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FME3548 Reflexive and Critical Perspectives on Sustainability Transitions 3.0 credits

This course will aim at developing a critical and reflexive thinking, e.g., questioning and reflecting on researchers' sustainability assumptions (rather than taking sustainability as a nonnative concept). The course will specifically focus on the research domain of sustainability transitions that has its roots in science and technology studies, sociology, innovation studies and political sciences. The course will include ideas from broader critical sustainability studies in social and political sciences, covering topics such as problem shifting between international environmental treaties, shortcomings of modernist and colonial approaches to sustainability, problematique on globalization of technology for sustainability.

Course offerings are missing for current or upcoming semesters.
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FME3548 (Autumn 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course deals with the basic assumptions within the research domain of sustainability transitions. This domain studies socio-technical transitions towards sustainability in industrial sectors such as transport, energy and food.

The course includes lectures, seminars and other learning activities covering the following topics:

  • Introduction to methodology and sustainability assumptions in transition research
  • Reflexive and critical perspectives within broader sustainability research such as:

            Assumptions in sustainability assessment methods
            Power, colonialism, uncertainty and diversity in the sustainability discourse 
            Problem shifts between international environmental agreements
            Paradoxes in corporate sustainability work

  • Critical review of a scientific text based on its sustainability assumptions
  • Research proposal development with a reflexive and critical perspective

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student will be able to: 

  • Critically reflect on sustainability assumptions in sustainability transitions research
  • Explain and reflect on reflexive and critical approaches to transitions research
  • Critically review and assess a scientific text according to its sustainability assumptions
  • Formulate a plan for a scientific study with a reflexive and critical approach

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Admitted to PhD studies

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • INL1 - Assignment, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM1 - Assignment, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Attendance at at least 80% of lectures and seminars.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FME3548

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Emrah Karakaya,

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at ITM/Industrial Economics and Management