1st Edition

Transdisciplinary Research and Sustainability Collaboration, Innovation and Transformation

Edited By Martina Padmanabhan Copyright 2018
    334 Pages
    by Routledge

    334 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Transdisciplinarity is a new way of scientifically meeting the challenges of sustainability. Indeed, interdisciplinary collaboration and co-operation with non-academic ‘practice partners’ is at the core of this; creating contextualised, socially relevant knowledge about complex real-world problems.

    Transdisciplinary Research and Sustainability breaks new ground by presenting transdisciplinary research in practice, drawing on recent advances by the vibrant transdisciplinary research communities in the German-speaking world. It describes methodological innovations developed to address wide-ranging contemporary issues including climate change adaptation, energy policy, sustainable agriculture and soil conservation. Furthermore, the authors reflect on the challenges involved in integrating non-academic actors in scientific research, on the tensions that arise in the encounter of theory and praxis, and on the inherently normative, political nature of sustainability research.

    Highlighting the need for academic institutions to be transformed to reflect transdisciplinarity, this timely volume will appeal to postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as Sustainability Science, Transdisciplinary Studies and Philosophy of Science.

    Preface: Bernhard Gläser & Heike Egner, series editors

    Foreword by the editor: Martina Padmanabhan

    Introduction: Transdisciplinarity for sustainability

    Martina Padmanabhan

    Section 1: Understanding sustainability science as challenge and necessity

    A transdisciplinary approach to the process of socio-technical transformation: the case of German ‘Energiewende’

    Armin Grunwald

    Real-world laboratories as an institutionalisation of the new social contract between science and society

    Mandy Singer-Brodowski & Matthias Wanner & Uwe Schneidewind

    Transdisciplinarity in social-ecological research: Constraints, challenges and opportunities. Reflections on personal experience

    Sabine Hofmeister

    Section 2: Cooperating with partners of practice

    From the plurality of transdisciplinarity to concrete transdisciplinary methods. The case of PoNa and its dialogue with practitioners on a picture discourse analysis.

    Daniela Gottschlich & Jedrzej Sulmowski

    Social learning videos: A method for successful collaboration between science and practice

    Patricia Fry

    Developing landscape scenarios and identifying local management options:

    Outcomes and evaluation of a participatory approach in the Swabian Alb, Germany

    Claudia Bieling, Holger Gerdes, Bettina Ohnesorge, Tobias Plieninger, Harald Schaich, Christian Schleyer, Kathrin Trommler & Franziska Wolff

    Section 3: Pursuing methodological innovations for transdisciplinarity

    This is the case (study) - so what? Reflections on a constitutive tension in sustainability science

    Rafael Ziegler


    Martina Padmanabhan is W3 Chair of Comparative Development and Cultural Studies - Southeast Asia, University of Passau, Germany

    Sustainability can neither be understood nor realized without transdisciplinarity. In this collection of outstanding contribution by a stellar cast of international scholars and practitioners, Dr. Padmanabhan brilliantly demonstrates how sustainability science researchers and practitioners can speak to and learn from each other. This model of integrative work will prove to be of lasting and immense value.

    Arun Agrawal is a Professor at the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan, USA

    Co-design, co-production and co-dissemination are often applied in transdisciplinary research, but still lacks methodological clarity in practise. The volume offers outstanding research from German speaking countries that can further elucidate the implementation of these concepts. It clearly demonstrates that power, gender and culture must be considered carefully to establish transdisciplinarity as emancipatory force."

    Christoph Görg, Professor of Social Ecology, Alpen-Adria Universtät Wien, Austria