About UsRosa Lehmann

Junior Professor of “Innovation and Sustainability in Ibero-America”

Affiliation: Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies - HCIAS
Co-operation: Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences, Institute of Geography, Heidelberg Center for the Environment

Tel.: +49 (0)6221 54-19336
E-Mail: rosa.lehmann(at)uni-heidelberg.de

Dr. Rosa Lehmann studied Cultural Anthropology and Political Science at Freiburg University, and in 2018, received her Ph.D. in Political Science. From 2016 until 2021, she was a postdoc researcher in the junior research group “Bioeconomy and Social Inequalities”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and based at the University of Jena in Germany. Since 2012, she has been an associate researcher at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) at the University of Freiburg. She is a member of the editorial team of the journal Peripherie. Politik – Ökonomie – Kultur, an interdisciplinary journal for development theory and politics, and since April 2021, an HCIAS Junior Professor of “Innovation and Sustainability in Ibero-America”.

Complete CV Rosa Lehmann

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Rosa Lehmann


Rosa Lehmann is interested in the social dimension of the transition from a fossil fuel economy to a sustainable society and economy that is based on renewable resources. She situates herself in the interdisciplinary research field of political ecology and her research is guided by the assumption that the appropriation of nature, e.g., for biomass production or wind energy generation, just as the necessary technological innovations do not happen in a vacuum but are inextricably bound to social relations. In her research, she focuses on the social impacts and challenges of the energy transition and the transition to a bio-economy by taking into account existing socio-ecological inequalities including power asymmetries between actors and competing narratives on innovation and sustainability. The regional focus of her work is Ibero-America, particularly Latin America/Mexico, and she considers transnational ties and international dependencies in her work.

Rosa Lehmann wants science to take place not only in the ivory tower and concerns herself with the transfer of academic research and debates as well as the communication of research results to both students as well as a wider public.

Research in Progress

  • Climate Politics: Research Project PCG - Interacting Actors in Polycentric Climate Governance (funded by the Heidelberg Center for the Environment): The goal of this project is to understand how transnational forums established in recent years to address climate change affect the discussion, selection, and convergence of climate change policies. To achieve this, we will examine the policy preferences and perceptions of different groups of actors (bureaucrats, civil society actors, and business actors) in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico, determine the impact of cross-level learning on policy convergence, and examine the representation of included and excluded actors. Principal investigators: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Rosa Lehmann (HCIAS), Prof. Dr. Jale Tosun (Institute of Political Science), Prof. Dr. Johannes Glückler (Institute of Geography), Prof. Dr. Óscar Loureda (HCIAS); Project members: Alejandra Irigoyen Ríos (HCIAS) and Emiliano Levario Saad.
  • Science Collaboration in the Bioeconomy: A collaborative effort with Júlia Mascarello (University of Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil) and Dr. Alex Giurca (European Forest Institute, Bonn, Germany) on science collaboration between German and Brazilian researchers who investigate bio-based resources and biological processes necessary for a bio-based economy. The manuscript explores in what way researchers based in Brazil perceive these collaborations and discusses the outcome against theoretical assumptions in International Relations, Science, Technology and Innovation, and Inequality Studies.


  • ‘Just Transitions’ in countries of Latin America: Joint work with Dr. Pedro Alarcón (University of Gießen & FLACSO Ecuador) which assesses the concept of ‘just transition’ in light of structural dependencies and socioecological conflicts in Ecuador and Mexico.


  • Mining conflicts in Mexico: A joint effort with Rafael Hernández Westpfahl on conflict dynamics in silver and lithium mining in Mexico.


  • Sustainability, Transitions, and Discourse: Planned workshop in collaboration with Dr. Alejandro Ecker (HCIAS) in which we analyse the role of discourse in/for policy making, as well as the role of ‘sustainability’ in distinct social and political settings.

Supervision of Doctoral Dissertation Projects

  • Rafael Hernández Westpfahl: "Energía limpia? The (in)visibilisation of postcolonial dynamics and forced displacement in the context of 'green extractivsm'".  Heidelberg University, HCIAS doctoral research group “Communication and Society in Ibero-America” (Faculty for Chemistry and Earth Science).
  • Alejandra Irigoyen Ríos: Doctoral research project: "Municipalities in Climate Governance", Universität Heidelberg (Faculty for Chemistry and Earth Science).
  • Further supervision as host: Júlia Mascarello, University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, former HCE junior fellow and HCIAS visiting doctoral fellow (September 2022 until June 2023).

Recent Presentations and Media Contributions

Las políticas de la transición energética

At the Escuela de Verano Internacional Energía y Cambio Climático: Actualidad y Desafíos para América Latina organized by the Universidad del Sur, Bahia Blanca, Argentina, which took place on February 19-23, 2024.

Together with HCIAS doctoral researchers Alejandra Irigoyen & Rafael Hernández Westpfahl, Júlia Mascarello (Doctoral researcher at the Universidade de Santa Catarina, former junior fellow HCE and HCIAS) & Dr. Johanna Höhl (Geography, Heidelberg University).

Spatialities of energy transition(s) – The making of (uneven) hydrogen spaces via strategies and export visions

With Dr. Johanna Höhl, Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University. As part of the panel: „Grüner Wasserstoff in der Energiewende: Mehr Energiegerechtigkeit oder grüner Extraktivismus?“ at the “Deutschen Kongress für Geographie” on September 21, 2023 in Frankfurt am Main.


Summer Semester 2024

  • Contested Resources for a Low-Carbon Economy: Biomass, Minerals, Land, and Water
  • Geographien von Biodiversitätsverlust und Klimawandel: Sozialräumliche und politökonomische Dimensionen (open for BA students)

HCIAS Course Catalog Summer Semester 2024


Jun.-Prof. Dr. Rosa Lehmann

Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies | HCIAS
Brunnengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg

Tel.: +49 (0)6221 54-19336
Email: rosa.lehmann(at)uni-heidelberg.de

Visiting address: 
Bergheimer Str. 58a, 69115 Heidelberg
Room 118 (4311.01.118)

Office Hours

In the lecture free period by appointment only.  
For the summer term 2024: Wednesdays 8.00 - 9.00 AM.