Julia Leventon

Leventon, Julia

Research Interests

I am an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist working to understand policy implementation and formulation in the field of sustainability.  My research examines governance networks, including the ideas and actions of policy actors or stakeholders, and the structures and relationships that shape them.  I am interested in the multi-level, interdisciplinary nature of governance networks, and in connecting on-the-ground activities into policy processes. In this way, issues of scale (spatial and temporal) often feature in my work.

My research methods include stakeholder and network analysis, participatory methods and transdisciplinary research forums, and elite interviews.  I am particularly interested in mixed-methods research approaches in sustainability science.

I am particularly interested in how governance processes are shaped by both the political context and the material/physical context.  I have therefore conducted in-depth case study research into a range of environmental challenges in a number of political systems.  These include the management of groundwater in Eastern Europe; climate governance in sub-Saharan Africa; and biodiversity in agricultural landscapes in Western Europe.

For more information and updates on my research:

Current Research Projects

Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformations (www.leveragepoints.org).  Co-Principal Investigator, and project manager.  Funded by the VW Foundation.

MULTAGRI: Rural Development through Governance of Multifunctional Agricultural Land Use (www.cec.lu.se/research/multagri).  Senior Research Associate.  Funded by ERA-Net RURAGRI.

RECARE: Preventing and Remediating degradation of soils in Europe through Land Care (www.recare-project.eu).  Co-Investigator.  Funded by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme.  Through this project, I retain links to the Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds, UK.

Professional Activities

I am a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Development Studies Association.

I am an associate editor of the peer reviewed journal Environmental Policy and Governance.

Highlighted Publications

For a full list of publications, please see the publications page.


Abson, D. J., Fischer, J., Leventon, J., Newig, J., Schomerus, T., Vilsmaier, U., von Wehrden, H., Abernethy, P., Ives, C. D., Jager, N. W., & Lang, D. J. (2016). Leverage points for sustainability transformation. Ambio. [Free Open Access Content].


Whitfield, S., Dougill, A.J., Dyer, J.C., Kalaba, F.K., Leventon, J., & Stringer, L.C. (2015). Critical reflection on knowledge and narratives of conservation agriculture.  Geoforum, 60, 133.

Leventon, J., Dyer, J. C., & Van Alstine, J. D. (2015). The private sector in climate governance: opportunities for climate compatible development through multilevel industry-government engagement. Journal of Cleaner Production, 102, 316-323.

Leventon, J. (2015). Explaining implementation deficits through multi-level governance in the EU’s new member states: EU limits for arsenic in drinking water in Hungary. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 58(7), 1137-1153.


Leventon, J., Kalaba, F. K., Dyer, J. C., Stringer, L. C., & Dougill, A. J. (2014). Delivering community benefits through REDD+: Lessons from Joint Forest Management in Zambia. Forest Policy and Economics, 44, 10-17.

Dyer, J., Stringer, L. C., Dougill, A. J., Leventon, J., Nshimbi, M., Chama, F., Kafwifwi, A., Muledi, J. I., Kaumbu, J.-M. K., Falcao, M., Muhorro, S., Munyemba, F., Kalaba, G. M., & Syampungani, S. (2014). Assessing participatory practices in community-based natural resource management: Experiences in community engagement from southern Africa. Journal of Environmental Management137, 137-145.


Leventon, J., & Hug, S. (2012). Consumer concerns about drinking water in an area with high levels of naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater, and the implications for managing health risks. In P. Bhattacharya, I. Rosborg, A. Sandhi, C. Hayes, & M. J. Benoliel (Eds.), COST Action 637. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference Metals and Related Substances in Drinking Water, METEAU, Kristianstad, Sweden, October 13-15, 2010 (pp. 34-40). London: IWA Publishing.


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