+46 701 917 902



Staff profile

Simon West is a researcher exploring how people make sense of their relationships with the natural world, in an era of complex social and environmental change

Profile summary

  • Adaptive governance
  • Adaptive management
  • Practice theory
  • Qualitative methods
  • Social science
  • Biosphere reserves
  • Biodiversity conservation

In particular, West is interested in how these meanings shape perceptions of and responses to sustainability challenges, as well as how they are communicated and enacted through management, policy and governance.

West's empirical research to date has predominantly focused on how people create, share and use knowledge within the everyday practice of biodiversity conservation. This has included work on environmental monitoring, adaptive ecosystem management, and adaptive governance. His current research project examines Indigenous land management in northern Australia.

West's work is inter-disciplinary and collaborative in nature, and his unique contribution is to introduce interpretive social science – including work from sociology, policy analysis, science and technology studies, human geography and the environmental humanities – into the emerging trans-disciplinary field of sustainability science.

West's has a keen interest in the methodological and theoretical development of sustainability science. Methodologically, he is interested in knowledge coproduction, trans-disciplinary and decolonizing research practices, and qualitative methods (including photovoice, q-method, narrative interviews and discourse analysis). Theoretically, he is interested in complexity theory, practice theory, dwelling, actor-network theory, and process/relational philosophy.

West received a PhD in Sustainability Science from the Stockholm Resilience Centre in December 2016. In his PhD he explored the creation, interpretation and use of sustainability concepts – including adaptive management, biosphere reserves, biodiversity corridors and planetary boundaries – in a variety of contexts in South Africa and Australia.

West holds an MA in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), and a BA in American and English Literature from the University of East Anglia. He has extensive experience volunteering in practical conservation projects in the UK, including with the Wildlife Trusts and Natural England.

In 2014, West co-designed and ran a PhD course together with Wijnand Boonstra, ‘Why bother with Durkheim? Using (classical) social science to understand the social dynamics of social-ecological systems.’ He has also co-run the SRC’s MSc programme course module ‘Adaptive Governance’ in 2015 and 2017 together with Lisen Schultz.

West, Simon

Publications by West, Simon

West, Simon

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201