The role of culture in land system science

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Yann le Polain de Waroux
  • Rachael D. Garrett
  • Mollie Chapman
  • Friis, Cecilie
  • Jeffrey Hoelle
  • Leonie Hodel
  • Kelly Hopping
  • Julie Gwendolin Zaehringer

Land system science (LSS) has substantially advanced understanding of land dynamics throughout the world. However, studies that explicitly address the causative role of culture in land systems have been fairly limited relative to those examining other structural dimensions (e.g. markets, policies, climate). In this paper, we aim to start a discussion on how to better include culture in LSS. Through four examples, we show how aspects of culture influence land systems in myriad ways. Building on existing causal land system models, we propose a conceptual framework for the role of culture in land use and summarize promising methodological innovations for exploring it further. We conclude with some thoughts on how the study of culture and its integration through reflexive, locally grounded approaches, while challenging, provides new opportunities for the development of LSS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Land Use Science
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)450–466
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • attitudes, behavioral science, land-use change, rational actor, values

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