The dark side of transformation: latent risks in contemporary sustainability discourse

Blythe, Jessica, Silver, Jennifer, Evans, Louisa, Armitage, Derek, Bennett, Nathan J., Moore, Michele-Lee, Morrison, Tiffany H., and Brown, Katrina (2018) The dark side of transformation: latent risks in contemporary sustainability discourse. Antipode, 50 (5). pp. 1206-1223.

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The notion of transformation is gaining traction in contemporary sustainability debates. New ways of theorising and supporting transformations are emerging and, so the argument goes, opening exciting spaces to (re)imagine and (re)structure radically different futures. Yet, questions remain about how the term is being translated from an academic concept into an assemblage of normative policies and practices, and how this process might shape social, political, and environmental change. Motivated by these questions, we identify five latent risks associated with discourse that frames transformation as apolitical and/or inevitable. We refer to these risks as the dark side of transformation. While we cannot predict the future of radical transformations towards sustainability, we suggest that scientists, policymakers, and practitioners need to consider such change in more inherently plural and political ways.

Item ID: 54998
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-8330
Keywords: transformation; transformations to sustainability; sustainable development goals (SDGs); power; politics; discourse
Copyright Information: © 2018 The Authors. Antipode © 2018 Antipode Foundation Ltd
Funders: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Australian Research Council (ARC), Banting postdoctoral fellowship, OceanCanada (OC), Stockholm University
Projects and Grants: ACIAR FIS/2012/074
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2018 02:17
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4408 Political science > 440805 Environmental politics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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