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Practising interdisciplinarity in the interplay between disciplines : experiences of established researchers.

Castan Broto, V. and Gislason, M. and Ehlers, M. H. (2009) 'Practising interdisciplinarity in the interplay between disciplines : experiences of established researchers.', Environmental science and policy., 12 (7). pp. 922-933.


This paper focuses on the practice of interdisciplinary research and its relationship with disciplines within the context of sustainability research. Disciplines are defined as institutions, i.e. conventions, norms or formally sanctioned rules that coordinate human action [Vatn, A., 2005. Institutions and the Environment. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK). These institutions coordinate the practice of research. The central claim of this study is that interdisciplinary research occurs at the interplay between disciplinary institutions. These ideas are developed through the analysis of nine qualitative interviews conducted with established researchers who share an interest in studying issues of environmental sustainability. Specifically, this analysis identifies the motives of researchers who engage in interdisciplinary research and discusses the key characteristics of interdisciplinary research practice. The findings suggest that interdisciplinary research practice relies on disciplinary institutions as points of theoretical and methodological reference. Yet, the paper points at tensions that occur between the practice of interdisciplinary research and the practice of more traditional disciplinary research.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Disciplines, Institutional theory, Interdisciplinary research, Interplay.
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Record Created:18 Dec 2009 12:05
Last Modified:06 Dec 2011 09:46

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