Destabilisation of Sustainable Energy Transformations: Analysing Natural Gas Lock-in in the case of Germany

STEPS Working Paper 106 by Louise Fitzgerald, Isabell Braunger and Hanna Brauers In recent years, natural gas has seen increased support in the context of climate change mitigation. Described as a ‘bridge fuel’ it is seen as aiding in the low-carbon energy transformation process. This is puzzling, given the high global warming potential of natural…

What is Uncertainty and Why Does it Matter?

STEPS Working Paper 105 April 2019 Uncertainty defines our times. Whether it is in relation to climate change, disease outbreaks, financial volatility, natural disasters or political settlements, every media headline seems to assert that things are uncertain, and increasingly so. Uncertainty, where we do not know the probabilities of either likelihoods or outcomes, is different…

The Circular Economy and the Global South

Edited by Patrick Schröder, Manisha Anantharaman, Kartika Anggraeni, Timothy J. Foxon Published by Routledge, April 2019 Paperback: £23.99 Pathways to Sustainability book series Order this book Download a chapter Download the Accepted Manuscript (AM) of a chapter of the book. This document is Open Access and can be downloaded for free. Chapter 1: Sustainable lifestyles,…

The Water-Food-Energy Nexus: Power, Politics and Justice

Published by Routledge, April 2019 Paperback: £29.99 GBP Pathways to Sustainability book series Order this book Download a chapter Download the Accepted Manuscript (AM) of a chapter of the book. This document is Open Access and can be downloaded for free. Chapter 4: The Knowledge Nexus and Transdisciplinarity Download (PDF) Events The book was launched…

Irrigating Zimbabwe After Land Reform: The Potential of Farmer-Led Systems

Scoones. I., Murimbarimba. F. and Mahenehene. J. (2019) ‘Irrigating Zimbabwe after Land Reform: The Potential of Farmer-Led Systems.’, Water Alternatives, 12.1 Farmer-led irrigation is far more extensive in Zimbabwe than realised by planners and policymakers. This paper explores the pattern of farmer-led irrigation in neighbouring post-land reform smallholder resettlement sites in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo district. Across…

Engineering and Sustainability: Control and Care in Unfoldings of Modernity

SPRU Working Paper series SWPS 2019-06 (February) Forthcoming as a chapter in Diane P. Michelfelder and Neelke Doorn (eds), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Engineering, London: Routledge, 2019 This chapter explores some underlying issues bearing on relationships between engineering and Sustainability. It aims to help point towards ways in which engineering practice might avoid some…

The new politics and geographies of scarcity

Scarcity is a dangerous idea and has long been a totalising discourse in resource politics and mainstream economics. A large body of work has critiqued the naturalisation of scarcity in discourses of environmental change, and has highlighted problems in how scarcity is conceptualised and the ways in which scarcities are socially and politically generated. Despite…

How Deep Is Incumbency? Introducing a ‘Configuring Fields’ Approach to the Distribution and Orientation of Power in Socio-Material Change

This paper examines a variety of theories bearing on ‘socio-material incumbency’ and explores methodological implications. The aim is to develop a systematic general approach, which builds on strengths and mitigates weaknesses in prevailing analytical frameworks. Defining power as ‘asymmetrically structuring agency’, incumbency is visible in a diversity of power gradients constituted by multiple economic, political…

Low-carbon China: Emerging phenomena and implications for innovation governance

This paper is an introduction to the special section of the journal Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions (EIST). The special issue investigates emerging phenomena associated with low carbon transitions in contemporary China. It looks at supply and demand side dynamics, the changing role of citizens and a range of policy approaches characteristic of the Chinese…

Narratives and Pathways towards an Ecological Civilization in Contemporary China

This journal article by Sam Geall (chinadialogue.net, University of Sussex,  Chatham House) and Adrian Ely (SPRU/STEPS) draws on theoretical insights from the pathways approach to explore the ways in which dominant policy narratives in China might drive particular forms of innovation for sustainability and potentially occlude or constrain others. In particular, the authors look at ecological civilization (shengtai wenming)…