Publisher DOI:





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