Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

David Harnesk

Lecturer, PhD in Sustainability Science


climate change, land-use change, social movements, sustainability science, emancipatory social science, political ecology

Research Interests

My research covers a variety of sustainability studies-related themes: mainly multi-scalar drivers and impacts of climate change and land-use change, and methodological development within sustainability science. Analytically, my work looks to how prevailing social structures and institutions interact with natural systems to generate environmental problems and how social movements can mobilize collective action to solve them. I approach these diverse nature-society interactions through problem-driven interdisciplinary research, drawing on geography, sociology and natural science, to develop solutions-oriented research outcomes for addressing sustainability challenges.

My PhD analyzed North-South dynamics in the geographies of transport energy via the case of EU biofuels. My thesis provided a systematic diagnosis and critique of the major social and environmental claims of EU biofuel regulation, and proceeded to discuss viable alternatives and achievable transformations 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 focus also include Civil Society and Sustainability Studies. My own empirical work focuses on the social structural and institutional arrangements within which Sámi struggles over land are unfoldning, with an interest in their wider implications for reindeer husbandry. This interest resulted in my current international postdoc project "Sámi social movements - indigenous mobilization around the ecological conditions of reindeer husbandry", financed by the Swedish Research Council.


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

  • Gender and Sustainability in Theory and Everyday Life (MSc)*
  • Sustainability and Popular Culture (MSc)*
  • Sustainable development from a local, regional and global perspectiv (BSc)*
  • Climate, Science and Society (MSc)
  • Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science: Master’s Thesis (MSc)

Over the years I have also taught in many other courses: Urban & Rural Systems and Sustainability; Economy and Sustainability; Energy and Sustainability; Governance of Sustainability; Historical Aspects of Development; Gender, Global Development, and Postcolonialism; Media and Communication Studies: Media and Diversity; Social Science Lab; Methods for Climate Risk Management; Environmental Science: Industrial Environmental Economics, and; Environmental Science: Instruments for preventative environmental protection.

*Course coordinator

Recent Conferences

Harnesk, D. & Isgren, E. 2019. Sustainability as a Real Utopia - heuristics for emancipatory sustainability research. The 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting in Trondheim, Norway, June, 2019.

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.

Outreach and Workshops

Lunds Universitet 2019 Fighting Climate Change – Mapping the pathway with social movements (public event) Lund, March, 2019. Panel member.

Lunds Universitet News & Press Releases 2019 ”What local people?” Sveriges största gruvkonflikt visar på samers möjlighet att göra motstånd. Lund, February, 2019.

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. Lead organizer.



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] LUCSUS [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

+46 46 222 80 82

Josephson, 112

Josephson-huset, Biskopsgatan 5, Lund


P.O. Box 170, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46(0)46- 222 80 81
info [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se