An agenda for sustainability transitions research: State of the art and future directions

Jonathan Kohler, Frank Geels, Florian Kern, Jochen Markard, Anna Wieczorek, Floortje Alkemade, Flor Avelion, Anna Bergek, Frank Boons, Lea Funfschilling, David Hess, Georg Holtz, Sampsa Hyysalo, Kirsten Jenkins, Paula Kivimaa, Mari Martiskainen, Andrew McMeekin, Marie Susan Muhlemeier, Bjorn Nykvist, Elsie OnsongoBonno Pel, Rob Raven, Harald Rohracher, Bjorn Sanden, Johan Schot, Benjamin Sovacool, Bruno Turnheim, Dan Welch, Peter Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019


  • Sustainability
  • Transformation
  • Transitions
  • Socio-technical systems
  • Research agenda

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    Kohler, J., Geels, F., Kern, F., Markard, J., Wieczorek, A., Alkemade, F., Avelion, F., Bergek, A., Boons, F., Funfschilling, L., Hess, D., Holtz, G., Hyysalo, S., Jenkins, K., Kivimaa, P., Martiskainen, M., McMeekin, A., Muhlemeier, M. S., Nykvist, B., ... Wells, P. (2019). An agenda for sustainability transitions research: State of the art and future directions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 31, 1-32.