David Harnesk

Senior Lecturer

Research areas and keywords


  • Economic Geography, climate change, Energy, Ecology, Geopolitics, Indigenous struggles, Sustainability Science, Emancipatory Social Science


My research covers a variety of sustainability studies-related themes: mainly multi-scalar drivers of climate change and land-use change, and methodological development within sustainability science. Analytically, my work often looks to how prevailing social structures and institutions interacts with natural systems to generate concrete environmental problems. I approach these diverse nature-society interactions through problem-driven interdisciplinary research, drawing on human geography, social theory and natural science, to develop solutions-oriented research outcomes on sustainability issues.

My PhD analyzed North-South dynamics in the geographies of transport energy via the case of EU biofuels. Within a sustainability science frame, I examined the interdependencies of energy and geography across three interconnected analytical domains: geopolitics, energy markets and energy landscapes. My thesis provided a systematic diagnosis and critique of the major social and environmental claims of EU biofuel regulation, and proceeded to discuss viable alternatives and achievable transformations that could address the concerns raised in the critique. You can find my dissertation here, its English press release here, and its Swedish press release here.

Today my research also covers Civil Society and Sustainability Studies. My own work focuses on the social structural and institutional conditions under which Sámi struggles over land are unfoldning, with an interest in their wider implications for Sámi social movements around the ecological conditions of reindeer husbandry.


Since 2012 I have been teaching and supervising master - and undergraduate students in a variety of courses at Lund University. These include:

  • Climate, Science and Society (MSc)
  • Gender and Sustainability in Theory and Everyday Life (MSc)
  • Sustainable development from a local, regional and global perspectiv (BSc)

Over the years I have also tought in many other courses: Urban & Rural Systems and Sustainability; Popular Culture and Sustainability; Economy and Sustainability; Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science: Master’s Thesis; Energy and Sustainability; Governance of Sustainability; Historical Aspects of Development; Gender, Global Development, and Postcolonialism; Social Science Lab; Methods for Climate Risk Management; Environmental Science: Industrial Environmental Economics, and; Environmental Science: Instruments for preventative environmental protection.

Recent research outputs

Åsa Knaggård, Barry Ness & David Harnesk, 2018 Oct 31, In : Ecology & Society. 23, 4, 11 p., 20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

David Harnesk, Mine Islar & Stafström, S., 2018 Oct, Svensk gruvpolitik i omvandling: Aktörer, kontroverser, möjliga världar. Anshelm, J., Haikola, S. & Wallsten, B. (eds.). Gidlunds förlag, p. 101-124 24 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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