Ecologically and Socially Just Sustainability Transformations (EcoJust) is a cross-departmental research platform at Södertörn University. The research question is “How can innovative theoretical and practical approaches to knowledge co-production be combined productively to bridge currently disparate discourses and practices of social and ecological justice across a range of sustainability issues, places and contexts?”

EcoJust brings together about 40 researchers with the aim of advancing theoretical and empirical research where the areas of ecological justice and social justice overlap, and across a range of sustainability issues, places and contexts.

Steering group


Michael Gilek

Associate Professor, Subject Coordinator, Professor

Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies +46 8 608 48 62

Research hubs

In order to promote and further strengthen interdisciplinary collaborations, EcoJust is organized in six research hubs and three cross-cutting research dimensions focused on theoretical, methodological and conceptual aspects. Read more about the hubs below. The cross-cutting research areas are:

  • Conceptualizing social and ecological justice (asking what and why questions).
  • Collaborative knowledge-action methodologies & sustainability impacts and pathways (developing strategies of working together across disciplines).
  • Cultural dimensions (exploring and communicating these topics through cultural activities and the arts).

Södertörn University works with the critical exploration of climate change and energy transitions, including their consequences and conflicts. The Energy and Climate Hub, an interdisciplinary network at the university, focuses on energy issues in the Baltic and Eastern Europe region. Researchers work on green transitions and sustainability and contribute to energy research. They hold regular meetings to discuss their work and to plan networking activities.

The significance of forest ecosystems in mitigating climate change has gained increased attention in international climate negotiations. Swedish forests have a central role to play in the country’s climate transition and they have a significant impact on the EU’s climate goals. There is international variation in forest management and conservation, which leads to debate about trade-offs between societal goals. The Forest and Land-Use Hub highlights the political dynamics and stakeholders that are involved, and emphasises the need for methods that include a range of interest parties in collaborative processes.

The Water Hub adopt a pluralistic and critical approach, with the aim of analysing and identifying ways to advance social and ecological justice linked to water and water-related transformations to sustainability.

The Global South Hub investigates dilemmas, disputes, and challenges related to social and environmental justice in the Global South. It uses critical perspectives, such as decolonial and rights-based approaches, and explores how bottom-up perspectives from traditionally marginalised communities can be key to sustainability transformations.

The Rural Learning Hub focuses on ecologically and societally just transitions in rural and small town communities. Researchers study issues that include the green transition in northern Sweden, transformation of production landscapes, and energy issues. They aim to address the neglect of rural areas and peripheralised suburbs, which both suffer from social and economic scarcity, and to find alliances between rural areas and suburbs that can enable just transitions.

The Urban Hub studies urban governance, equity and justice and explores the complex dynamics of urban environments, focusing on social, economic, and ecological dimensions. As cities continue to grow, there is an increased need to answer critical questions about urban sustainability and equitable living environments. It is also necessary to develop governance strategies that prioritise equity, justice, and sustainability, while recognising the unique challenges and opportunities of diverse urban contexts.

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