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David Harnesk

Lecturer, PhD in Sustainability Science


economic geography, climate change, energy, ecology, geopolitics, indigenous struggles, sustainability science, emancipatory social science

Research Interests

My research covers a variety of sustainability studies-related themes: mainly multi-scalar drivers of climate change and land-use change, and methodological development within sustainability science. My work often relates the mode of social structures and institutions to the development of concrete environmental problems. I approach diverse nature-society interactions through problem-driven interdisciplinary research, drawing on social theory and natural science, to develop solutions-oriented research outcomes on sustainability issues.

My PhD analyzed North-South dynamics in the geographies of transport energy via the case of EU biofuels. Within a sustainability science frame, I drew on critical realism, emancipatory social science, and a mixed methods approach to examine the interdependencies of energy and geography across three interconnected analytical domains: geopolitics, energy markets and energy landscapes. My thesis provided a systematic diagnosis and critique of the major social and environmental claims of EU biofuel regulation, and to proceeded and discuss alternatives and transformation that could address the concerns raised in the critique. You can find my dissertation here, its English press release here, and its Swedish press release here.

My research also covers the social structural and institutional conditions under which Sámi struggles over land are unfoldning, with an interest in their wider implications for Sámi social movements and the ecological conditions of reindeer husbandry in Sápmi.

Teaching and Supervision

Since 2012 I have been teaching and supervising students for master and undergraduate students in a variety of courses at Lund University. These include:

  • Climate, Science and Society (MSc)
  • Gender and Sustainability in Theory and Everyday Life (MSc)
  • Sustainable development from a local, regional and global perspectiv (BSc)

Over the years I have also tought in many other courses: Popular Culture and Sustainability; Economy and Sustainability; Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science: Master’s Thesis; Energy and Sustainability; Governance of Sustainability; Social Science Lab; Methods for Climate Risk Management; Environmental Science: Industrial Environmental Economics, and Environmental Science: Instruments for preventative environmental protection.

Recent Conferences

Boda C., Faran T., Harnesk, D., Isgren E., and O'Byrne D. 2018. Structuralist vs Agent-based Approach to Environmental Sustainability – A possible resolution to a polarized debate. 2nd International Conference in Contemporary Social Sciences, Crete, June, 2018. Upcoming oral presentation.

Harnesk, D. & Isgren, E. 2018. Envisioning Real Sustainability: enriching sustainability science with emancipatory social science. AAG Annual Meeting, New Orleans, April, 2018.

Workshops and Outreach Activities

Lunds Universitet News & Press Releases 2018 EU biofuel regulation is not sustainable long-term. Lund, May, 2018.

Lunds Universitet Nyheter & Press 2018 EU:s biodrivmedelspolitik är inte hållbar. Lund, Maj, 2018

Nyhetsbrevet Apropå 2017 Storsatsningar på biodrivmedel skapar svårigheter för småjordbrukare. Lund, October, 2017.

Harnesk, D., Brogaard, S., Sjöberg, Ö. & Tambang, G. Y. 2017. Workshop om global handel med biomassa, Stockholm, September, 2017.

Harnesk, D. & Brogaard, S. 2015. EUs hållbarhetskriterier, hur hållbara är de? Avslutningskonferens – Bränsleprogrammen, Stockholm, May, 2015. Poster presentation.



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

Page Manager:
David Harnesk
David Harnesk
E-mail: david [dot] harnesk [at] pi [dot] lu [dot] se

P.O. Box 170, SE-222 70 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46(0)46- 222 80 81
info [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se