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Systems Theory and Resilience Thinking

Learn about qualitative and quantitative approaches to systems theory, and how these approaches can be applied to analyze social-ecological systems. Regime shifts, the reorganization of the structure and processes shaping a social-ecological system, are explored from a theoretical and practical perspective, including investigation of a set of case studies.

Resilience thinking uses systems concepts to understand slow and abrupt changes. Key resilience concepts will be introduced. Students will be introduced to theoretical concepts, methods for analysis, and conduct group and individual research projects that utilize these concepts and methods.

  • Course structure


    The course consists of the following parts:

    1. Systems thinking (4 hp)

    2. Regime shifts and transformation (5 hp)

    3. Resilience thinking (6 hp)

    Teaching format

    The course will mix and combine formal lectures, seminars, field observations, and group- and individual project work. Most of these activities will be compulsory.

    Learning outcomes

    A list of the learning outcomes can be found in the syllabus. Please find the link to the syllabus on the right side of this page.


    The different parts (1-3) will be examined separately. Assessments will be mostly based on project reports (written and verbal) produced in individual- and/or group work.


    Örjan Bodin (Part 1 and overall)


    Garry Peterson (Part 2)


    Maria Tengö (Part 3)


  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Meadows, D. Thinking in Systems - A primer. Chelsea Green Publishing 2008.

  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Student office
    Study counsellor (advanced level)