Sustainability Transitions: Conceptual and Empirical Innovations from Around the Globe
Sustainability transitions is an emerging new interdisciplinary field of research which explores how we can drive the social change necessary to curb environmental destruction and adapt to climate change. The concept of ‘sociotechnical systems’ - networks of actors, institutions and material artefacts – is important for many working on sustainability transitions. A sustainability transition is a set of processes that bring about fundamental shifts in sociotechnical systems. It is also multi-dimensional with changes occurring in every aspects of a system, including social and technical change (Markard et al., 2012). Sociologists have an important part to play in understanding what a sustainability transition means to society and how it can happen. Some researchers focus on values and politics, while others draw on the concept of ‘social practice’ to understand the dynamics of change.
In this session we showcase the work of sociologists from around the globe and welcome papers that address questions such as: how is the discourse of sustainability mobilised, how do governments, communities and households engage with ‘the sustainable’, and how can progressive social change be effectively promoted and supported?