Sanne Akkerman and Arthur Bakker

Research in the field of sustainability science has committed significant attention to the issue of boundaries, primarily focusing on the relationship between science and policy. However, boundary work extends more broadly ―to the activities of those seeking to mediate between knowledge and action across social domains. These may include boundaries among scientists and journalists, academic disciplines, communities and universities, and governing bodies among others. Working across disciplines and institutions, spurring innovation in higher education and communities, and encouraging flexibility and cross-scale collaborations in governing bodies are key goals in sustainability science and in related discussions of transdisciplinarity. These goals require that we address the myriad boundaries among individuals and institutions. Communication studies have important contributions to make to sustainability science, especially in managing complex boundary processes.


  • Akkerman S.F., Bakker A. (2011) Boundary Crossing and Boundary Objects, Review of Educational Research, 81:132