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Towards a material politics of socio-technical transitions : Navigating decarbonisation pathways in Malmö

Stripple, Johannes LU and Bulkeley, Harriet (2019) In Political Geography 72. p.52-63
Abstract

As the politics of climate change shift from the design of international institutions to the pursuit of decarbonisation across multiple sites, researchers are increasingly calling attention to the geography and politics of transitions. We suggest that recent work has so far been limited by its rather incongruous focus on power as a capacity held by individual agents on the basis of the resources which they command, such that the material and relational aspects of socio-technical systems and their dynamics are neglected. In this paper, we bring critical political geographical perspectives to bear on the question of the politics of decarbonisation. Recasting decarbonisation as a matter of political geography then opens up questions of its... (More)

As the politics of climate change shift from the design of international institutions to the pursuit of decarbonisation across multiple sites, researchers are increasingly calling attention to the geography and politics of transitions. We suggest that recent work has so far been limited by its rather incongruous focus on power as a capacity held by individual agents on the basis of the resources which they command, such that the material and relational aspects of socio-technical systems and their dynamics are neglected. In this paper, we bring critical political geographical perspectives to bear on the question of the politics of decarbonisation. Recasting decarbonisation as a matter of political geography then opens up questions of its socio-spatial configuration, its indeterminate and provisional nature as well as the ways in which decarbonisation politics are socio-materially constituted. In Malmö, a city renowned for its attempts to direct urban development towards low carbon futures, we find that decarbonisation is enacted through practices of legibility, demonstration and agreement. These serve to navigate particular junctures and form new socio-material connections and realignments between carbon, capital and infrastructure. We suggest that pathways to decarbonisation are not going to be created by any kind of linear blueprint but through processes that allow them to realign and reorder socio-material relations in new sites and domains across the urban fabric.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Climate change, Decarbonisation, Materiality, Politics, Socio-material connections, Socio-technical transition
in
Political Geography
volume
72
pages
12 pages
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • scopus:85064451754
ISSN
0962-6298
DOI
10.1016/j.polgeo.2019.04.001
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
889c2472-4af7-4402-bf97-186c39573353
date added to LUP
2019-05-03 09:46:53
date last changed
2019-05-21 04:21:32
@article{889c2472-4af7-4402-bf97-186c39573353,
  abstract     = {<p>As the politics of climate change shift from the design of international institutions to the pursuit of decarbonisation across multiple sites, researchers are increasingly calling attention to the geography and politics of transitions. We suggest that recent work has so far been limited by its rather incongruous focus on power as a capacity held by individual agents on the basis of the resources which they command, such that the material and relational aspects of socio-technical systems and their dynamics are neglected. In this paper, we bring critical political geographical perspectives to bear on the question of the politics of decarbonisation. Recasting decarbonisation as a matter of political geography then opens up questions of its socio-spatial configuration, its indeterminate and provisional nature as well as the ways in which decarbonisation politics are socio-materially constituted. In Malmö, a city renowned for its attempts to direct urban development towards low carbon futures, we find that decarbonisation is enacted through practices of legibility, demonstration and agreement. These serve to navigate particular junctures and form new socio-material connections and realignments between carbon, capital and infrastructure. We suggest that pathways to decarbonisation are not going to be created by any kind of linear blueprint but through processes that allow them to realign and reorder socio-material relations in new sites and domains across the urban fabric.</p>},
  author       = {Stripple, Johannes and Bulkeley, Harriet},
  issn         = {0962-6298},
  keyword      = {Climate change,Decarbonisation,Materiality,Politics,Socio-material connections,Socio-technical transition},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {52--63},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Political Geography},
  title        = {Towards a material politics of socio-technical transitions : Navigating decarbonisation pathways in Malmö},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2019.04.001},
  volume       = {72},
  year         = {2019},
}