Mihaela Papa

Lecturer in Sustainable Development

  • PhD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • MA, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • BA, Economics (Trade), University of Zagreb, Croatia


Mihaela Papa is a Lecturer in Sustainable Development at the Fletcher School and an Overseas Member of the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. Dr. Papa's research focuses on two contemporary challenges of global governance: sustainable development and the rise of new powers. Her dissertation examined the use of forum shopping as a negotiation strategy in ineffective international environmental institutions and its role in institutional change. During her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Law School, she investigated the rise of new powers in global governance from a legal perspective. She is currently engaged in several projects on rising powers' legal cooperation and practices with the Center for BRICS Studies in Shanghai, where she spent six months in 2013, and with Prof. Andrew Hurrell and the PRIMO project at Oxford University. Dr. Papa has taught global governance, the BRICS and sustainable development courses at Brandeis University's graduate policy school, Boston University's undergraduate IR program, Fudan University in China and University of Geneva in Switzerland. She has been recently awarded a grant from the Harvard Kennedy School Negotiation Project to develop a complex multiparty negotiation game for executive education. Dr. Papa has also worked for the European Commission (expert evaluator), International Institute for Sustainable Development (consultant) and the Croatian Foreign Ministry (multilateral affairs officer).

Research Interests
  • Negotiation strategy
  • BRICS/rising powers in global governance
  • Climate change, sustainable development
  • Forum shopping diplomacy
  • Globalization of law and legal profession
  • Evolution of global governance
• BRICS’ Pursuit of Multipolarity: Response in the United States. Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences (2014)
• Deconstructing the BRICS: Bargaining Coalition, Imagined Community or Geopolitical Fad? Chinese Journal of International Politics, 6 (3): 299-327, 2013 (with Christian Bruetsch)
• Emerging Powers in International Dispute Settlement: From Legal Capacity Building to a Level Playing Field? Journal of International Dispute Settlement 4(1): 83-109, 2013.
• A Mutual Gains Approach to a Successful Climate Treaty: The Role of Universal Access to Clean Energy Services, Climate Policy 12(4): 505- 520, 2012 (with William Moomaw)
• Major Emerging Powers in Sustainable Development Diplomacy: Assessing Their Leadership Potential, Global Environmental Change 22(4): 915-924, 2012 (with Nancy Gleason)
• Globalization, Lawyers and India: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis of Globalization Studies and the Sociology of the Legal Profession, International Journal of the Legal Profession 18(3): 175-209, 2011 (with David Wilkins)
• Rethinking Conflict Prevention in South Eastern Europe: An Emerging Environmental Security Agenda. Journal of South Eastern and Black Sea Studies, 6(3): 315-333, 2006.

• Global Environmental Governance: A Reform Agenda. Winnipeg, Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development, 2006 (with Adil Najam and Nadaa Taiyab)

• BRICS as Agents for Change in Global Governance: The Case of Investment Arbitration. In: Global Governance: Critical Legal Perspectives, eds. G. De Burca et al. Portland: Hart Publishing, 2014.
• Environmental Foreign Policy: Crossovers among Multiple Levels of Governance. In: Handbook of Global Environmental Politics, ed. P. Harris, London: Routledge, 2013.
• The Rise of the Corporate Legal Elite in the BRICS: Implications for Global Governance, 54 Boston College Law Review 1149, 2013 (with David Wilkins)
• Environmental Foreign Policy: Towards a Conceptual Framework. In Environmental Change and Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice, ed. P. Harris. London: Routledge, 2009.

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