Philipp Censkowsky


Philipp Censkowsky

Ph.D. Candidate and Graduate Assistant

Strategy, Globalisation, Society department


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SDGs tackled in research

Climate action
Responsible consumption and production

Personal insights

Philipp Censkowsky is a PhD candidate and Graduate Assistant at HEC Lausanne. He previously worked for three years in international climate policy advising governments on their climate strategies and conducting research on aligning finance flows with 1.5° C. In theory, this should include enabling rapid and equitable transitions to plant-based and re-localized food as well as to fossil-free and renewable energy systems. In practice, this means fighting political lobbies, corporate power, legal barriers, or inert institutional structures while oftentimes transmission channels of knowledge are weak. To build more bridges between academia and policy making and strengthen such transmission channels, Philipp chose to continue his career at the university. Finally, he wants to better understand, deconstruct, and re-think the economic ideas that underpin un-sustainable economies in the first place. Outside the university you may find Philipp jumping into Lake Geneve at any time of the year.


Summary of research areas

For his doctoral thesis, Philipp investigates discourses and practices in the field of sustainable finance. Among other methods, he plans to use critical discourse analysis and narratology to examine potential structural ambiguities of narratives that underlie sustainable finance communications and strategies. Conceiving of sustainable finance as an institution to whose standardized practices and norms financial actors are both subjected to and contribute is a key starting point of his research. Participating in the discourse on sustainable finance endows organizational legitimacy, yet examining where this falls short of achieving transformational potentials is one objective of this doctoral project. More broadly, Philipp is interested in the role of the state in leading socio-ecological transitions through international cooperation and regulation.



Climate and sustainable finance
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Narrative inquiry & critical discourse analysis
Ecological economics
International financial institutions
Pluralism in economics


Shishlov and Censkowsky (2022): “Definitions and accounting of climate finance: between divergence and constructive ambiguity”, in: Climate Policy (22), pp. 798-816

Shishlov and Censkowsky (2022): “Same but different? Understanding divergent definitions of and views on climate finance”, in: Handbook of International Climate Finance, edited by Michaelowa, Axel and Sacherer, Ann-Kathrin, Edgar Elgar, Cheltenham

Censkowsky and Otto (2021): “Understanding Regime Shifts in Social-Ecological Systems Using Data on Direct Ecosystem Service Use”, in: Frontiers of Environmental Science (9), 695348

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