Climate Backlash: Contentious reactions to policy action (BACKLASH)


Principal Investigator

James Patterson

Assistant Professor of Institutional Dynamics in Sustainability

Environmental Governance section | Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development

Faculty of Geosciences | Utrecht University, The Netherlands



PhD researchers

Ksenia Anisimova

Ksenia Anisimova is a PhD candidate in the Environmental Governance group at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. With an interdisciplinary background in public policy, international development, and sustainability, Ksenia’s interests center on institutional dynamics in the climate governance domain.

Within the BACKLASH Project, Ksenia focuses on analyzing patterns of climate policy responses in OECD countries to unravel complex interrelations between coercive policy action and transformation of socio-institutional systems.

Ksenia holds an Master in public administration from Moscow State University and a joint Master’s degree in public policy and sustainable development from Erasmus University Rotterdam and Barcelona Institute of International Studies. She also took part in a number of academic exchanges and research projects at Sciences Po (France), Yale University (USA), Free University (Germany), International Institute of Social Studies (the Netherlands), Dartmouth College (USA), among others.

Jasmin Logg-Scarvell

Jasmin Logg-Scarvell is a PhD candidate in the Environmental Governance group at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. With a background in interdisciplinary studies, sustainability and public policy, Jasmin’s interests centre on the role of policy elites in climate policy design and outcomes.

Within the BACKLASH project, Jasmin focuses on the post-adoption politics of contentious climate policies, drawing on cases of climate change mitigation from Australia and Canada.

Jasmin holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability) and a Master of Public Policy, both from the Australian National University. She has a decade of professional policy making experience, having worked as an executive in environment and climate policy roles in the Australian Public Service. Jasmin has participated in a range of academic exchanges, internships and research projects in the United States Senate (Congressional Research Fellow), Yale University (USA), University of Toronto (Canada) and the National University of Singapore (Singapore), among others.

Cille Kaiser

Cille Kaiser is a PhD candidate in the Environmental Governance group at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. Trained in the liberal arts and sciences, she has an interdisciplinary background specializing in political science, environmental governance, and communication. Cille’s research interests centre on the oftentimes intricate interplay between policy action and perceptions of social justice and climate justice.

Within the BACKLASH Project, her work focuses on the sociopolitical dynamics of policy backlash, drawing on cases of contentious climate policymaking in France and the United Kingdom.

Cille holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences from Amsterdam University College and a Master of Science in Political Science from VU University Amsterdam, where she specialized in global environmental governance. She has also participated in an academic exchange with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where she studied journalism and sociology. Prior to joining the BACKLASH project, Cille worked as a junior lecturer at the VU’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

Masters researchers

5 MSc thesis researchers completed their thesis under the BACKLASH project in 2021:

  • Freya Endrullis (perceptions of justice in domestic climate policy: the case of the Yellow Vests Movement) (cum laude)
  • Evelien Heida (discourses of fossil fuel extraction and climate policy: the case of Alberta, Canada)
  • Pim Rietveld (policy discourse and climate disasters: the case of the Australian bushfires 2019-2020)
  • Sijtie Rensen (climate emergency declarations and climate policy imaginaries in the Netherlands)
  • Paul van Dijk (impacts of the 2018-2019 climate protests on national climate policy in the Netherlands)