Publikationen (FIS)

Establishing the regional sustainable developmental role of universities

From the multilevel-perspective (Mlp) and beyond

authored by
Verena Radinger-Peer, Gesa Pflitsch, Helga Kanning, Daniel Schiller

This article establishes the multilevel perspective (MLP) as one of the main research approaches in transition research to study complex systemic change processes in socio-technical systems at different structural levels. The application of the MLP to the higher education system, especially to conceptualize the transition of universities towards a sustainable (regional) developmental role, is still in its infancy. Through using a descriptive narrative analysis of seminal articles, the results of the four-years cooperation within an expert working group, and own empirical findings, the present paper investigates the suitability of the MLP to study the transition of universities and university systems towards a sustainable developmental role in the regional context. Based on these investiga-tions, three further perspectives (which must be considered for establishing a more comprehensive understanding of the universities’ sustainable developmental role) are identified and conceptualized: (a) The target dimension of sustainable regional development, (b) the role of agency, and (c) the introduction of space and place to multiscalar regional transitions. Based on these perspectives, a future research agenda beyond the MLP is developed.

Institute of Environmental Planning
External Organisation(s)
University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences
Philipps-Universität Marburg
University of Greifswald
Sustainability (Switzerland)
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Geography, Planning and Development, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment, Environmental Science (miscellaneous), Energy Engineering and Power Technology, Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open)