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Research framework

At LUCSUS we create theoretically innovative and empirically rigorous knowledge to understand and explain pressing sustainability challenges.

We take an inter- and transdisciplinary approach to tackle complex sustainability challenges. We combine critical perspective with problem-solving approaches - in collaboration with society, to make a difference for sustainable development.

How we do it 

We are unique in the way that we use common approaches, methodologies and tools of assessment to better understand the environment-development linkages. We focus on the perspective of justice, rights and development, and policy in relation to integrating social and natural sciences.

Our research is characterised by:

  • An integration of natural and social science
  • An active participation by stakeholders such as small-holder farmers, policy makers at different levels, and non-governmental organisations
  • Collaboration with scholars from different disciplines and faculties both nationally and internationally.

Key Concepts 

At LUCSUS, we apply, and depart from, a number of key concepts in our research, defined as follows:

  • Critical perspectives: critical research which aims to identify and overcome the limits of existing socio-economic conditions. 
  • Interdisciplinary research: research which draws on concepts and insights from two or more disciplines in order to explain complex phenomena. 
  • Problem solving approach: problem-solving research takes the world as it is and aims to maximise the effectiveness of social action within existing conditions.
  • Sustainability science: a relatively new problem-driven and solution-oriented field of interdisciplinary research broadly aimed at contributing to the global sustainability agenda.
  • Sustainability: a contested concept relating to the ideas and practices aimed at ensuring, within and between generations, the long-term viability of humanity and ecosystem integrity.
  • Sustainable development: the theory and practice related to addressing trade-offs between the need for human development and environmental conservation. 


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Since 2005, LUCSUS has accumulated more than 300 journal publications across a range of sustainability and social science journals, including Nature Climate Change, Global Environmental Change, Journal of Cleaner Production, Geoforum, Ecology & Society, Progress in Human Geography, and Global Sustainability.

Find our publications in the Lund University research portal

Research funding

LUCSUS top 5 main research funders




Other outside from EU


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