Tom Bauler holds the Chair "Environment & Economics" at ULB, where he teaches and works in an ecological economics perspective. He is also co-director of the Interfaculty Institute for Socio-Environmental Transformations (iiTSE - and Research Advisor to the Vice-Rector for Sustainable Development at ULB.

Tom Bauler


After a training in economics (University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg-FR) and a DEA in Sciences-Technics-Society in Lausanne (EPFL, CH) & Strasbourg, I invested the environmental question with a DESS at ULB, then a PhD in Sciences (ULB, 2007). I have been a doctoral assistant at ULB within the Master in Environmental Sciences and Management, then a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University (Boston, USA) within the Program on Science, Technology and Society (STS -

I am interested in the interdependencies between environmental and economic governance. Starting from a Political Economy tradition and a transdisciplinary base in Ecological economics, my research mixes approaches from economic and political sociology with the sociology of science and technology (STS). My research focuses on the dynamics of governance of the environmental issue, often focusing on the instruments and tools of public action. With my colleagues, I have worked on the governance dynamics of alternative indicators to GDP or ex ante evaluations. We have worked on the dynamics of social innovation and the mechanisms that project socio-technical innovation into the political debate. We have dealt with citizen alternatives in the context of transition processes, or more broadly with the scientific dynamics and public discourses of degrowth. More recently, we have added questions of double/triple transition "ecology & work & digital", as well as a growing interest in the questions of debts / socio-ecological compensations in the framework of just transition.

Teaching activities

I teach a range of courses in a heterodox economics posture at the level of the Master in Environmental Sciences and Management. In addition to a lecture course in Ecological Economics, I organize with Julien Vastenaeckels an in-depth seminar-course on the subject ( This teaching has materialized in the publication of a textbook co-authored with Olivier Petit and Géraldine Froger in Ecological Economics ( Furthermore, with my direct colleagues, I organize the "Interdisciplinary Project" course which introduces students to the co-creation of extra-university knowledge.

Currently, I co-direct with Marek Hudon the Institut Interfacultaire des Transformations Socio-Environnementales (iiTSE - which gathers several dozens of colleagues from the ULB with whom we explore the issues of societal change. I am also a member of the Board of the Luxembourg Institute of Socioeconomic Research (LISER - And I am a member of the High Committee of Experts for the Just Transition ( Furthermore, I have been vice-president of the European Scientific Society of Ecological Economics (ESEE -, and president of the Department of Geosciences, Environment and Society (DGES -

Research Projects

Current projects

2020-2023 GOSETE – Governance of the Sustainable Economy Transition: Challenges of Exnovation. Innoviris Anticipate.

2021-2024 EnergyPROSPECTS - PROactive Strategies and Policies for Energy Citizenship Transformation. DG RTD – EU, H2020. (

2021-2025 LAMARTRA - Bridging decarbonization and labour market in sustainability transitions. BELSPO.

2023-2025 COGITO - Coping with climate debt through just transition. Innoviris Prospective.


Emy Scheer, Children and Sustainable Practices. Financement: ULB

Kim Vandenhole, A study on the societally transformative potential of eco-shaming and its co-evolution with policy, politics, governance. Co-promotion avec Thomas Block (Ugent). Financement FNRS.

Julien Vastenaekels, From the capitalist mode of power to degrowth: Elements of a theory of transformation. Financement: ULB

Fanny Lajarthe, Construire le mouvement de justice climatique en Europe : infrastructures et processus. Co-promotion avec Edwin Zaccai. Financement FNRS

Aurore Fransolet, Knowing and Governing Super-Wicked Problems: A Social Analysis of Low-Carbon Scenarios. Financement FNRS.


An extended list can be consulted on the ULB institutional repository page (Difusion -,%20Thomas) ou sur Google Scholar ( and Research Gate (

Petit Olivier, Froger Géraldine, Bauler Tom (2022), Economie écologique : une perspective européene. De Boeck.

Callorda Fossati, E., Pel, B., Sureau, S., Bauler, T., & Achten, W. (2022). Implementing exnovation?: Ambitions and governance complexity in the case of the Brussels Low Emission Zone. In Technologies in Decline: Socio-Technical Approaches to Discontinuation and Destabilisation. Routledge.

Bauler Tom, Calay Vincent, Fransolet Aurore, Joseph Mélanie, Laurent Eloi, Reginster Isabelle (2021), La transition juste en Europe : mesurer pour évoluer. Cahier de Prospective de l’IWEPS, RW.

Pel, B., Haxeltine, A., Avelino, F., Dumitru, A., Kemp, R., Bauler, T., Kunze, I., Dorland, J., Wittmayer, J. M., & Jørgensen, M. S. (2020). Towards a theory of transformative social innovation:: A relational framework and 12 propositions. Research policy, 49(8), 104080.

Lohest, F., Bauler, T., Sureau, S., Van Mol, J., & Achten, W. (2019). Linking Food Democracy and Sustainability on the Ground: Learnings from the Study of Three Alternative Food Networks in Brussels. Politics and Governance, 7(4), 21-31.

Bauler, T., Pel, B., & Backhaus, J. (2017). Institutionalization Processes in Transformative Social Innovation: capture dynamics in social solidarity economy and in basic income initiatives. In M. Cohen, H. Brown, & P. Vergragt (Eds.), Social Change and the Coming of Post-consumer Society. Theoretical Advances and Policy Implications. Routledge.

Wittmayer, J. M., Pel, B., Bauler, T., & Avelino, F. (2017). Editorial Synthesis: Methodological challenges in social innovation research. European public & social innovation review, 2(1), 1-16.

Sebastien, L., Lehtonen, M., & Bauler, T. (2017). Les indicateurs participatifs tiennent-ils leurs promesses ? Participation, 2, 9-38.

Avelino, F., Wittmayer, J., Pel, B., Weaver, P., Dumitru, A., Haxeltine, A., Kemp, R., Jørgensen, M., Bauler, T., Ruijsink, S., & O’Riordan, T. (2017). Transformative Social Innovation and (Dis)Empowerment: Towards a Heuristic. Technological forecasting & social change, 145, 195-206.

Rauschmayer, F., Bauler, T., & Schäpke, N. (2015). Towards a thick understanding of sustainability transitions - Linking transition management, capabilities and social practices. Ecological economics, 109, 211-221.

Zaccai, E., & Bauler, T. (2014). Growth, environment and prosperity: a possible reconciliation ? In Redifining Prosperity (pp. 112-126). London: Routledge.

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Updated on May 30, 2023