Publication Details

Reference Category Journals
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Title (Primary) Linking transitions to sustainability: a study of the societal effects of transition management
Author Schäpke, N.; Omann, I.; Wittmayer, J.M.; van Steenbergen, F.; Mock, M.
Journal Sustainability
Year 2017
Department UPOL
Volume 9
Issue 5
Page From art. 737
Language englisch
Keywords assessment; case study; empowerment; social capital; societal effects; social learning; sustainability transition; transition management; sustainability transformation
UFZ wide themes RU6;
Abstract Sustainability transitions as processes of fundamental change in societal systems are open-ended, nonlinear and uncertain. Respective research and governance approaches, e.g., transition management, propose a reflexive way of governing, aiming for a number of societal effects to help facilitating a transition. Effects include empowerment, social learning and social capital development. Jointly mentioned effects shall allow for reflexivity and innovation in developing socially robust and contextualized solutions to sustainability challenges that work in practice. But, understanding the mentioned societal effects and their interplay in more depth is necessary to design and assess transition management processes. While such understanding and related assessment framework is under development in the transition management literature, transdisciplinary sustainability research can provide a rich body of tools and experiences. Building on a review of the literature, this article develops an evaluation framework focusing on social learning, empowerment and social capital as important and hitherto under-conceptualised aspects of the sustainability transition literature. This framework is used to empirically investigate the effects of two specific transition management processes at the local scale. In doing so, the article provides a conceptual and empirical understanding of how social learning, empowerment and social capital contribute to a transition towards sustainability. The three effects are shown to be interrelated, mutually supportive and bridging different scale levels from individuals to groups, niches and beyond. Results highlight possibilities to facilitate and assess societal effects, addressing sustainability as their inherent quality.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Schäpke, N., Omann, I., Wittmayer, J.M., van Steenbergen, F., Mock, M. (2017):
Linking transitions to sustainability: a study of the societal effects of transition management
Sustainability 9 (5), art. 737