Theoretical framing & Methodological approaches


GLAMURS seeks to develop integrated models of lifestyle change as well as transition to a green economy, by taking into account the dynamics of lifestyles, the conditions under which economic systems are transformed and the governance designs enabling a sustainable transformation.  Therefore the performance of sustainable lifestyles was analysed in seven Case Studies across Europe by qualitative and quantitative approaches to identify relevant lock-in areas, potential paths towards alternative economies and governance designs fostering sustainable development. In this relation both internal (values, needs, motivations, identity, habits, social & personal norms etc.) as well as external (social, economic, institutional, structural) factors contributing to existing lifestyle patterns and lock-in situations were under investigation.

The time-use perspective is very important in context to sustainability, as an expected lack of personal time most often turn out to be the most constraining factors towards the adaptation of sustainable practices (i.e. as they are often perceived as more time-consuming than conventional ones). Irrespective to this influential character “time” in daily life still lacks attention in living research. Thereby GLAMURS sought to provide an empirically-grounded understanding of patterns of time-use (with an emphasis on work-leisure balance,leisure optionsand on the perception and effects of time pressure) and associated consumption patterns for the six areas under study, on the factors determining these patterns in the seven regions under study, as well as on the trade-offs and spillovers between time-use categories, levels of consumption and relevant internal and external constraints.

The application of qualitative approaches  aimed to advance our understanding of the causal connections and feedback loops between patterns of time-use and engagement in sustainable initiatives, that contribute to situations of lock-in which perpetuate intensive consumption, low levels of perceived wellbeing and high environmental impacts. Therefore qualitative methods such as system analysis (of the CS regions), net-mapping (analysing the regional, local and individual networks) as well as in-depth interviews, a large scale survey and focus-group and backcasting workshops with both members of the initiatives and the regions were conducted.

Quantitative approaches aimed to quantify theoretical relationships into formalised models of lifestyle change as well as of economic system change towards sustainable lifestyles and sustainable systems of consumption-production at the individual, social and societal level. This included the quantification of governance designs and policy mixes as they relate to sustainable lifestyle and economic change. Accordingly, household-consumption lifestyles were investigated in an environmental assessment by carbon footprints. Individual lifestyle choices were quantified through micro-economic modelling while governance and potentials of upscaling sustainable practices were analysed using macro-economic modelling. Finally, the effect of single sustainable measures was simulated in an Agent-Based-Model.