Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Reports
Title (Primary) Foundations for a common approach. Deliverables of the EU-Project InContext
Author Schäpke, N.; Rauschmayer, F.
Year 2012
Department UPOL
Page To 45
Language englisch

The common approach developed here is meant to form an orienting framework, which allows the partners to make reference to and to make use of. Its focus is rather theoretical in contrast to the practical and empirical foci of the partners’ works. Recalling the core thesis, research questions and objectives of the InContext project, the common approach looks into concepts and ideas how sustainable behaviour of individuals and groups gets fostered at a local level. Therefore it does include concrete, differentiated models on how we think sustainable behaviour comes about, including variables such as needs, strategies, values and capabilities.

In a first step we clarify our understanding of sustainable development using the Brundtland definition as a starting point. Human needs, capabilities and quality of life are seen as central pillars of a concept of sustainable development. We take them as a starting point when developing an individual behavioural model. By this we gain a direct link between the aim of sustainability and our understanding of behaviour.

A central assumption of InContext is that two strands of contexts can be distinguished shaping individual sustainable behaviour: the inner and the outer context. Here we discuss central aspects within each of the contexts, like e.g. needs, values, social norms and the economic and natural sphere. This discussion focuses on relevance for guiding behaviour on the one hand and for the sustainability relevance of behaviour on the other. The concept of capabilities is then used to bridge the inner and outer context.

A specific theory of individual behaviour, including inner and outer context in explaining behaviour, is at the basis of the common approach. It does differentiate key variables of the inner individual context and their relations.

The second model of the InContext common approach looks at possibilities to influence this individual behaviour towards sustainability through transition processes. Here we look at how interventions within the community arenas lead to change processes at individual and group level. These change processes might contribute to strengthening individual and collective sustainable behaviour.

A third step, the interplay between small groups (niches) and larger societal structures (landscapes), shall get developed in the future together with the ongoing conceptual framing of WP 3 and is only sketched in this document.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Schäpke, N., Rauschmayer, F. (2012):
Foundations for a common approach. Deliverables of the EU-Project InContext
Ecologic, Berlin, 45 pp.