This paper suggests an approach to conceptualize problems of unsustainability situations by embedding the Drivers-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) scheme within a system of jurisdictional levels represented by Torsten Hägerstrand’s system of nested domains. Taken together these frameworks offer one way to decipher complex situations at different levels by identifying specific problem areas, their associated driving forces, actors, discover where problem-solving attempts are occurring, and where applicable, spot where contradictions and/or disconnects may lie (e.g. conflicting policy goals, policy gaps, technological deficiencies). To illustrate the scheme the case of the multiple problems associated with the sugar production system in Sweden is used. The result is a representation of the important driving forces at a number of levels and better insights as to where contradictions, scalar disconnects within the system lie.