Scientific networks

The public role of education in democratic sustainability transitions (PEDST) 

This interdisciplinary international network for ground-breaking research on the Public role of Education in Democratic Sustainability Transitions (PEDST) brings together researchers from the universities of Uppsala (SE), Ghent (BE), Maynooth (IR) and Södertörn (SE). It aims to increase the quantity and quality of environmental and sustainability education (ESE) research through a common research programme. PEDST integrates expertise from sustainability transition studies, ESE research and research on public education and democracy. The interdisciplinary constellation of the PEDST network as well as its design as a scientific hub that connects numerous projects makes it possible to address research questions that are impossible to answer within a single research project and/or through the work of individual researchers. Thus, it will generate knowledge on the public role of education in democratic sustainability transitions as well as relevant, well-tested analytical models and methods.


Leif Östman (main applicant, Uppsala University), Lovisa Bergdahl (Södertörn University), Carl Anders Säfström (Maynooth University), Katrien Van Poeck (Ghent University), Niclas Månsson (Södertörn University), Elisabet Langmann (Södertörn University), Sharon Todd (Maynooth University), Gert Biesta (Maynooth University), Chris Shilling (Kent University), Jim Garrison (Virginia Tech University), Joacim Andersson (Malmö University), Hanna Hofverberg (Malmö University), Michael Håkansson (Stockholm University).

Funder and duration

Swedish Research Council, 2020-2022

Public pedagogy and sustainability challenges 

In this network, researchers at Ghent University (BE), University of Leuven (BE), Södertörn University (SE), University of Gdańsk (PO), Uppsala University (SE), Aarhus University (DK), Örebro University (SE), Maynooth University (IR) and Rhodes University (SA) share a scientific research interest in the relation between education and societal transformation. They want to deepen and widen our understanding of the public role of education in the face of sustainability challenges, nourish and facilitate further theoretical and empirical research and foster much-needed interdisciplinary collaboration of political theorists, educational theorists and sustainability education researchers. Through the organisation of symposia, guest lectures and scientific collaboration the network develops a theory of public pedagogy with a focus on sustainability challenges and addresses – both theoretically and empirically – questions such as: How can education play a democratic role in addressing sustainability challenges?; What are vital conditions or obstacles to make this possible?; What does this imply for designing sustainability education practices?; What are the theoretical, methodological and empirical implications of researching sustainability education as public pedagogy?

More information on the network website, Ghent University 


Katrien Van Poeck (coordinator, Ghent University), Leif Östman (Uppsala University), Stefan Bengtsson (Uppsala University), David O. Kronlid (Uppsala University), Michael Håkansson (Stockholm University), Jan Masschelein (University of Leuven), Maarten Simons (University of Leuven), Danny Wildemeesch (University of Leuven), Joke Vandenabeele (University of Leuven), Elisabet Langmann (Södertörn University), Lovisa Bergdahl (Södertörn University), Carl Anders Säfström (Maynooth University), Tomasz Szkudlarek (University of Gdańsk), Jeppe Læssøe (Aarhus University), Jonas Andreasen Lysgaard(Aarhus University), Monica Carlsson (Aarhus University), Johan Öhman (Örebro University), Louise Sund (Örebro University), Erik Andersson (Örebro University), Heila Lotz-Sisitka (Rhodes University), Rob O’Donoghue (Rhodes University).

Funder and duration

Research Foundation Flanders, 2017-2021

Last modified: 2023-11-23