Leverage Points for Sustainability: Four Postdoc Positions

The official advertisement will be available on the Leuphana website (here, to be precise!) — it will be identical. 

Please help to distribute this widely! Thank you!

DEADLINE for all four positions: 10th of March — very soon!!

About the project

Understanding how changes in interconnected social-ecological systems facilitate the transformation to sustainability represents one of the key challenges of sustainability science. Drawing on insights from systems thinking and solution-oriented transdisciplinary research, this project will focus on hitherto under-recognized leverage points – system properties where a small shift can lead to fundamental changes in the system as a whole. Leverage Points will focus on changes in relatively intractable, but potentially highly influential, system properties that could help to realign complex social-ecological systems to the normative goals of sustainability. Specifically, we will analyse three sustainability-relevant leverage points: (1) institutional dynamics (RESTRUCTURE); (2) human-environment interactions (RECONNECT); and (3) sustainability-related knowledge creation and use (RETHINK). The three leverage points will be studied individually and with regard to their interdependencies, on two key themes (food and energy) in two contrasting case study regions (Transylvania in Romania, and Lower Saxony in Germany). For details, see www.leveragepoints.org The following four positions are postdoctoral associate positions within the Leverage Points project.  You will be expected to work closely with the research consortium, including eight Principal Investigators, and eight PhD students.

PD1: RESTRUCTURE: Institutional dynamics in sustainability transformation This position focuses on processes of institutional change for restructuring food and energy systems in Lower Saxony (DE) and Transylvania (RO). RESTRUCTURE will address dynamics (transformations) in institutional arrangements. Social structures embodied in institutions (rules, regulations and policies) enable, constrain and guide human action and thus are of central concern to sustainability transformations. Different from most existing research, Leverage Points will not only consider institutional innovation and ‘successful’ institutional arrangements, but will specifically investigate what can be learnt from institutional failure, and assess how purposeful institutional decline could foster sustainability. Full details are available here.

PD2: RECONNECT: Conceptualising and quantifying human-nature connections This position focuses on conceptualising and quantifying human-nature connections and how changes in such connections relate to sustainability outcomes, in food and energy systems in Lower Saxony (DE) and Transylvania (RO). Full details are available here.

PD3: RETHINK: Sustainability-related knowledge creation and use (Germany) This position focuses on consolidating conceptual foundations related to new forms of knowledge production and use, and will apply these to local transdisciplinary case studies.  The themes of the case studies will revolve around the food and energy systems in Lower Saxony (DE) and Transylvania (RO).  This position focuses on the Lower Saxony case, but contributes to the Transylvania case. Full details are available here.

PD4: RETHINK: Sustainability-related knowledge creation and use (Romania) This position focuses on consolidating conceptual foundations related to new forms of knowledge production and use, and will apply these to local transdisciplinary case studies.  The themes of the case studies will revolve around the food and energy systems in Lower Saxony (DE) and Transylvania (RO).  This position focuses on the Transylvania case, but contributes to the Lower Saxony case. Full details are available here.

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