Dr Fjalar J. de Haan

Research Fellow – School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
e. j.dehaan@monash.edu
p. (03) 9905 2616

Fjalar’s research interest is societal transitions. His specific niche in transition studies is theory development and computational and mathematical modelling of societal transitions. He is also interested in what one can actually know about processes in such complex social systems, which adds an angle of philosophy to his research.
Fjalar was originally trained as a theoretical physicist at Leiden University, the Netherlands. His thesis work at the Lorentz Institute (the Netherlands) was on non-linear dynamics and pattern formation, which he did under the supervision of Prof. van Saarloos.
He did his Ph.D. research under the supervision of Prof. Rotmans at the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (Drift). The title of his thesis “Towards Transition Theory” more or less summarises the work he did at Drift. The thesis is a treatise on the Pillar theory of societal transitions, which combines much of the state-of-the-art of transition theory in a semi formal way. The aim was to have a theory flexible enough for narrative case studies and rigorous enough for modelling approaches, both of which are elaborated in the thesis as well.
After his Ph.D. work, Fjalar joined the Policy Analysis section at TU Delft (The Netherlands) doing research on infrastructure systems. Since infrastructures are typically around for quite some time, the challenge was to investigate how they could be made more flexible to change along with changing circumstances.

Fjalar is involved with the Centre for Water Sensitive Cities through his work in the PREPARED project, developing a conceptual and a computational transition model to explore the possible futures of urban water systems.