Dr Wittneben pursues three often intersecting lines of research. First, she contributes extensively to work in the area of climate governance and issues related to the carbon market. Second, she contributes to the building of theory surrounding institutional change. She writes on the pace of change, institutional entrepreneurship, and the role of field-configuring events in bringing about structural change. Third, she investigates issues of social equity, justice, and peace. In this line of work, Dr Wittneben looks at what it means to develop, grant, and legitimate the provision of human security within and across countries.

Dr Wittneben’s work is inherently international and qualitative in nature. She usually investigates the evolution of organizational processes through an analysis of interviews, discourses (including newspapers and official documentation), and participant observation. She is also exploring video ethnography as a research method.

Dr Wittneben is interested in uncovering the diverse perspectives and interests of multiple actors in the institutional field and has also produced a short film and written a theatre production on the differing viewpoints on climate change.