Distinguishing Four Discourses on Sustainability Transitions

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* Article: One transition, many transitions? A corpus-based study of societal sustainability transition discourses in four civil society’s proposals. By Giuseppe Feola and Sylvia Jaworska. Sustainability Science, pp 1–14, September 2018.

URL = https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11625-018-0631-9?


"When the civil society makes ‘transition’ its label, it cannot be assumed that different civil society actors share compatible varieties of localist or radical transformationists discourses. This study has comparatively analyzed the discourses in four civil society sustainability transition proposals using a corpus-based methodology. We found that the proposals are similar as they identify the economy as an object and an entry point for transition, frame the economy as embedded in the socio–ecological system, ascribe agency to grassroots movements for transitions from the bottom–up. We also found crucial differences among the discourses regarding the role of the State, the degree of reform or radical innovation, the degree of imaginative character of the sustainability vision, the degree of opposition to capitalism. We suggest that insights on how the civil society employs notions of transition with respect to the themes of politics, emotions and place can help advance theorizations and practices of societal sustainability transitions led by the civil society."


"This paper examines sustainability transition discourses in the proposals developed by four organizations:

The main questions which this research addresses are:

1. To what extent and in what ways are these sustainability transition discourses similar, or do they differ?

2. How can these discourses stimulate further advancement of transition studies, with specific focus on societal or global sustainability transitions that are led by the civil society?"