Taylor & Francis Group
4 files

Telecoupling as a framework to support a more nuanced understanding of causality in land system science

posted on 2022-08-08, 12:40 authored by Louise Marie Busck-Lumholt, Johanna Coenen, Joel Persson, Anna Frohn Pedersen, Ole Mertz, Esteve Corbera

This article illustrates the potential of the telecoupling framework to improve causal attribution in land system science (LSS). We shed light on the distinct analytical approaches that have characterized telecoupling research to date, how these can contribute to LSS with new insights, and whether such insights can improve causal attribution. By reviewing 45 empirical telecoupling studies, we firstly demonstrate how telecoupling is applied in a broad variety of ways within LSS and across different disciplines and research topics, albeit with qualitative data and assessments being underrepresented. Secondly, we show that telecoupling is clearer in its contribution to causal attribution when applied explicitly in framework integration or empirical application, rather than when it is included more indirectly as a narrative. Finally, we argue that telecoupling can complement existing LSS theory with a flexible and holistic approach to dealing with the uncertainties and complexities related to attributing causality in a globalized world.


This research was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 765408 (COUPLED). This work also contributes to the “Maria de Maeztu” Programme for Units of Excellence of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (CEX2019-000940-M).


Usage metrics

    Journal of Land Use Science