Doris Fuchs Leitungsteam RIFS

Prof. Dr. Doris Fuchs

Scientific Director

Doris Fuchs took up her position as Director at the Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS) on 1 October 2023, forming a dual leadership team with atmospheric scientist and long-time Director Mark Lawrence. As a political scientist, Doris Fuchs aims to strengthen the institute's transdisciplinary research profile and expand its scope to include research on the political economy of sustainable consumption.

Doris Fuchs is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Münster and member of the governing board of the University's Centre for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research (ZIN). Her research includes questions on the relationship between democracy and sustainability, sustainable consumption, and transnational sustainability governance.

Doris Fuchs studied politics and economics in the United States and received her doctorate from Claremont Graduate University in California in 1997. During her career she has held positions at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich, the Leipzig Graduate School of Management, and the University of Stuttgart.

  • Since October 2023 Director of the Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam and Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Muenster.
  • Since April 2015 Member of the Governing Board of the Center for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research, University of Muenster, and Chief-Scientific Officer of the University's Innovation Hub Social and Ecological Sustainability in the European University Network ULYSSEUS.
  • Since April 2008 Professor at the University of Münster, Institute of Political Science and Center for Interdisziplinary Sustainability Research.
  • 2006 - 2008 Professor of International Relations and European Integration, University of Stuttgart.
  • 2004 - 2006 Professor of Political Science, HHL-Leipzig Graduate School of Management.
  • Sum.Term 2004 Acting Professor of International and European Integration, University of Stuttgart.
  • 2000 - 2004 Research Fellow and Lecturer at Chair of International Politics, LMU Munich, Venia Legendi Political Sciene.
  • 1999 - 2000 Research Fellow, Research Network Politics-Law-Philosophy, Coordinator Graduate School ‚Globalization and Justice', University of Munich.
  • 1997 - 1999 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.
  • 1996 - 1997 Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • 1991 - 1996 Master- and doctoral studies, Research Assistant, The Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California. Ph.D. Politics & Economy, 1997; M.A. International Political Economy, 1996, M.A. English 1992.
  • 1990 - 1991 DAAD Fellow, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • 1988 - 1990 American Studies/English and German Language and Literature, University of Düsseldorf.
  • 1985 - 1988 Deutsche Bank, Düsseldorf.

Publications at the RIFS

Publications prior to joining the RIFS

  • Hirth, Steffen, Halliki Kreinin, Doris Fuchs, Nils Blossey, Pia Mamut, Jeremy Philipp and Isabel Radovan. 2023. Barriers and Enablers of 1.5° Lifestyles: Shallow and Deep Structural Factors Shaping the Potential for Sustainable Consumption. Frontiers in Sustainability 4-23, DOI:
  • Walleck, Wiebke, Bodo Philipp, Victoria Hasenkamp and Doris Fuchs. 2023. Biodialoge zu Bioökonomie und Nachhaltigkeit: Entwicklung eines Formats zur Bürger/innenbeteiligung. Ökologisches Wirtschaften 38(2): 30-34, DOI:
  • Gumbert, Tobias, Pia Mamut, Doris Fuchs and Tobias Welck. 2022. Sustainable consumption and the power of economic growth: exploring alternatives to the growth-dependency narrative. Consumption and Society, 1(2), 1-21, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, and Benedikt Lennartz. 2022. Business interest in human rights regulation. Shaping actors' duties and rights. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, DOI: 10.1080/13698230.2022.2113226.
  • Sahakian, Marlyne, Aurianne Stroude, Laurence Godin, Irène Courtin, Frances Fahy, Doris Fuchs, and Justine Langlois. 2022. Reflexivity through practice-informed student journals: how "sustainable wellbeing" relates to teleoaffectivities. Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 18:1, 247-262, DOI: 10.1080/15487733.2022.2043078.
  • Ernst, Anna, and Doris Fuchs. 2022. Power dynamics, shifting roles, and learning: Exploring key actors in participation processes in the German Energy Transformation. Energy Research & Social Science, 85: 102420, DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2021.102420.
  • Klinkenborg, Hannah, and Doris Fuchs. 2021. Religion - A Resource in European Climate Politics? An Examination of Faith-Based Contributions to the Climate Policy Discourse in the EU. Zeitschrift für Religion, Gesellschaft und Politik. DOI: 10.1007/s41682-021-00082-0.
  • Fuchs, Doris, Julia Steinberger, Elke Pirgmaier, William Lamb, Lina Brand-Correa, and Jonathan Cullen. 2021. A corridors and power-oriented perspective on energy service demand and needs satisfaction. Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 17(1): 163-173, DOI: 10.1080/15487733.2021.1912907.
  • Sahakian, Marlyne, Doris Fuchs, Antonietta Di Giulio and Sylvia Lorek. 2021. Advancing the Concept of Consumption Corridors and Exploring Its Implications. Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 17(1): 305-315, DOI: 10.1080/15487733.2021.1919437.
  • Fuchs, Doris, Bernd Schlipphak, Oliver Treib, Le Anh Nguyen Long and Markus Lederer. 2020. Which Way Forward in Measuring the Quality of Life? A Critical Analysis of Sustainability and Wellbeing Indicator Sets. Global Environmental Politics 20(2): 12-36. DOI: 10.1162/glep_a_00554.
  • Jaeger-Erben, Melanie, Birgit Blättel-Mink, Doris Fuchs, Konrad Götz, Nina Langen, and Henrike Rau. 2020. Grenzen des Konsums im Lebensverlauf: Gelegenheiten, Hürden und Gestaltungsspielräume GAIA 29/4: 218 - 223,
  • Glaab, Katharina, and Doris Fuchs. 2018. Green Faith? The role of faith-based actors in the global sustainable development discourse. Environmental Values 27(3): 289-312, DOI: 10.3197/096327118X15217309300840.
  • Fuchs, Doris. 2017. Windows of Opportunity for Whom? Commissioners, Access, and the Balance of Interest in European Environmental Governance. social sciences 6, 73,
  • Fuchs, Doris, and Berenike Feldhoff. 2016. Passing the Scepter, not the Buck. Long Arms in EU Climate Politics. Journal of Sustainable Development 9(6): 58-74. https://doi: 10.5539/jsd.v9n6p58.
  • Fuchs, Doris, Antonietta Di Giulio, Katharina Glaab, Sylvia Lorek, Michael Maniates, Tom Princen and Inge Ropke. 2016. Power: The Missing Element in Sustainable Consumption and Absolute Reductions Research and Action. Journal of Cleaner Production 132: 298-307. Glaab, Katharina and Doris Fuchs. 2015. Religiös und grün? Die Rolle von glaubensbasierten Akteuren im globalen Diskurs der nachhaltigen Entwicklung. In Partzsch, Lena and Sabine Weiland (eds.). Macht und Wandel in der Umweltpolitik. ZPol Sonderband, 95-120, DOI:
  • Di Giulio, Antonietta and Doris Fuchs. 2014. Sustainable Consumption Corridors: Concept, Objections, and Responses. GAIA 23 (1): 184-192, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, Richard Meyer-Eppler and Ulrich Hamenstädt. 2013. Food for Thought: The Politics of Financialization in the Global Agrifood System. Competition & Change 17 (3): 219-233, DOI:
  • Feist, Marian and Doris Fuchs. 2013. Agrarpolitik und Ernährungssicherheit im Strudel der Finanzkrise. Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik ZfAS 6 (1): 197-209, DOI:
  • Lorek, Sylvia and Doris Fuchs. 2013. Strong Sustainable Consumption Governance - Precondition for a Degrowth Path? Journal of Cleaner Production 38: 36-43, DOI:
  • Zeiser, Pamela, Doris Fuchs and Stephan Engelkamp. 2013. Discussions across Borders: A German-American Partnership. Journal of Political Science Education (JPSE) 9 (4): 474-486, DOI:
  • Partzsch, Lena and Doris Fuchs. 2012. Philanthropy: Power with in International Relations. Journal of Political Power 5 (3): 359-376, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, Agni Kalfagianni, Jennifer Clapp and Lawrence Busch. 2011. Private Agrifood Governance. Values, Shortcomings and Strategies. Agriculture and Human Values 28 (3): 335-344, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, Agni Kalfagianni and Tetty Havinga. 2011. Actors in Private Food Governance. The Legitimacy of Retail Standards and Multistakeholder Initiatives with Civil Society Participation. Agriculture and Human Values 28 (3): 353-367, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, and Katharina Glaab. 2011. Material Power and Normative Conflict in Global and Local Agrifood Governance: The Lessons of 'Golden Rice' in India. Food Policy 36 (6): 729-735, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, and Agni Kalfagianni. 2010. The Causes and Consequences of Private Food Governance. Business and Politics 12 (3), Article 5. Available at:, DOI: 10.2202/1469-3569.1319.
  • Fuchs, Doris, and Agni Kalfagianni. 2009. Discursive Power as a Source of Legitimation in Food Retail Governance. The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research 19 (5): 553-570, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, and Markus Lederer. 2007. Business Power in Global Governance. A Framework for Analysis. Business and Politics 9 (3): 1-17, DOI: 10.2202/1469-3569.1214.
  • Fuchs, Doris. 2007. Determinanten der Diffusion. Eine empirische Analyse politikfeldübergreifender Dynamiken. In Holzinger, Katharina, Helge Jörgens und Christoph Knill (eds.). Transfer, Konvergenz und Diffusion von Politiken. PVS Sonderband. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 180-199, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris. 2005. Commanding Heights? The Strength and Fragility of Business Power in Global Politics. Millennium - Journal of International Studies 33 (3): 771-801. Reprinted in Matten, Dirk und Jeremy Moon (eds.) 2013. Corporate Citizenship. Houndmills: Edward Elgar, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, and Sylvia Lorek. 2005. Sustainable Consumption Governance. A History of Promises and Failures. Journal of Consumer Policy 28 (3): 261-288. Reprinted in Dauvergne, Peter (eds.). 2013. Environmental Politics. Houndmills: Edward Elgar, 652-679, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, and Maarten J. Arentsen. 2002. Green Electricity in the Market Place. The Policy Challenge. Energy Policy 30 (6): 525-538, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, and Sylvia Lorek. 2002. Sustainable Consumption Governance in a Globalizing World. Global Environmental Politics 2 (1): 19-45, DOI:
  • Fuchs, Doris, and Daniel Mazmanian. 1998. The Greening of Industry. Needs of the Field. Business Strategy and the Environment 7 (4): 193-203, DOI:;2-X.
  • Fuchs, Doris, Jacek Kugler and Harry Pachon. 1997. NAFTA. From Congressional Passage to Implementation Woes. International Interactions 23 (3): 299-314, DOI: