Topic 1b Research Methods & Methodology

Content of track 1b

Since its inauguration over two decades ago the International Sustainable Development Research Society has been in the forefront of discourses on sustainable development through the medium of scholarly papers presented by researchers at its annual conferences. The universe of knowledge created so far has helped to lay down both the theoretical foundations for a "science of sustainable development", and the bases for formulation of policies to achieve sustainable development. Research activities, and themes and tracks of the ISDRS conferences resonated with and continues to reflect the wider local and global policy-making frameworks and institutions, primarily the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Research methods and methodologies in academic discourses embedded in policy making, have evolved. The Brundtland Report inspired early researchers to conceptualise sustainable development through the application of research methodologies within the traditional boundaries of the social sciences. Growing recognition of the complexity of the relationship between economy, society and environment has required new and innovative approaches to the study of sustainable development. Today generative AI technology will transform economies and societies dramatically. In the context of geopolitical disturbances, the achievement of sustainable development through policy measures will require robust analytical methods for the formulation of policies and their implementation. This track seeks to explore the methodological challenges presented by these developments.

Track 1b invites academic researchers and professionals to present their work using a wide range of research methods and methodologies encompassing inter alia those of social sciences, natural sciences, engineering as well as new approaches to the study of sustainable development such as systems analysis, social network analysis, e-social science, narratives, and other qualitative and quantitative methods incorporating digital technology. New approaches such as transdisciplinary research create coproduction of knowledge by stakeholders.

It is expected that scholars contributing to this track will adopt rigorous scientific methods at all stages of their research project: research design. data collection, data quality (management, analysis and evaluation), application of results and dissemination. By strengthening the scientific basis of sustainable development research, it is hoped that papers in this track will provide a roadmap for future scholars to undertake the exploration of the complexity of the analysis of sustainable development. It would be possible then to demonstrate the impact of their research to help create and maintain a sustainable world.



Deconstructing Sustainability Discourses Around the Globe
Workshop taking place at the 30th ISDRS Conference, “Linking Futures of Mountain and Ocean: Rescuing the SDGs 2030 for Sustainable Livelihood” during the 11th-13th of June 2024 in Nepal.

Aim of the Workshop

Bring together scholars with an interest in sustainability discourses and deconstruction to present and discuss papers related to this topic, that can potentially be submitted for a high-level special issue.


  • Delve into the meaning of sustainability within diverse global discourses.
  • Introduce deconstruction as a reading strategy to the study of sustainability discourses.


On campus and online

For more information:


Next Conference: Track 1b

Keep up to date with developments of ISDRS 2024 Track 1b here 


Related UN-SDGs

Who are we?

Sjors Witjes
Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University, The Netherlands.

Shobhana Madhavan
Emeritus Professor
University of Westminster
Westminster Business School, London

Deborah Martinez
Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University, The Netherlands.

Routledge & Earthscans' Sustainability Hub

Find useful essays, free books and articles, case studies and more at our partner's website: 

Past conference

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The track theoretical approaches stressed some pivotal topics in sustainability science, like resilience and systems modelling. Moreover, the challenges and limitations caused by human behaviour were discussed. The presentations were enriched by thrilling case studies and the presentations came up with new and interesting insights, e.g. concerning SDG impact and housing.

Knowledge Resources

Recommended Sources: