Julia Steinberger

We are happy to announce Professor Julia Steinberger as our fifth Vienna Karl Polanyi Visiting Professor for the summer term 2023! In the course of her visit to Vienna, she will hold a PhD-seminar, an Internal Workshop at Central European University and an open lecture. 


Julia Steinberger is Professor of Societal Challenges of Climate Change at the University of Lausanne since 2020. As an ecological economist, she is examining the current and historical linkages between resource use and socioeconomic parameters, and identifying alternative development pathways to inform the transition to a low carbon society. In 2022 the European Research Council (ERC) awarded her a Synergy Grant for a project titled “Pathways towards post growth deals” together with Giorgos Kallis and Jason Hickel.

Her areas of interdisciplinary research and teaching include Climate Change, Climate Risk, Degrowth, Industrial Ecology, Sustainable Development, Political Economy, Heterodox Economics, Human well-being and Sufficiency. Prof Steinberger was Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 3 for the 6th Assessment Report and is a climate activist. She has published over 40 internationally peer-reviewed articles since 2009 in journals including Nature Climate Change, Environmental Science & Technology, PLOS ONE and Environmental Research Letters. For her research project ‘Living Well Within Limits’, which investigated how universal human well-being might be achieved within planetary boundaries, she received the Leverhulme Research Leadership Award.

Before coming to the University of Lausanne Prof. Steinberger, was a Senior Researcher at the University of Leeds from 2011 onwards. From 2007 onwards she worked at the Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna (SEC), where she investigated sustainable cities and the links between material use and economic performance as Lead Author of the Urbanization knowledge module of the IIASA Global Energy Assessment. Julia Steinberger held postdoc postitions at the University of Lausanne and the University of Zurich, obtained her PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and graduated in Mathematics and Physics at Brown University.


The Research Seminar Living Well within Limits will be open for PhD-Students at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), University of Vienna and Central European University (CEU). Also, Master-Students at University of Vienna and CEU will be able to participate. Participation is limited.


Interested Students have to submit an application with a letter of  motivation (1 page max) and a CV. Please send your application to the following mail-addresses and pay attention to the dateline:

Send your application to: polanyi_visitingprofessor@wu.ac.at, by February 20th 2023


This seminar, held by Prof. Julia Steinberger and supported by Prof. Andreas Novy, addresses the ongoing climate crisis from an Ecological Economics perspective. It focuses on limits to growth, climate-friendly living and socio-ecological transformation: How does capitalist growth imperative impact on contemporary provision systems? How to transform contemporary provision systems and how to shape desired, effective and feasible socialecological transformations?

The broad aim of the seminar is to sharpen a critical perspective on climate politics, climate polices as well as climate activism. Due to multiple crises, the seminar contextualizes current debates in broader debates of political ecology, a post-growth society as well as geopolitical and geoeconomic challenges.


May 30th, 2023; 6:30 PM (CET)

“Living Well within Limits”

FOR MORE about the CEU event, click here:


Brand-Correa, L. I.,  &  Steinberger, J. K. (2022) International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2022, vol. 25, issue 1/2, 114-131

Steinberger, J. K., Lamb, W. F., & Sakai, M. (2020). Environmental Research Letters, 15(4), 044016.

Millward-Hopkins, J., Steinberger, J. K., Rao, N. D., & Oswald, Y. (2020).  Global Environmental Change, 65, 102168.

Pirgmaier, E. and J.K. Steinberger (2019) . Sustainability. 11(7).

Brand-Correa, L. I., & Steinberger, J. K. (2017). Ecological Economics, 141, 43-52.