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Complexity is no excuse: Introduction of a research model for turning sustainable development from theory into practice
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0301-3299
2019 (English)In: Sustainability Science, ISSN 1862-4065, E-ISSN 1862-4057, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 733-749Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An overarching research model is introduced here that can support research for turning sustainable development (SD) from theory into practice. The model describes how existing and future theories, and empirical knowledge related to SD can be utilised to establish explicit linkages—steps—between fundamental SD principles and specific studied practices. The research model is intended to support planning, design and communication of a range of research endeavours such as individual studies, larger projects and research programmes. It internalises a number of insights from the current stock of SD literature such as explicitly linking local solutions to general SD principles, the need to embrace complexity and to use theory, the need for interdisciplinarity, and acknowledging SD as both substance and process. The model and its utilisation are explained and illustrated here by reference to a research example from river basin planning. The model is a critical and constructive attempt to establish structure and strategy in relation to the overwhelming complexity of the sustainability challenge—a challenge which urgently calls for reflective and effective research approaches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Tokyo , 2019. Vol. 14, no 3, p. 733-749
Keywords [en]
Implementation, Operationalisation, Research design, Research model, Sustainability science, Sustainable development
National Category
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-70346DOI: 10.1007/s11625-018-0635-5ISI: 000466962000013Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85055535543OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-70346DiVA, id: diva2:1266831
Available from: 2018-11-29 Created: 2018-11-29 Last updated: 2019-06-13Bibliographically approved

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Hedelin, Beatrice

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