Sustainability transformations: A resilience perspective

Author(s): Olsson, P., V. Galaz, W.J. Boonstra
In: Ecology and Society
Year: 2014
Type: Journal / article
Link to centre authors: Boonstra, Wijnand, Galaz, Victor, Olsson, Per
Full reference: Olsson, P., V. Galaz, W.J. Boonstra. 2014. Sustainability transformations: A resilience perspective. Ecology and Society 19(4): 1.


Scholars and policy makers are becoming increasingly interested in the processes that lead to transformations toward sustainability. We explored how resilience thinking, and a stronger focus on social-ecological systems, can contribute to existing studies of sustainability transformations.

First, we responded to two major points of critique: the claim that resilience theory is not useful for addressing sustainability transformations, and that the role of “power” in transformation processes has been underplayed by resilience scholars.

Second, we highlighted promising work that combines insights from different theoretical strands, a strategy that strengthens our understanding of sustainability transformations. We elaborated three research areas on which such combined perspectives could focus: innovation and social-ecological-technological systems interactions, patterns of transformation, and agency and transformation.


Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201