LUCSUS is an internationally recognised research centre that shapes and advances the field of sustainability science in Sweden and beyond. Through a pronounced social science profile that is strongly informed by the natural sciences, LUCSUS engages with socially relevant and real-world problems that sit at the intersection of the natural and social sciences and transcend cultural and geographic boundaries. The research at LUCSUS aims to provide critical perspectives and to blend them with constructive problem-solving approaches that contribute to the development of sustainable solutions and social transitions. Furthermore, much research at LUCSUS proceeds from an understanding that sustainability is political. Even if, for example, technological solutions play a vital role, it is the political element (policies, politics and ‘the political’) that determines whether, or how ameliorative measures are applied, who applies them, and for what purposes.
LUCSUS’ methodological strength lies in its ability to bring a range of research modes to bear on a particular problem. The centre recognises that there is no single approach to major sustainability challenges. Consequently LUCSUS research (and education) promotes theoretical and methodological pluralism covering an array of research designs, methods, techniques and combinations thereof. To exemplify, research designs span in-depth ethnographic research on everyday life, longitudinal studies working on large quantitative data sets and theoretically informed case studies striving to explore and understand causality. Flexibility as regards theory, epistemology and methodology allows the centre to identify and formulate research questions that may not be easily spotted or framed within disciplinary research or within the confines of sector-based research or policies, as is the case of research related to migration governance and asylum crises. The academic and international diversity of our staff is also a real strength. LUCSUS researchers cover a range of issues in sustainability science emerging from our great diversity which spans academic interests, scholarly training, theoretical preferences, methodological approaches, country of origin, etc.
LUCSUS has a pronounced ambition in both research and education. Lund University was among the first universities in the world to create academic programs in sustainability science, at both graduate (in 2004) and post-graduate levels (in 2008). LUCSUS hosts two major educational programmes: LUMES, an International Master’s Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science and LUCID Ph.D. Research School. As a pioneer in this field, the centre educates agents of change and fosters an active and expanding international alumni network for sharing ideas and information on sustainability issues. In addition, the centre has a special position as a faculty independent unit in Lund University, giving it high operational freedom and flexibility. It also provides a unique vantage point from which to initiate, conduct and present a broad scope of interdisciplinary research. Researchers at LUCSUS thus have excellent opportunities to collaborate with other research groups inside or outside Lund University. LUCSUS researchers are active in projects funded by national and international research funding agencies, both private and public, such as the EU framework programmes, FORMAS, VR, the Swedish Energy Agency, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Rockefeller Foundation.
In MAGYC, LUCSUS leads Work Package 6: Multi-scalar study of the response. In this WP we are conducting a literature review of multi-scalar practices (supranational – national – regional – local) of migration and integration in the EU. We are also carrying out one in-depth study in Sweden where we link the “old” issue of ongoing rural – urban migration with the “new” issue of international migration in order to illustrate potential solutions to the intractable problem of integration. In WP6 we also coordinate the organisation of three workshops in order to synthesise findings from three multi-scalar case studies in Greece, Italy, and Sweden.