An agenda for sustainability transitions research: State of the art and future directions
Journal article, 2019

Research on sustainability transitions has expanded rapidly in the last ten years, diversified in terms of topics and geographical applications, and deepened with respect to theories and methods. This article provides an extensive review and an updated research agenda for the field, classified into nine main themes: understanding transitions; power, agency and politics; governing transitions; civil society, culture and social movements; businesses and industries; transitions in practice and everyday life; geography of transitions; ethical aspects; and methodologies. The review shows that the scope of sustainability transitions research has broadened and connections to established disciplines have grown stronger. At the same time, we see that the grand challenges related to sustainability remain unsolved, calling for continued efforts and an acceleration of ongoing transitions. Transition studies can play a key role in this regard by creating new perspectives, approaches and understanding and helping to move society in the direction of sustainability.


Socio-technical systems

Research agenda




Jonathan Koehler

Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI

Frank W. Geels

University of Manchester

Florian Kern

Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW)

Jochen Markard

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH)

Elsie Onsongo

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

Anna Wieczorek

Eindhoven University of Technology

Floortje Alkemade

Eindhoven University of Technology

Flor Avelino

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Anna Bergek

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Frank Boons

University of Manchester

Lea Funfschilling

Lund University

David Hess

Vanderbilt University

Georg Holtz

Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy

Sampsa Hyysalo

Aalto University

Kirsten Jenkins

University of Brighton

Paula Kivimaa

University of Sussex

Mari Martiskainen

University of Sussex

Andrew McMeekin

University of Manchester

Marie Susan Muehlemeier

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)

Bjorn Nykvist

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Bonno Pel

Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Rob Raven

Monash University

Harald Rohracher

Linköping University

Björn Sandén

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Johan Schot

University of Sussex

Benjamin Sovacool

University of Sussex

Bruno Turnheim

University of Sussex

University of Manchester

University of Paris-Est

Dan Welch

University of Manchester

Peter Wells

Cardiff University

Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions

2210-4224 (ISSN)

Vol. 31 1-32

Subject Categories

History of Ideas

Social Anthropology




More information

Latest update

7/8/2019 2